Ask a Reality Producer: Trumpsplainin’

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“A lot of times when Mr. Trump speaks, it is not as artful as a lot of people might think,” Donald Trump’s campaign co-chair Sam Clovis said this week – attempting to explain why his candidate had seemingly advocated the assassination of Hillary Clinton in an address at a Tuesday rally.

Sam Clovis, as a Reality producer, I’m here to say, “I feel you.” Trump is, after all, fairly typical Reality talent.

A cursory examination of the speech in question reveals material that might be termed “challenging” but not unusual (in the Reality TV biz). This is how Trump begins …

The crowds we’re getting — I’m the messenger, but I’ll tell you what, the message is the right message. We’re tired of incompetence. We’re tired of not taking care of our military. We’re tired of not taking care of our vets, who are being taken care of very poorly.

We’re tired of so many different things. And this is what happens. So, our mayor, my friend, Rudy Giuliani just walks, I’m telling you, he said, “I don’t believe this. This is incredible.” [Giuliani introduced the candidate]

And what he hasn’t seen, and your governor, by the way, who’s a great guy. And he’s now seeing it, they’re walking outside because there are thousands of people outside that can’t get in. I said, “Rudy, you think this is bad, go take a look outside.”

So I just want to thank Pat and Rudy and I want to thank everybody for being here. And we are going to have a good time. We love North Carolina. We love North Carolina.

Now this is quite similar to the nonsensical gibberish I am accustomed to receiving in post-production on a Reality show, and if I were producing this speech for The Apprentice – this is how I would cut it:

[…] I want to thank everybody for being here. […] there are thousands of people outside that can’t get in.

[…] I’m the messenger […”and”] I’ll tell you what, the message is: We’re tired of incompetence. We’re tired of not taking care of our military. We’re tired of not taking care of our vets, who are being taken care of very poorly.

We’re tired of so many different things.

And this ^^ is what Trump’ accustomed to: his random statements being shaped into something (somewhat) coherent for broadcast. Unfortunately for Trump, such editing isn’t possible when you’re live.

To make matters worse, our Plucky Candidate is used to being rewarded for blurting controversial statements; the more scandalous, the better. Like all good Reality talent Trump knows this and delivers quantity, if not always quality. The thing is, had Trump exhorted an audience to homicide while shooting an episode of The Apprentice, the comments likely wouldn’t have made it to air. Not due to the finer feelings of producers (or broadcasters for that matter), but because such remarks are inconsistent with Trump’s character archetype. A Successful Businessman does not advocate assassination.

So when Clovis says Trump is not “artful”, what he is in effect saying is that Trump is not being produced. And as long as he rejects the teleprompter, the one way his campaign can produce him, his speeches will continue to be, well, full of surprises. If what Trump says is upsetting to us, however, imagine what it feels like to be the man himself. He’s most likely unaware of the degree to which the character of Donald Trump: The Successful Businessman, is actually written by Post Producers on The Apprentice (most Reality stars are). He probably assumes he is the quippy, coherent and even, dare we say, presidential guy the producers have created. Imagine his horror at confronting, then, that dude’s drooling, raw footage Nemesis.

NEXT TIME ON Ask a Reality Producer…

Trumpslainin’: The real reason why Trump doesn’t want to debate

::SPOILER ALERT: it’s got nothing to do with a fear of losing::

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