The Donald Mis-Fired

Mar 6, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Reason No. 101 to Suspect That Being Famous, Rich and Powerful Is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be: Donald Trump going all Pearl Harbor on Martha Stewart-as if all The Donald’s huffing and puffing and name-calling could muffle the death rattle that has been building on “The Apprentice.”

Faithful readers know that the brouhaha all started when The Martha told Newsweek magazine she thought her version of “The Apprentice” suffered last fall because The Donald kept his version. The Martha said it had been suggested to her that she fire the rainbow-haired power seeker who was the first braggadocious mogul to simultaneously aggrandize and make a fool of himself on a reality TV show.

But nobody puts The Donald in a corner, even if his audience and demos have shriveled to about half of what they were when the show premiered in 2004.

So The Donald fired off a poison pen letter to The Martha and The Press, which had a field day covering the war of words.

The Donald’s attack on The Martha didn’t keep him from landing in fourth-place finishes in total viewers and the 18 to 49 demo

for the premiere of “The Apprentice V” in its new 9 p.m. Monday time slot last week. The official spin after the ratings came in was it was what NBC

had projected, but that NBC hadn’t expected “The Bachelor” finale to

perform well enough to finish in third place.

In other words, in the battle of reality TV shows in need of walkers and little blue pills, The Donald was blindsided by The Bachelor from Paree. Say it ain’t so!

There are many aspects of The Donald’s tantrum that are head-scratchers:

w What was NBC-the network of “The Apprenti” (to use the word coined by last year’s winner Randal Pinkett when asked last season whether he would be willing to share his year in the spotlight with runner-up Rebecca Jarvis), and a member of the NBC Universal family that includes The Martha’s syndicated daytime show-thinking when it let one corporate sibling beat up on another?

  • How does Mark Burnett, the executive producer of The Donald and The Martha, the latter of whom gave him an equity stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, lay low while The Donald is making like a “Jerry Springer” guest? On “Survivor,” the reality show for which he still can hold his head up, The Mark would be voted out at tribal council and have his torch snuffed out.

  • If Katie Couric is determined to go to CBS to anchor the “Evening News,” how were we to interpret her chagrined expression during the Monday “Today” segment in which she tried to coax even one word of apology from The Donald. The Insider can only say to The Katie: Go. With our blessing. And take The Donald and The Children (Ivanka and Junior, who will sit in on “The Apprentice” for The Carolyn and The George on occasion this season) with you.

  • And whose idea was it for The Martha to have a knife in her hand on Wednesday’s “Today,” when Matt Lauer was tasked with trying to get her to sling a little vitriol at The Donald?

    You couldn’t pay The Insider enough to put up with such bullspit if she weren’t living from one middle-class paycheck to another.


    The Insider would have ever so many more important things to do.

    And she would never hire anyone who had ever appeared on or been otherwise connected to “The Apprentice.”

    Because they didn’t have more important things to do.