February 22 2006

The Donald And Martha Go At It

According to this news story, it seems Donald Trump took exception with some things Martha Stewart said in a Newsweek interview this week. Martha said that she felt her version of The Apprentice failed because there were two versions on at the same time and that the original plan for her to fire Donald Trump had been changed. In her defense, I had heard of the plan to fire Trump, I also think two versions at once was not wise and they put her up against the monster known as Lost.

In normal Donald Trump fashion, he decided to make his reply to Martha in to a big production. First he sent her a nasty letter on Tuesday. The letter read:

Dear Martha:

It’s about time you started taking responsibility for your failed version of The Apprentice. Your performance was terrible in that the show lacked mood, temperament and just about everything else a show needs for success. I knew it would fail as soon as I first saw it — and your low ratings bore me out.

Between your daughter, with her one word statements, your letter writing and, most importantly, your totally unconvincing demeanor, it never had a chance — much as your daytime show is not exactly setting records.

Despite this, I did nothing but positively promote you. Your only response to your failed show was that, “I thought that I was supposed to fire Donald Trump!” You knew this was not true — NBC would never fire me when The Apprentice was, for a good period of time, the #1 show on television and my recent finale, where I hired Randal, was the #2 show for the week, easily beating the competing finale of Amazing Race and others. Even Mark Burnett said, “Thank God that didn’t happen,” when asked about firing Donald Trump.

Essentially, you made this firing up just as you made up your sell order of ImClone. The only difference is — that was more obvious. Putting your show on the air was a mistake for everybody — especially NBC.

In any event, my great loyalty to you has gone totally unappreciated.

Donald J. Trump

P.S. Be careful or I will do a syndicated daytime show, perhaps called The Boardroom, and further destroy the meager ratings you already have!

Martha replied later Tuesday with:

The letter is so mean-spirited and reckless that I almost can’t believe my long-time friend Donald Trump wrote it. I am very proud of the work we did with Mark Burnett Productions and Mr. Trump, who was an executive producer, on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Many young entrepreneurs learned so much from the show and enjoyed it. Many families sat their children down weekly to watch it. We are even more pleased with our excellent daytime show Martha – syndicated by NBC Universal – which has just been nominated for six daytime Emmys (including best show and best host), was touted by The New York Times as one of the best shows on television, and has been embraced by our wonderful audience throughout the country.

All of this was followed on Wednesday by Trump doing multiple interviews about the new season of The Apprentice. He continued to attack her on Wednesday, and she made a statemant on her daytime show about how she is saddened by this turn of event.

So why do I bring all this up? Well, I have never been a huge fan of Martha Stewart, but my respect for her has grown. She was asked why she thought her show failed, she gave an answer that in no way insulted Donald Trump. For some reason he decided to turn his reply attacks personal. There was no reason to attack Martha, or her daughter, and to bring up her legal problems was just low.

If Trump was truly an Executive Producer in more than name, why didn’t he try to iron out these problems he saw with the show? Why does he insist on calling his show “The #1 show on television” when it’s not even close? Why does he insist on having no class what-so-ever?

I am sure we have not heard the end of this little war of words, but I am hopeful Martha will continue to be the classier one in the fight and let Trump show himself for the classless bag of wind he seems to be.

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