How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success
The New Yorker
With “The Apprentice,” the TV producer mythologized Trump—then a floundering D-lister—as the ultimate titan, paving his way to the Presidency.
Patrick Radden Keefe
I wrote a piece about the "Apprentice" producer Mark Burnett & Donald Trump. It's about how Trump would not be president without the show, and how the show itself was a huge con - and what happens when politics becomes just another form of entertainment
I can't overstate how many Trump voters I spoke with in 2016 cited the Apprentice as reason for believing he could fix the country. This
piece on the man who made a killing off the show's cynical myth-making is so well done and so maddening.
This segment in the
Mark Burnett story and how production on the Apprentice would have to "reverse engineer" the episode to compensate for his unpreparedness and rash behavior sums up the Trump Presidency perfectly.
The New Yorker
In 2004, Donald Trump claimed that he wasn’t interested in doing a reality TV show because he didn’t want cameras in his office:
Trump stumbled over scripts and was incoherent until edited, but Mark Burnett presented him as presidential- what a read!
Even if you, like me, have concluded that the president is mediocre or worse at everything he does, this passage from the new
profile may stun you.
The New Yorker
With “The Apprentice,” the TV producer Mark Burnett mythologized Donald Trump—then a floundering D-lister—as the ultimate titan, paving his way to the Presidency:
“Most of us knew he was a fake,” Braun told me. “He had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.”
This New Yorker piece truly explains everything. Everything.
“Most of us knew he was a fake, He had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies." "But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king"
Among the questions I have about Mark Burnett after reading this
piece: Was he working legally when he decided to stay in LA on a lark and work as a manny? If not, can he be deported under his BFF’s immigration policy? He should be.
Trump is president in large part because people don’t understand that “reality” television isn’t real.
Before 2018 becomes ancient history, if you have not read this account in the New Yorker by
about Trump and Mark Burnett you really don’t understand how this mess-of-a-human became POTUS. With DJT there is no there, there and never was!
The Daily Edge
In 2004, at a panel with Mark Burnett, Donald Trump openly bragged that a big part of his business was dealing with "mobsters." 12 years later, he was elected President.
joins me to discuss this incredible profile of Mark Burnett
The New Yorker
Mark Burnett has joked to more than one person that he is no longer simply a TV producer but a producer of political leaders:
I keep reading this paragraph over and over, first in horror, and then like it holds the meaning of life, and then horror again:
this article is a great dissection of how THE APPRENTICE essentially invented the notion of Trump as a tycoon and foisted that invention on America
This story about Trump and Mark Burnett is full of gems, but it never stops being fun to mock Trump for thinking his fake hair fools anyone.
This Mark Burnett profile, courtesy of
, is not only an amazing window into Burnett’s life and work, but also one of the best pieces yet written about how American popular culture gave us Trump.
Andrew M. Grossman
“We know each week who has been fired, and, therefore, you’re editing in reverse.”
“‘The Apprentice’ mythologized him anew, and on a much bigger scale, turning him into an icon of American success.”
Liberal blame-casting for the Trump's rise continues--two years into his presidency. It was Putin who did this to us. No, it was the guy who ghostwrote "The Art of the Deal," now full of remorse. No, no it was some TV producer.
"In the tabloid ecosystem in which he had long languished, Trump was always Donald, or the Donald. On 'The Apprentice,' he finally became Mr. Trump." This piece is a good companion to the bevy of Roy Cohn profiles in relation to Trump
"But Trump took to his part more nimbly than anyone might have predicted. He wouldn’t read a script—he stumbled over the words and got the enunciation all wrong. But off the cuff he delivered the kind of zesty banter that is the lifeblood of reality TV."
So fascinating (and maddening) to hear how Trump's myth was invented, not by him, of course, but by Mark Burnett. Read
's amazing profile of Burnett:
"He went on, 'I think it’s a game for Trump, too. It’s a game for the audience. I think the voters like it. They’re enjoying the spectacle...There are no major causes driving them—it’s just about playing a game and winning."
Having watched every season of The Apprentice, I get this completely: How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success
Roger Pielke Jr.
This para stood out in
long piece on The Aprrentice and Mark Burnett.
“Retroactive narrative construction” is not just a Trump issue, but arguably a dynamic in #scicomm (scientists & journals) as storytelling science has become a thing.⤵️
Good and informative read: Interestingly, producer of Apprentice sought to make a reality show featuring Vladimir Putin (in a favorable light). "How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success"
The making of Donald Trump as an icon of success: “Most of us knew he was a fake. He had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.”
On the difficulty of editing ’The Apprentice’ (and the making of President Trump): “Sometimes a candidate distinguished herself during the contest only to get fired, on a whim, by Trump.”
is mesmerizing. Mark Burnett, producer of The Apprentice, is a red herring; what’s fascinating is how much we learn about Donald Trump.
, a campy NYC faux mogul, resuscitated as “a poor person’s image of a rich person”
At core, undocumented alien (per
, illegal immigrant) put
. Burnett (#TheApprentice producer): "described himself as the quintessential immigrant: “I had no money, 𝐧𝐨 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐝, no nothing.”"
Read and weep: "How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success." But conmanship is a Ponzo scheme, eventually the entire planet plunges.
by 2003 had become a garish figure of local interest. “The Apprentice” mythologized him anew, turning him into an icon of American ‘success’. But you can’t run a nation as a ‘dramality’ and reverse engineer stupid talk and action
I've been trying to reduce my consumption of Trumpery, for the sake of my blood-pressure. But I couldn't resist this piece. It didn't disappoint.