To: Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment
From: the people of America
Re: Celebrity Apprentice/Donald Trump
Mr. Greenblatt, we are writing to you today to call your attention to an intractable problem, one to which NBC Entertainment is contributing, and to offer two proposed solutions to this problem.
You have in your employ a person by the name of Mr. Donald Trump, who performs for your network on an entertainment program titled Celebrity Apprentice. Mr. Trump has expressed keen interest in America’s governance and a desire to declare himself a candidate for the office of President of the United States.
Sadly, while he is employed by your network and featured on its programming in an entertainment capacity, he is unable to make such a formal declaration of his candidacy, for doing so would create a problem for your network. Once he takes such an action, the airtime in which he appears, performing his clownish acts of buffoonery which bring joy into the hearts of millions of viewers, would become a liability for you. Your network would then be required to provide equivalent air-time to any other officially declared candidates for the Presidency, and I am told that your declining ratings and market share have negatively impacted your profitability to the point where giving up more such airtime would create a financial hardship for your tottering operations.
As we, the American people, don’t like to complain without offering solutions, we have two for your consideration, and we look forward to learning very soon which option you prefer.
The first solution is to terminate the contract of Mr. Trump immediately, and cancel the Celebrity Apprentice, and shelve and destroy any video of unaired episodes, and remove all Celebrity Apprentice content from your corporate websites. By taking this simple step, you will then free Mr. Trump to follow his heart and carry through on his personal commitment to improving America by lobbing handsful of his poo at our incumbent President, or whatever strategy he believes will best attract voters; without being forced to play a disingenuous game of hinting at his presidential aspirations without actually taking a formal stand, or providing us with the necessary financial and other personal disclosures that he will owe us as a candidate.
If this solution is not amenable to you, Mr. Greenblatt, we the people of America are prepared to assist you thusly with our second option:
We, the American people, will promise to boycott all NBC/Comcast/Universal media content, programming and services until Mr. Trump’s contract is completed. By assiduously avoiding the viewing of any programming from all your corporate product lines, we will ensure that no actual viewers observe Mr. Trump on air, whether in his Celebrity Apprentice appearances, commercials for his program, or his promotional appearances on NBC, MSNBC, or any other of your many networks’ entertainment and/or news content.
We are confident that this will allow Mr. Trump to formally declare his candidacy forthwith, and by depriving your networks of any actual viewers, you will not trigger any equal time requests from other candidates, as no one will see their appearances either.
Please respond today to our memo with the choice you have elected so that we, the American people, can exercise our options appropriately.
The American People
PS: We would also like to call to your attention a significant failure on the part of a member of your executive team, Rebecca Marks, Vice President of Publicity. Though our phone calls and emails to your network were directed to a large number of people prior to the drafting of this memo, and though members of your personal staff were quite gracious in taking our calls, all of them redirected us to Ms. Marks as the only person empowered to speak to America on behalf of your company. The charming gentleman with a British accent from your team seemed quite embarrassed about his inability to assist us further. Ms. Marks had an email from us first thing this morning, and although we followed up with multiple calls to her office, no one who answers the phone in her office was able to secure her for us in order to take our call. Neither were they able to inform us when her other meetings and obligations that were preventing us from speaking with her would be completed, or whether we could expect a return contact from her at all.
Apparently, in a fundamental failure of delegation, Ms. Marks allows no other member of her staff to talk to America on behalf of NBC Entertainment, and yet she is not accessible even to members of her staff during the work day when she is “in meetings”, nor is her schedule available to the persons who answer her direct phone line, so that they can make realistic commitments to her callers. It was almost two hours after our email was sent sent that we received a receipt indicating it had been read, and shortly thereafter, a Lauren Mooney was directed to call us and inform us that NBC Entertainment’s response to our concerns was “No comment”. For this reason, it is necessary for you to directly contact us with your response to our offer, so that we can know that a responsible executive has been presented with NBC Entertainment’s options and made an informed decision as to your company’s next steps.
Feel free to respond in the comments section below, otherwise the people in Ms. Marks’ office have our telephone number, and we look forward to your call, whereupon we will update this memo accordingly.
Watch this video from CNN, featuring historian Douglas Brinkley, making the same demand of NBC Entertainment:
Change.org has put up a petition site. Please sign and share today.
I was gratified to see Lawrence O’Donnell confirm this evening that my instinct to focus on NBC Entertainment executives was correct. And in the spirit of offering them no mercy, here is the contact information for the above-mentioned cowardly VP of Publicity:
Rebecca Marks, Executive Vice President, Publicity