There has been much talk lately about the “big lie” that Donald Trump began spewing immediately after the presidential election. He started, just like four years ago, in the run up to the presidential election saying that if he lost it was somehow “rigged” or stolen from him. But it wasn’t just the election’s big loser who regurgitated the false talking points. From far-right radio, to broadcast networks such as Fox News and OAN, to Republicans in the House and Senate, the big lie was only made that much bigger, ultimately resulting in the seditious insurrection on our nation’s Capitol.
However, the real big lie that started all of this was actually perpetrated by NBC’s Mark Burnett. As Fortune describes it, “Just when the Trump brand was teetering on the edge of no longer being the gold standard, along came a British-immigrant TV producer who was only a few years removed from selling $18 T-shirts on Venice Beach.” Burnett took Trump, whose business empire was experiencing failure after failure, and gave him his own show, The Apprentice. Instead of the world knowing the truth about Trump’s business failures, Burnett lied to the viewers and made Trump out to be a successful billionaire.
When Burnett first came up with the idea for The Apprentice he didn’t care if the host was actually wealthy or a good businessman but instead “he needed someone to play the role of a heavyweight tycoon.” By sucking up to Trump, just as all world leaders learned to do over the past four years, Burnett was quickly able to talk him into playing the role of a winner. The rest is history and most Americans only knew the “successful” Trump from the television show, not the real failure that is Trump. The “big lie” that Trump and his sycophantic lickspittles spewed to misinform their base was deplorable and disgusting, but the lie Burnett told the world was even worse.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.