NBC Exec Admits ‘Apprentice’ Made Trump Presumptive GOP Nominee

May 25th, 2016 10:45 AM

An NBC executive recently agreed with the argument that the network’s promotion of Donald Trump built the foundation for his presidential run.

For more than a decade, NBC amplified Trump’s public presence with hundreds of stories on the mogul and his business success and little mention of any business problems. A substantial portion of these stories centered on The Apprentice and touted Trump as “the ultimate businessman.”

NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming recently said that if it weren’t for The Apprentice, Trump would not have become the GOP’s presumptive nominee for president.

According to Variety, NBC executive Paul Telegdy was asked whether Trump would have become the nominee if not for his hit reality show. “Of course not,” Telegdy responded. Telegdy’s comments came off the heels of a report detailing NBC’s decade-long role in building the mogul’s public image.

NBC was directly responsible for Trump’s success in politics, according to Telegdy who said that The Apprentice “created a phenomenon television personality.”

MRC Business analyzed more than 10 years of NBC transcripts about “Trump,” and found that the network acted as a de facto PR machine for the mogul and his reality show.

NBC’s Today periodically gave long interviews to Trump about the show and its successor, Celebrity Apprentice. NBC’s  reverence for Trump and his show was so great, the network even created a mock Apprentice called The Intern, and invited Trump on for one of the ceremonial firings.

The network maintained Trump’s legendary public image by severely underreporting his embarrassing flops as a businessman, and giving his business or his success 21 times more coverage than his failures.

Even when the network did report on Trump’s failures, it mostly failed to disclose its business partnerships with him. In 13 out of 15 negative stories on Trump, the network failed to disclose that it partnered with him on Miss Universe and The Apprentice.

“What’s going on demonstrates, if nothing else, the enormous amount of responsibility that goes with the job of putting out the version of someone that we do in a TV show,” Telegdy reportedly said.