NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt slammed presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling him "toxic" and "demented," after his network spend more than a decade building his image.
According to New York Post’s Page Six on Aug. 15, Greenblatt ripped Trump’s habit of speaking his mind, which the executive said was “actually corrosive and toxic because his ‘mind’ is so demented.”
Greenblatt, who assumed the role as chair of NBC in 2011, rebuffed the notion that his network was responsible for Trump’s political success. However, the Associated Press reported that Greenblatt had compared Trump’s stint on TV to former President Ronald Reagan’s movie career.
Since 2005, Greenblatt donated at least $5,600 to Trump’s opponent, democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The NBC chairman also gave $32,000 to the DNC and in 2012, $25,000 to the Obama Victory Fund. Several other democratic politicians received Greenblatt’s money, including Secretary of State John Kerry and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Although Greenblatt denied NBC’s role in making Trump the nominee, a study from MRC Business found that NBC news programming laid groundwork for Trump’s candidacy. During its relationship with him, NBC lionized Trump as “the ultimate businessman” and described him multiple times as “the next president of the United States.”
MRC Business analyzed coverage of Trump throughout NBC’s business relationship with him which began in 2004 when The Apprentice premiered. NBC not only created a godlike persona for Trump, it furthered his image as a political “powerbroker.”
Paul Telegdy, the president of NBC's alternative and reality group, corroborated that analysis when he admitted that NBC made Trump the presumptive GOP nominee.
Variety reported on May 24, that Telegdy was asked whether or not Trump would have been the nominee had it not been for The Apprentice. “Of course not,” Telegdy said.
“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 argued. He also said that The Apprentice “created a phenomenon television personality.”
To make matters worse, NBC’s Today acted as a de facto PR machine for Trump and his reality show, while both Today and Access Hollywood furthered Trump’s political presence.
On election day in 2004, Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush traveled to the polls with Trump and repeatedly suggested Trump was the kind of man who could become president.
During that segment, Bush told a man to write Trump in on his ballot, asked poll workers how many of them would write Trump in on their ballot and called him “the next president of the United States.”
Tonight Show host Jay Leno also described Trump as “the next president of the United States,” when Trump was considering a presidential run in 1999.
Recalling that in an op-ed for USA Today, former Tonight Show producer Dave Berg said Trump campaigned on late shows for “decades” before his presidential run.
Berg claimed that Leno intended his “next president” description as a joke, but Trump, who walked out to the tune of “Hail to the Chief,” didn’t take it that way.