I truly feel like a political naif because it didn’t occur to me that Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger could be in cahoots about the increasingly messy situation of Celebrity Apprentice. To recap, Arnold took over as host of The Apprentice when Trump left to be president. Before he even entered the White House, Trump was bitching about Arnold and the decreased ratings for the show. Then at the National Prayer breakfast, Baby Fists implored the room to pray for Arnold and for the ratings. Arnold responded quickly with a Twitter video, offering to switch places with Baby Fists. Baby Fists got up bright and early Friday morning to bitch about Arnold even more. My read on all of this was simple: Trump was and is jealous. He wishes he was back hosting The Apprentice. He’s in over his head as President, which is why he lashes out like a temperamental toddler.
But some of believe that Baby Fists and Arnold have some kind of deal where they’re “beefing” in public as a way of promoting Celebrity Apprentice. It’s an okay theory and God knows, I enjoy a good conspiracy theory. But isn’t it more frightening to think that perhaps this wasn’t a ploy for ratings, or a manufactured boy-beef? Isn’t it scarier to realize that Baby Fists really is this petty, distracted and immature? Arnold has a new profile in Men’s Journal and you know what? It sure sounds like Arnold truly cannot stand Trump.
On Trump’s first tweet-disses: “Don’t get into a stinking contest with a skunk.”
Why he took the Apprentice gig: “I’d never done a reality-TV show and thought it would be interesting. When Trump started running for office, I said to myself, ‘Obviously he can’t do both.’ ” Schwarzenegger got in touch with Mark Burnett, the show’s creator, met with the brass at NBC, and was soon hired. “They said, ‘Let’s do a season and see what happens,’ ” he says.
He waited for a few hours before responding to Trump’s first tweet-diss: “I said, ‘Let’s sit on it for an hour’. I called my assistant and said, ‘I think what we really should do is request a meeting and go back to New York.’ And then we just smash his face into the table. And then I think we can’t do that, either. I think I have to be above all of that and put him on the spot.” He wound up tweeting a reply: “There’s nothing more important than the people’s work. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”
Arnold’s continued tweets about actual policy: “I think people really reacted well to that response,” Schwarzenegger says, pointing out that it’s Trump who sounds like a rogue action hero with no impulse control. “I sound more presidential and more diplomatic and more elder-statesman — that’s exactly the way Donald should be.”
So, just furthering the for-profit boy-beef as a way for both of them to get headlines? Or is it a petty distraction, a sleight of hand so we aren’t focused on the more deplorable sh-t that Baby Fists is up to? Personally, I believe that people are overthinking this, as I’ve said before. Think of the worst case scenario, think of the absolute scariest theory out there, and that’s what’s actually happening. Trump is a petty lunatic, not a Machiavellian genius. He’s incapable of seeing three steps ahead. And that’s what’s terrifying, not that he might have worked out some scheme with Arnold to boost ratings of an already-faltering show.
Arnold also tweeted this – that’s a link to a story about how he turned over his tax returns when he was running for governor of California.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 3, 2017
Photos courtesy of WENN.