Trump’s Latest Reality TV Show: The Apprentice — Energy Edition

Who will President Trump fire in his newest reality show, The Energy Apprentice? Fossil, nukes or renewables.

THE REAL RISE OF A “REALITY” TV PRESIDENT-TO-BE

US President-elect Donald Trump first made a name for himself in his 1987 best-selling (and ghostwritten) ego-maniacal book, The Art of the Deal. He created himself as the star of his own life, inventing the Trump of his fantasies — an iconic business genius. But based more on fiction than fact, it presaged his presidential win, both book and campaign full of pampering promises to a hungry nation of dupes, where the bigger the lie, the more it is believed. A more accurate book title would have been The Art of the Steal. Or due to his female-demeaning proclivities, unwittingly revealed during the campaign, about his delusional sexual magnetism (“When you’re a star, they let you do anything.”), a better title might have been The Art of the Feel.

But be it deal, steal or feel, the book was not the only vehicle that drove his popularity and put him on the map of the public landscape. It was television that programmed his presidential destination into the GPS coordinates of his future voters and growing fan base. In 2004, the US TV network NBC hired Trump as the “firing tough guy” entrepreneur on the reality show The Apprentice.

THE REAL BACKGROUND ON THE REALITY SHOW THE APPRENTICE

trumpMore of a show about a showoff who successfully creates an image of a no-holds barred tycoon, The Apprentice, at times the nation’s most highly-rated prime time TV offering, pandered to the basest of what passes for entertainment. Started in 2004, it starred Trump as a self-proclaimed star realtor. As ratings waned after a handful of seasons, it was re-realized as The Celebrity Apprentice (if you don’t know about it, don’t ask), running till 2015. But the original version resonated with a numbed audience of boob tubers in the millions who longed to embrace a strong demagogue.

The premise was that a gathering of central-casting — but real — “wannabe” entrepreneurs would be pitted against each other, vying for the job of running one of the big man’s big businesses. The number of backstabbing rivals was whittled down weekly, with Trump in the boardroom of his New York Trump Tower, sitting in his “thrown,” damning them one by one to the downward elevator, after a stinging stare, a stone-cold scowl and resounding verdict of “You’re fired!”

Having survived the wrath of this business-saavy tyrant, the winner was the last man or woman left standing. And it left Trump exuding an aura of authority in his pre-presidential prime time primal self, a rising savior of the mindless masses seeking a redeemer in the lowest form of fame a fan base could bestow on a man of no real talent.

The result? Trump is the closest thing to a dictator that the USA has ever leashed upon the world.

Supposedly, were it not for his presidential posting, Trump would have starred in a new season of the The Celebrity Apprentice version. Instead, in 2017 the host is to be one-time body builder, California governor and Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, no doubt replacing the tagline of “You’re fired” with a hasty “Hasta la vista, baby!”

THE UNREAL REALITY SHOW

But “borrowing” from the premise of Trump as his own television visionary, pv and me has amended the original form of The Apprentice and created its own fictional reality show starring Trump. This offering has been conceived for the solarites worried about a Trump-driven slump and dump of the strides made by a struggling green industry in an era now to be dominated by a dangerous climate-change naysayer.

So for those in solar who fear hearing the phrase of malaise, “You’re fired!”, pv and me presents the not-real reality TV show The Energy Apprentice to allay your woes, if only for a while.

THE ENERGY APPRENTICE ON THE PVNBC NETWORK, STARRING DONALD TRUMP

Announcer: “Welcome to the first installment of The Energy Apprentice where Donald “The Ump” Trump will make the calls about America’s energy future. We now take you to New York’s Trump Tower where our president-in-waiting is already on the job.”

As the TV image fades up from black, the screen shows an unsettled Trump, lost in a haze of imagined sexual conquests and shaking from Tweet withdrawal after advisors impounded his cell phone. The camera zooms in slowly for a close-up of his distracted countenance. He is seen trying to keep his short attention span from kicking in before his transition team finishes a sentence of proposals or hands him a report – never to be read – on suggestions for his new appointments. For this day, he has been told he must draw up a shortlist of candidates to serve as his new energy secretary, the person who will be in charge of setting Trump’s climate-change debunkery agenda.

Suddenly, the Mogul of Mood stops thinking about Shirley Temple and lights up. “I will make my choice based on a new version of The Apprentice. We will call it The Energy Apprentice!”

Given the need to make a fast choice before his January 20 inauguration, his bevy of sycophants suggests that he truncate (Trump googles the word) the show into seven successive evenings.

In The Energy Apprentice, rivals will be grilled in the Oval Office and quartered in the Lincoln Bedroom suite on the second floor. Losers will be banished via the downward elevator to the hell of the once-bustling but now barren press room where they will be trained as salespeople for Walmart energy-related departments.

While the shortlist has been a guarded secret, pv and me has learned through 10-year-old Trump son, Barron The Baron Trump, who requested anonymity, that The Energy Apprentice contestants will be Colossal Fossil, New Clear Nuclear and Renewable Doables. The rivals teams will each have three members.

Nuclear will consist of: Mr. Three Miles I. Land; Miss Fuk E. Shima-san; and Babushka “Cherry” Noble-ski.

Fossil will have: Ms. Brownie Coal; Mr. Rudy “Crude” Oil and Mr. Frank Fracking.

And renewables will be represented by: Miss Millie Windmill; Monsieur G. O. Thermal; and Mr. Sonny Solar.

“THE ENERGY APPRENTICE” — THE PV AND ME SUMMARY

With great journalistic investigative know-how, pv and me has acquired a hacked copy of the pre-recorded episodes. Ignoring the risk of being put in the long line of those facing Trumped up lawsuits, pv and me is now able to reveal each of the firings and the ultimate winner.

In the first show on Monday night, Miss Fuk E. Shima-san from the nuclear team is hit by a tsunami of wrath since Trump likes neither explosive women nor foreigners. “You’re fired!”

trumpOn the second night, Trump barrels against fossil’s Mr. Rudy “Crude” Oil since oil prices are too low for his 1% neighbors living on Wall Street to make a profit. “You’re fired!”

In the third episode, he puts the cap on renewables’s Monsieur G. O. Thermal as being “just too much hot air,” a subject close to Trump’s heart and mouth. “You’re fired!”

In the fourth round, nuclear’s Three Miles I. Land does a meltdown when Trump notes it is not good to remind his constituents of such a catastrophic event on — and in — American soil. “You’re fired!”

On the fifth night, fossil’s Mr. Frank Fracking loses his ground-breaking pressure since his last name is too close what Trump claims he is free to do with any woman he desires. “Your fired!”

On the sixth consecutive episode, renewable’s Ms. Millie Windmill at first spins Trump’s head with a dizzying wink. Nonetheless, Trump feathers her blades for lack of direction and going whichever way the wind blows (although he does set up a rendezvous with her for after the show). “You’re fired!”

In the last episode of The Energy Apprentice on Sunday, seven days after it began, Trump shuts down nuclear’s Babushka “Cherry” Noble-ski as her homeland of Ukraine, once belonging to the Soviet bloc, is craved by Russia, and her appointment might not be appreciated by Trump’s comrade-in-arms buddy and fellow president, Vladimir Putin. “You’re fired!”

This leaves Ms. Brownie Coal and Sonny Solar.

Announcer: “Who will be the next apprentice and Secretary of Energy? We’ll be back with the power-packed answer after these commercials from our sponsors. Stayed tuned.”

After the start of a commercial for the defunct Trump Airlines, the director, realizing his mistake, quickly cues up an ad showing a luxury yacht of insurance agents lighting cigars with $100 dollar bills. “Obamacare?,” the captain, the spitting image of Trump, rhetorically asks. “No way. We sell ‘Obama-we-don’t-care’ health insurance. Our motto is: We live rich, you die poor.”

This is followed by a fashion ad for Hillary Prison Pantsuits.

Announcer: “Welcome back to the exciting finale of The Energy Apprentice as we answer the question: Who will be your next Secretary of Energy? Once again, here is your host, Donald Trump.”

A frowning Trump sits across from a nervous Ms. Brownie Coal who is sweating soot while a twitchy Sonny Solar tries to keep the coal dust off his panels – it is the coal-mining pit pitted against the shine of solar. Trump appears to spread a cloud of climatic doubt over Sonny’s surface, belittling his high cost and low energy output. Ms Brownie Coal inwardly smiles, now more than ever certain that her CO2 and pollutive emissions fit in perfectly with Trump’s meticulously scientific finding that China had fomented the lie of global warming to beef up its exports. But unexpectedly, Trump turns to Brownie and, using his 1950s jazzy slang, growls he doesn’t “dig” coal as its grime could stain his well-tailored suits and darken his perfectly implanted plugs of blond hair. Trump, revealing no sign of presidential pardon as he peers through the choking smoke of Brownie’s dark plume, shouts his fateful phrase: “You’re fired! In fact,” he adds for good measure, “You’re coal-fired!”

trumpWith strains of Hail to the Chief slowly swelling up on the soundtrack, Trump picks up the phone. “Ivana, I mean Marla, no I mean Melania?” he growls, trying to remember who his current wife is. “Get me the Department of Energy.” As he waits, Trump gives his patented Mussolini grimace. “Ernie?,” he yells when Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who has acted as President Barack Obama’s energy secretary for several years, picks up the receiver. “Ernie? You’re fired! Clear out your desk. I’m appointing Sonny Solar to run the show as soon as I get into power — solar power ha-ha — and I can get rid of the whole world with the deadly rays of concentrated solar. Oh, and while you’re at it, get rid of the EPA.”

Announcer: “Well, there you have it. Despite the polls and media meddling, solar, like Trump, has come from behind and has been made great again. You see, solar? Donald J. Trump may indeed be — as he has often said — the greatest president America has ever known.”

And that is the true unreal reality show story of how Donald Trump and Sonny Solar lived happily ever after.

POSTSCRIPT

Well, not exactly. Ten days after Sonny’s appointment was finalized, ever skeptical due to Trump’s fickleness, the solar survivor arranged for the president’s overthrow, installed himself as the new president and by executive order announced that solar would have use of the Investment Tax Credit subsidy into perpetuity, “from now and until the last ray of sunshine glows and the final photon flows.”

THE (HOPEFULLY NOT) END

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William Hirshman, a former associate editor at the solar magazine PHOTON International, publishes PV and ME -- posing solar questions rarely asked -- at pvandme.com.

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