THE APPRENTICE Ratings Suffer In The Wake Of Continued Verbal Attacks By Donald Trump On Rosie O'Donnell
In his own mind, Donald Trump may view himself as the ultimate P.T. Barnum, the ultimate agent of hype. But in the wake of his continued very personal verbal handgrenades against comic Rosie O'Donnell including insults on her weight that are really backfiring with the female community, viewers are deciding to "fire" trump from their living room TV sets. The sixth installment of THE APPRENTICE opened with the worst ratings yet, just 9.1 million average viewers, down 600,000 from last season. If the ratings continue to sag to around a level of about 8 million viewers, NBC could also "fire" the Donald and cancel his program.
About the best thing that Trump could do is to publicly reconcile with Rosie O'Donnell and begin to soften his growing negative image with women viewers. Rosie O'Donnell is quickly gaining much sympathy among the female public and celebrities as well, especially since Trump's very personal attacks on her weight. Any man with an ounce of good sense should have realized that this is real sore point with some women and personal attacks like this are really wrong and score few good points with the public. Trump seemed to lose sight from the very beginning that Rosie O'Donnell is a comic first and last, and her original over the top comments which started this feud about the Miss USA situation are typical of the outrageous and funny commentary of a comic, especially the outspoken Rosie O'Donnell. Other comics such as Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno and David Letterman often make fun of his comb-over hairstyle or loud mouthed style of hype. Yet Trump chose to make single out O'Donnell for his very personal atttacks that seem to flow with no end in sight.
NBC programmed their GREASE oriented answer to AMERICAN IDOL right before Trump's APRENTICE. And at 11.6 million viewers it was far better received by the public than Trump's program, strongly suggesting that Trump's ongoing feud with Rosie O'Donnell is the reason. In the mind of Donald Trump, maybe he believes that any publicity is good. But Britney Spears continues to prove that you can be in the celebrity news on a near daily basis with outrageous news items and actually lose public sympathy, and you can become the subject of jokes and laughter. Trump should realize that generating bad news does indeed generate bad feelings with the public. There is such a thing as bad publicity.