Image by Kent Buckley
It’s important to remember, when you’re watching cable news or something comparably stupid, that the robots on stage are reciting nonsense, or even worse, they’re peddling puff pieces and press releases. They may have stellar ‘dos and clothing sponsors, either of which could be considered a journalistic red flag, but the professionalism ends with their garments, one obvious case-in-point being the endless coverage of prolapsed Republican rectum Donald Trump’s run for the White House.
The most humiliating part of this latest Donald frenzy is how local outlets nationwide have tried to localize his brilliant trolling of the 2016 presidential race. In New England, we get tons of spillover muck from neighboring New Hampshire, through which opportunists from both major parties squirm throughout the year before the primaries to test sales pitches. That’s not enough though for dingbat Massachusetts hacks, some of whom invented then poured gas on a new flame war between Trump and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and continue to cover the ensuing Twitter spat of their own creation like Wrestlemania.
There have been clever efforts to spin original takes on Trump and the Bay State; in their role, Boston.com did a remarkable job of recalling times the leatherfaced reality show star threw shade at the Commonwealth, mostly in the sports arena. With that said, a much sexier link to the King Douche can be found in a Boston.com piece from December 2010, unfortunately titled, “Firm’s new moniker may be its Trump card.” A profile of the North Shore marketing company formerly known as Ideal Health, which Trump partnered with in 2009, the article raved:
In just a year, the company has doubled its staff, to about 50, and recently moved into more spacious digs on the Newburyport Turnpike in Rowley … The Trump Network sells health care products such as diet plans, energy aids, and skin care through independent marketers, similar to the way Amway and Mary Kay operate. That sales force has swelled to 20,000 worldwide — up from 5,000 before Trump’s involvement … Revenue, according to the company, is approaching $40 million.
In the case of reporters who are compelled to cheapen our news cycle with localized Trump anecdotes, or even for those who are obligated to do so for clicks by their publishers, you’d at least hope that they Googled and discovered this hook. In doing so, one would learn that in 2010, the company’s president and top managers gave $2,000 to Commonwealth pols, all of which went to then-State Senator Richard Tisei, except for $250 for Charlie Baker, who at the time was running against incumbent Deval Patrick for governor.
There you have your sleazy regional Trump card, complete with fiscal ties to the sitting administration. And it gets even juicier; as tech author and social media consultant Mark Schaefer wrote in a series called “Twitter’s Biggest Scams,” “Because they sell vitamins, the Trump Network can skirt being called a ‘pyramid scheme’ but it still looks that way in practice. People who join the network earn most of their money from enrollment fees and maintenance costs. The independent ‘distributors’ are then pushed to recruit more distributors of their own.”
As if the saga isn’t golden enough, like so many Trump stories, this one ends in failure. Though network owners hoped to edge the billion-dollar Amway out of door-to-door scammer supremacy, by 2011, the likes of New York Magazine began to acknowledge that “the Donald [had] a new scheme,” and started mocking the Trump Network for asking customers to pee in cups to gauge supplement needs. In 2012, Trump severed ties with the company, presumably concerned that his affiliation with snake oil and piss pills would compromise his presidential aspirations. Perhaps if he knew that reporters were too lazy to check their own archives, Trump would still be in the urine business.
[Media Farm is wrangled by DigBoston News + Features Editor Chris Faraone]