April 28, 2017

"The president took us to every room and looked at every painting and talked about every bed and every carpet and every rug and every bulletproof glass."

A quote from Ted Nugent is the jumping off point for a WaPo style piece titled "Alone in the White House, Trump is enjoying the perks of his new home." The WaPo writer, Krissah Thompson unleashes the inferences:
But the fact that Trump entertained Nugent’s party, which included Sarah Palin and Kid Rock, for four hours on a Wednesday night may indicate his hunger for company. Trump currently has more than 20,000 square feet to himself in the official residence on the second and third floor of the East Wing — at least until his wife, Melania, and son Barron move from New York to Washington....
It is weird to think of him being alone there. I'd watch that movie. But he's not alone if you count the staff. There are "95 full-time ushers, butlers, chefs, housekeepers and other workers." I'm picturing something like the old TV show "Benson" — "Benson" on steroids, because Trump is the President, not just a governor, and he doesn't just have one butler, but 95 butlers and other servants. And the Governor in "Benson" may have had no spouse, but he had a daughter. The Governor did have some other staff (including, for a while, a delivery boy, Frankie, played by Jerry Seinfeld).

Here's 12 minutes from first season of "Benson," in case you'd like to visualize a TV show about lonely Trump, shot in the style of "Benson."



ADDED: I know there was show with the President in the White House done like an old-time sitcom, Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "That's My Bush!"
The duo were "95 percent sure" that Democratic candidate Al Gore would win, and tentatively titled the show Everybody Loves Al. It was, essentially, the same show: a lovable main character, the sassy maid, the wacky neighbor. Parker said the producers did not want to make fun of politics, but instead lampoon sitcoms. 
And there was a full-size family, as in so many sitcoms, and the idea involved cutting the President down to the size of an ordinary sitcom dad. I want something about a full-size President, who is lonely and rattling around in the spooky old mansion, trying to get different D-list celebrities to come by and then making them uneasy by showing them every bed and talking about it.

46 comments:

David Baker said...

Compared to his digs in the tower, I still think the White House is sort of like slumming.

Danno said...

Ann - My take is that you have a posting theme today on how our media fixates on the most trivial and irrelevant topics that matter to our country.

Marc Puckett said...

'They like beavers in Oregon...'-- I had to stop watching the Benson episode at that point.

Xmas said...

We had the leg-hold trap ban vote in MA a few years ago. I think the arguments were about the same.

"They flood roads and sewer systems!"

"But they're cute!"

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I'm glad you folks are watching "Benson."

I must say, I love the music. I didn't even watch the show when it was on in the 70s and it takes me back.

Ann Althouse said...

All the shows had that music, didn't they?

Things were so peppy then.

Was it the cocaine?

MadisonMan said...

But the fact that Trump entertained Nugent’s party, which included Sarah Palin and Kid Rock, for four hours on a Wednesday night may indicate his hunger for company

Or it may not.

Speculation has no place in a News Article. Just the facts please, as my Editor used to write across my copy.

Unless you're writing about a Republican.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Not a big fan of the show Benson, but I loved Benson when he was on Soap, one of the all-time great shows. Which, of course, was making fun of soap operas, not sit-coms.

Rene' Saunce said...

Bullet Proof glass?
darn. Antifa mob sads :-(


MadisonMan - exactly right. More speculation-as-news from the hack press.

James K said...

I remember the rumors about Nixon drinking, and wandering the White House alone during the Watergate crisis. At least we know Trump isn't drinking.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not a big fan of the show Benson, but I loved Benson when he was on Soap, one of the all-time great shows."

I never watched "Soap." I watched "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Now, that was an all-time great show.

Titus said...

Benson got his own series after leaving Soap. I was like 7 when Soap was on and it was my favorite show. I actually tape recorded the show. Billy Crystal played Jodi, the fag, and I was in love. He was having sex with a football player. Soap was really risque at the time, but I got it at the age of 5. My parents were disturbed I liked it so much.

I actually had pictures of the characters from Soap on my bedroom wall with a sign saying my favorite tv show.

This is the story of two sisters Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I Imagine Trump conducts these White House walkthoughs in the manner of a real estate agent who is showing off alll the features of a place he is trying to selll you

Luke Lea said...

Being an attentive host seems to be one of Trump's defining personality traits. I've read numerous similar accounts.

chickelit said...

MadisonMan - exactly right. More speculation-as-news from the hack press.

According to a link at Drudge, news reporter makes the list of 10 worst jobs. There's no reason for them to take it out on us.

chickelit said...

Speculation has no place in a News Article. Just the facts please, as my Editor used to write across my copy.

Truth is subjunctive.

Fernandinande said...

I was dumb enough to read the article up to and including the standardized phrase "arch-conservative provocateur" when I should've stopped at the word "Lifestyle", if not at the sight of "washingtonpost.com".

tcrosse said...

I never watched "Soap." I watched "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Now, that was an all-time great show.

I watched them both, and we will never see their like again.

Michael K said...

WaPo can certainly be relied upon to give us the scoop on a Republican president.

Big Mike said...

I imagine that most of the people That Trump meets in a day are politicians who want something from him. Ted and Sarah and Kid Rock must have seemed like a welcome break.

lgv said...

I think it was Hoover who didn't want to actually see the staff, so they hid. It wasn't until Truman that the rule of staying out of sight was rescinded. Imagine Trump having no family and 95 staff that avoided direct contact.

chickelit said...

There are '95 full-time ushers, butlers, chefs, housekeepers and other workers.'

I doubt Trump added to that number from the previous administration, so it's equally amazing that Barack and Michelle needed that many servants too.

"I wake up every morning in a house (the White House) that was built by slaves." — Michelle Obama.

Could all of that servant pampering have led to her attitude?

Paddy O said...

I'll bet Ted Nugent got a coke.

RNB said...

Shorter NYT article: Donald J. Trump = Charles Foster Kane

Sebastian said...

At least his mother-in-law isn't staying there permanently.

O already showed, though the MSM were reluctant to report it, and Trump confirms that being Leader of the Free World is not a full-time job.

FullMoon said...

Ann Althouse said... [hush]​[hide comment]

... I watched "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Now, that was an all-time great show.



"Charlie, how many times do you and Loretta have sex?"

"I don't know, Tom, six or seven times a night"

"Six or seven times a night"!?

"Well, hell Tom, I'm not a young man anymore!!"

Nonapod said...

Without inference and imputation most news articles would probably be about 50% shorter and 24 hour cable news wouldn't even exist. But the inferencing increases exponentially when the subject is President Trump though. No other president in the modern era seems to naturally lead to wild imaginings like Trump, not even close. One of the popular criticisms of Obama's fans were that they seemed project all their hopes and dreams onto him as he was a blank screen. With Trump, most of those same people seem to be projecting all sorts of crazy things, from the sinister to the ridiculous.

traditionalguy said...

The kid looks like a 10 year old Ivanka.

tcrosse said...

Imagine President Hillary wandering her lonely way around the White House, drink in hand. Bill is off at Lolita Island, Chelsea is in Stockholm to receive her Nobel Prize. Huma is in Riyadh for instructions. "I'm the President of the United fucking States. Why am I so alone ? When will the People love me ? "

Michael K said...

"I think it was Hoover who didn't want to actually see the staff, so they hid."

Any evidence ? Gary Aldrich made it clear that Hillary was unusual in demanding that no one LOOK at her.

Jackie Kennedy made everyone sign a pledge not to reveal what they learned in the White House as staff,.

More of Inga's nasty but baseless comments.

Robert Cook said...

"Compared to his digs in the tower, I still think the White House is sort of like slumming."

His apartment, as expensive as everything may have cost, is tacky, tacky, tacky!
The man has no taste.

furious_a said...

There are '95 full-time ushers, butlers, chefs, housekeepers and other workers.

Most domestic staff are keen to avoid the boss' attention. Such attention usually involves being shown spots on the silverware, fetching more towels for the washroom or having to return room-temperature soup to the kitchen. Or if it's FLOTUS Hillary, ducking ashtrays, cringing at rapper-grade expletives and hiding bimbos where she can't find them.

tcrosse said...

The man has no taste.

He certainly has better taste in women than Bill Clinton.

wendybar said...

Well to be fair, he could be holding weekly parties for all of his friends and family like the Obamas did. I'm sure there would be plenty of bellyaching from the left about the money he would be spending....

exiledonmainstreet said...

"His apartment, as expensive as everything may have cost, is tacky, tacky, tacky!"

Gotta agree with you there.

But I bet that to a lot of people, Trump's Manhattan digs look exactly like they imagine billionaires' penthouses should look. The sleek minimalist style or the "natural" one with neutral colors and expensively distressed furniture are, I think, very much to white middle and upper class tastes.

R.J. Chatt said...

I noticed that Trump changed his office desk chair in the Oval Office. He was using a different chair (dimpled, dark mahogany colored leather) for a little while, but now it looks like he's either ordered a copy or had his old chair moved down from NYC. How's that for noticing details?

Anthony said...

He's a people person. That's why he's so successful.

lgv said...

Blogger Michael K said...
"I think it was Hoover who didn't want to actually see the staff, so they hid."

Any evidence ?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=133877485

Not sure what evidence exists, just historical references. Also mentioned in the "Secret Lives of Presidents..."

Robert Cook said...

"He's a people person. That's why he's so successful."

You know who else was reportedly a people person? Uncle Joe Stalin.

Known Unknown said...

His apartment, as expensive as everything may have cost, is tacky, tacky, tacky!
The man has no taste.


I agree, but I think it's a super wealthy disease that's not specific to Trump only.

Known Unknown said...

"He's a people person. That's why he's so successful."

You know who else was reportedly a people person? Uncle Joe Stalin.


Oh yeah, they're the same fucking person, aren't they? History is littered with corpses left in Trump's grisly wake. His grip on absolute power is frightening! The mass executions, the starvation, the horror!

Lucien said...

I understand Hitler could be quite personable when he wanted to be (Godwin!). Which doesn't mean every personable person is like Hitler.

While Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent probably qualify as D list, I'd imagine that Kid Rock is at worst B list. Though his support for Trump will cause all the usual suspects to try to push him lower.

Bill Peschel said...

I had to laugh to see Nonapod's remarks about "With Trump, most of those same people seem to be projecting all sorts of crazy things, from the sinister to the ridiculous."

... was followed by traditionalguy's lonely comment:

"The kid looks like a 10 year old Ivanka."

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves.

On to more important things: I remember Soap, MHMH, and even another gritty comedy, "Hot L Baltimore," about the denizens of a slummy hotel. This was an attempt by the networks to inject that hot '70s word, "relevance," into entertainment.

It was an interesting, weird time. The older generation was still clinging to Lawrence Welk and the old celebs like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. You could still see Jack Benny doing his schtick, while on the late-night channels there was Don Kirshner's Rock Concerts beaming Alice Cooper, the Ohio Players, Blood, Sweat and Tears, etc.

The divide was that sharp, so much that when I see today the weirdness of campus politics and the vulgarity of entertainment (people shouldn't bother saying shit about Trump's taste while Democratic Party leaders and rappers are saying shit and worse in public), it's not as sharp as it was then.

campy said...

Any evidence?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=133877485

If NPR said the sky was blue, I'd doubt it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"It was an interesting, weird time. The older generation was still clinging to Lawrence Welk and the old celebs like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. You could still see Jack Benny doing his schtick, while on the late-night channels there was Don Kirshner's Rock Concerts beaming Alice Cooper, the Ohio Players, Blood, Sweat and Tears, etc.

The divide was that sharp, so much that when I see today the weirdness of campus politics and the vulgarity of entertainment (people shouldn't bother saying shit about Trump's taste while Democratic Party leaders and rappers are saying shit and worse in public), it's not as sharp as it was then."

As one of the Alice Cooper watchers with parents who were Lawrence Welk watchers, you're absolutely correct.

Remember the 50's nostalgia in the '70's? First there was "American Graffiti," followed by "Happy Days" and bands like Sha Na Na. I was a teen then and the '50's to me were no different from the 20's. Ancient history. A vanished culture.

Last night I watched an episode of "Seinfeld" when I was on the treadmill and it didn't look as nearly as dated to me as "I Love Lucy" did when I was 15, although in both cases we're talking about a 20 year time span. Of course part of that is because I was an adult in 1997 and I didn't exist in 1957 but it's more than that. The '60's are the Big Divider.

Our parents were clinging to that pre-60's culture - and who can blame them? How the hell was a D-day vet going to respond to the Strawberry Alarm Clock and David Bowie? Those of us who came of age after the Big Cultural Break didn't realize how disorientating and bizarre that break must have been for those before us.

Michael K said...

Not sure what evidence exists, just historical references. Also mentioned in the "Secret Lives of Presidents..."

I looked at some insider WH history links and found nothing like that. I did find a nice set of color movies Mrs Hoover took of games being played on the WH lawn.

This was one site.

Here are the home movies.

I saw nothing to support that story.

Responding late as I drove from Tucson to OC today.