October 6, 2016

THE PLAYER AND THE PLAYED:

How Howard Stern Owned Donald Trump : The Donald fancied himself a player in the '90s, but the shock jock knew just how to play him. Now that's back to haunt the candidate. (VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN, October 06, 2016, Politico)

This much-craved publicity, of course, came at price: Stern has long had a devilish talent for lulling guests into a false sense of security--and then luring them into rhetorical traps. He casts his guests in a burlesque he scripts for them, and cattle-prods them into playing their parts, first fawning over them until they feel like celebrities, then bringing down the hammer of humiliation. He's a diabolically domineering scene partner. No interviewer has ever been as adroit with treacherous leading questions in the vein of "When did you stop beating your wife?" Stern, in other words, gets people to publicly embrace their worst selves--and say things they live to regret.

That's exactly what happened with Trump. Today, as the Republican nominee, he may fashion himself as a boss and a master of the universe. But what comes across in old tapes of the show, resurfaced recently by BuzzFeed and other outlets, is that Trump, like many of Stern's guests, was often the one being played. By nailing him as a buffoon and then--unkindest cut--forcing him to kiss the Howard Stern ring, Stern and his co-anchor, Robin Quivers, created a series of broadcasts that today showcase not just Trump's misogyny but his ready submission to sharper minds.



Posted by at October 6, 2016 8:54 PM

  

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