- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The editors of Variety magazine are no fans of Donald Trump, which was made abundantly clear last month with their Nov. 1 endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president: The first presidential endorsement in the entertainment trade magazine’s 111-year history. 

But on Wednesday, the publication once again turned its fire on the president-elect, awarding him top placement its its “Worst TV of 2016” list, edging out AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

“[I]t is not just that he is bad TV; it’s also that what is best about television completely escapes him,” the Variety staff complained. “A man who bandies about with stereotypes and victimization on a casual Twitter spree cannot really feel empathetic catharsis for flawed, suffering, human characters on a screen.”

In short, Variety concluded, “Donald Trump was the worst television in the year — partly because he showed us how television’s worst impulses were getting the better of us. Now it just remains to be seen if he is — already — the worst TV of 2017, too.”

Oddly enough, also caught up in Variety’s list of worsts — placing in fourth — was Billy Bush, whom the magazine said it couldn’t let “off the hook” for his August interview with swimmer Ryan Lochte about a late night incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station. Mr. Lochte was eventually slapped with a 10-month ban on competitive swimming.

“Shortly after leaving “Access Hollywood” for NBC’s morning show, Bush made quite the first impression by landing an interview with Lochte about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio — which, of course, turned out to be completely false,” Variety said.

“It was a low point in sports journalism; Bush bought the story hook, line, and sinker. Even Bush’s ‘Today’ co-worker Al Roker later told him it was a lie, live on the air.”

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