NBC: Apprentice finale taped in November, no presidential announcement

Donald Trump promised to make an announcement on the final episode of Celebrity Apprentice about whether or not he would seek the Republican presidential nomination.  According to National Journal, he’s already well on his way to becoming a real politician by breaking his first campaign promise:

The ratings-deflating news was delivered to National Journal on Tuesday by Sharon Pannozzo, publicity director for NBC Entertainment, who sounded a little miffed with The Donald’s false advertising.

“The show this weekend [part one of the finale] was taped back in November, and next week’s episode is also taped,” Pannozzo said. “So there will be no opportunity for him to do something like that.”

What? Didn’t Trump himself suggest to TheNew York Times that he’d be delivering the news—or at least news of when and where he’d deliver the news—of his presidential plans on the show?

“I am thinking of saying on the live finale of The Apprentice on May 22 that in a few days I will be making an announcement about my decision,” Trump told the Times. ”I might ask the two finalists if I should run for president. Of course, if they’re intelligent they’ll have to say yes, since I’m about to fire one of them.”

Not exactly, according to the show’s publicist. “There will be no announcement,” Pannozzo said. “It’s just misinformation on his part.” Pannozzo insists there will be no live segments of the show. Asked about Pannozzo’s comments, Trump spokesman Michael Cohen confirmed to National Journal: “Mr. Trump will not be making any announcement during the finale of The Apprentice.”

Maybe Trump just figured that a canned “tune in next season” statement at the end of the final show would suffice.  If that’s the case, though, why bother campaigning at all?  This statement strongly suggests that the entire effort was nothing but a public-relations stunt, a conclusion many of us reached at the very beginning of Trump’s entry into presidential politics.

The other explanation is that Trump may have thought that NBC would allow him to add a live segment to the end of his last show.  He apparently didn’t bother to check whether NBC wanted to use its prime-time real estate for self-serving political announcements.  Obviously, the network is less than enthusiastic about the idea in either case, and Trump winds up with egg on his face.

Andrew Malcolm says it’s a fitting finale for a carnival barker:

Here’s the interesting part: The Apprentice’s two-part season finale isn’t going to be live. It never was.

In fact, the season finale was taped back around last Thanksgiving. It’s all been in the can for six months. Everybody on the inside knew that — the winner, the losers and the guy named Trump. Only the duped dummies watching may have been fooled.

So in the end, Trump was actually running two reality con shows — one on NBC and another one everywhere else.

Now, that’s a finale!

Well, let’s hope.