NBC Universal television hasn't said whether the public is steamed about Donald Trump's atrocious public behavior. I'm guessing, though, the NBC "inbox" is stuffed.
Whether NBC dishes out punishment to the host of highly rated "Celebrity Apprentice" will reveal its corporate standards or lack of.
Consider CBS's firing of Charlie Sheen. Sheen went on a binge and trashed a New York hotel room, insulted the creator of his "Two and a Half Men" show and took up with a couple of harlots while fighting his ex-wife for child custody. He was fired.
For a less mortifying offense, NBC fired top-ranked political show host Keith Olbermann: He donated campaign money to two Democrats.
Now NBC has Trump on its hands.
- In a Las Vegas tirade that made Sheen's language sound like a bishop's Sunday mass incantations, Trump unleashed a barrage of F-word sputum that major newspapers found too filthy to paraphrase.
- Trying to overcome widespread labeling as a racist, Trump claimed years of amity with "the blacks"—a condescension on the order of an anti-Semite saying, "Some of my best friends are Jewish."
- Trump repeatedly insulted President Obama by suggesting he lied about his birthplace, lacked scholastic entrance requirements for Harvard, was a poor student and a second-rate writer of two books (and probably used a ghostwriter)—all contrary to incontrovertible evidence.
Therefore, who's the worst humiliation—Sheen and Olbermann (both fired) or Trump?
Before snorting the intoxicating angel dust of politics, Trump was regarded mostly as a braggart billionaire who's most noticeable personal failing was marital infidelity (married three times). When dreams of the presidency began filling his head, Trump resorted to coarse public insults, abominable language that NBC wouldn't tolerate in its executives and a general swagger that any corporation would find an affront to its reputation and public goodwill.
Has Trump justified being fired? Yes. Will revenues from "Celebrity Apprentice" trump (so to speak) ethics, civil conduct and tasteful speech of its high-profile employee? We'll see.
Notwithstanding lost revenues, NBC Universal would bank far more public and advertiser goodwill if it fired Trump. A substitute program could be developed quickly, just as CBS is developing a successor to the Sheen show. NBC also would be laying down a stern code of conduct, which the rest of the industry would be challenged to adopt.
Wrist-slapping Trump won't do. A narcissist of his egomaniacal fixations won't grasp the vileness of his loathsome language and disgusting behavior unless he's knocked off his "Celebrity Apprentice" pedestal and an end is put to his overbearing, raunchy disregard for public decency.