By Andrew Barbano
Time to go from out of my mind to out of the closet.
Tom Steyer is the only person who stands between Donald Trump and re-election. If he wins the Donkeyite nomination, I’ll vote for him. I remain a Bernie man. I supported the great senator in 2016 and I don’t bend with the whim.
Maybe Tom will listen now that a second freedom-loving racist New York billionaire has entered the presidential race. Stop-and-Frisk Bloomberg makes one for the Dems joining the big one for the dings.
Billionaire Boys Club member Steyer can be the wildcard, but only if he goes wild, takes the following to heart, and acts.
In the Oct. 2 Barbwire, I noted that “all Democrats are running basically the same standard campaign against a mad king with a big, well-funded army. You can’t beat a TV folk hero with garden variety vinegar-filled toy balloons. The Donkeykongs continue playing on Trump’s turf. I’ve had a borderline brilliant crazy idea and have started bicycling it around. For a hint, read “Audience of One,” NY Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik’s killer new book you can order at Grassroots Books on W. Grove Street.”
Poniewozik’s thesis is simple: “Donald Trump is not a person. He is a TV character.”
Mr. Steyer asked for a meeting with the Reno-Sparks NAACP and local African-American leaders. It took place on Sept. 29.
After I helped his crew set up chairs, I caught him alone.
“Mr. Steyer, Nevada’s a betting state and I’ll make you a sporting wager. I have an original media idea only you can afford to implement. I’ll bet five dollars you have not heard it before.”
He started reaching for his wallet and I stopped him. “If you have heard it before, I owe you five. If you lose, I will bill you in 2030 so that for the next 10 years, I can brag that a billionaire owes me five bucks.”
The man has a sense of humor.
I presented the following simple concept after the meeting and he told me to send the idea to his managers. (I have not heard back.)
“Tell you what,” he said. “Next time I see you, I’ll buy you a five-dollar drink and you buy me the same.”
GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE. DEPT. On Nov. 16, NYTimes columnist Jennifer Weiner got into the act.
“How do we reach the swayable segment of the population and keep its members from changing the channel?,” she asked. “Colorful charts? Dramatic re-enactments?” (GADZOOKS!) “A musical version?”
Ms. Weiner is entirely correct. Here’s what I told Steyer and company: “Produce a network-quality, weekly TV series visually re-enacting the depredations of Trump.
“You are up against an incarnated TV show and the only thing that can beat him is better TV.
“Hire Saturday Night Live’s Darrell Hammond to play Trump. He’s far better than Alec Baldwin. Why Lorne Michaels replaced Hammond, I can’t fathom. Hammond was a perfect Bill Clinton, too. Sean Connery said ‘he’s better than me’ at playing the erstwhile Mr. Bond. Hammond may or may not be available, as he is still the opening credits announcer on the show. Call his agent.
“ ‘Before you can preach, you must entertain,’ advised legendary Hollywood director Frank Capra. (‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’)
“NBC reporter Katy Tur’s first response to Stephen Colbert about why Trump won: ‘He entertained them.’
“ONLY TOM STEYER can implement my solution: Get Hammond. Get a killer crew of writers and directors. Producing a half-hour of network quality TV is a helluvan undertaking. (Rule of thumb: A million dollars a show.) A series requires yearslong lead time, time you don’t have. By doing this, you can prove to the voters how capable you are.
CONTENT: Docudramas, e.g., the hookers at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. Walking unannounced into the Miss Universe dressing room. The pussy tape recording, inside the van. Personal and professional rape and pillage.
“Comedy/drama: The stuff that you already know that polls the best and hits the hardest.
“So far, what Trump-fatigued Americans have been seeing is people talking about Trump and Trump talking about hisself. I saw a recent poll that reported a chilling response when people were asked ‘Who’s Donald Trump?’ Millions answered that he’s guy with a TV show that’s on all the time.
“Any news department knows that TV requires pictures, action, conflict. Czar Donaldov certainly does. Reagan media maven Michael Deaver told Leslie Stahl on ‘60 Minutes’ that he and his White House staff felt that they had become TV producers, giving the cameras something new every day.” Just like Trump.
Liberal Hollywood will flock to this project. as will its unions, cutting down lead time and costs. The show should be made available everywhere thru every medium
Even if Steyer fails to get the nomination, the show will turbocharge the Democrats and should be continued thru next October. The magic of television lies in showing stuff to people, not just talking heads. Trump is his own TV show. Do a better one.
Steyer told me that he and his minions once had a similar idea for a cartoon but discarded it. Time to fight Mr. Reality TV with hard core reality. (Stormy Daniels may be available.)
PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS. I write none of the above less than seriously.
Recently, I talked with a successful Pakistani immigrant businessman who’s a fairly liberal Democrat. I also spoke with a longtime Sparks businessman who came here from Ireland as a child. My truculent Irish friend makes a point of telling anyone and everyone that he’s a purple, neither red nor blue. Unfortunately, both agree with me: Right now, Trump’s the favorite to win next year.
Because all the opponents are running the same damned campaign and that’s a loser against the psycho standup comic with great ratings.
Happy Thanksgibleting to you and yours.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>