Leila has seen piggies – airborn porkers – this is what she said:
The careful reader will note both the title and date of this piece. Trump’s Bathroom was published around three weeks after a pig took wing and (despite many efforts) hasn’t been shot down yet.
Mr. Kluger has a scientific boxer’s way of elegantly working over the reader with a series of trenchant jabs and thrusts then knocking the reader down and out with perversely wonderful lines like that in which a certain Miss Cyrus’es “orifices” are the subject.
Let’s ask Mr. K. a couple of questions.
Q: Do you believe that the cynicism always present in journalism has gone from a hard-bitten disbelief in the movers and shakers to an absolute scorn for the public?
Q: How do you think McLeary has evolved as a person in the years that have passed?
Q1: Has cynicism in journalism evolved from hard-bitten disbelief in the movers and shakers (newsmakers) to absolute scorn for the public?
A: Rather than having evolved from objective news reporting with the truth being sacrosanct ($20 dollar word alert!) …the news has mutated (or devolved…we are DEVO, D-E-V-O) to a one-sided form of punditry (Thanks, Roger Ailes?), where the conservative networks (e.g. FOX) adhere to their philosophy or narrative or interpretation of the truth and the more liberal networks (MSNBC?) stick to their take. The news is no longer simple, fact-based reporting with experts from both sides invited on to provide their slant. Now whole networks are slanted. The anchors are now personalities playing a role to spike ratings instead of objective/neutral presenters of fact. So, I’ve stopped watching the news as much as possible -it’s become too distorted. Hopefully, that will change someday. Who knows? I would add I don’t believe in the concept of “fake news” or allowing liars to gaslight the public about actions or policies that can hurt the world. I respect facts, honesty, and the truth. “Magna est Veritas et Praevalet”
Q2: How do you think McLeary has evolved as a person in the years that have passed?
A: Amazing question. To answer this fully (perhaps too fully…I offer you some background on the McLeary character and a follow-up conversation I had a decade after, with the main inspiration for the McLeary character in Trump’s Bathroom.
I was a CNN writer/producer for 12 years. I also worked for Fox5NY and E! News among others. I usually covered the entertainment news beat. At CNN I was lucky enough to be paired with Bill Tush the original face and voice of entertainment news on CNN and longtime pal of founder Ted Turner. I was his producer for more than a decade. Bill Tush is the funniest, most creative writer and storyteller I have ever worked with. He would take my entertainment scripts and annoying prompts (I got it Bonehead…shut up already and step aside) as a starting point, then throw them aside and ad-lib something way funnier… Bill was one of the inspirations for the McLeary character.
After he left CNN in 2001, I was able to convince Bill to star in a short mockumentary, The Legend Of Chick Chandler, that earned some attention at the Woodstock Film Festival. I play a former co-worker (“Bonehead”) interviewing “Chick” about his reclusive life after being a big TV star. Bill’s performance as “Chick” is quite memorable, funny and extremely poignant. Really proud of the film and honored to be Bill’s friend for over 25 years now. From the Woodstock Film Festival website:
THE LEGEND OF CHICK CHANDLERA documentary by Adam Kluger2002 – USA – 30 min Films of the Hudson Valley/Catskills
The Legend of Chick Chandler is a short film about the death of the American dream. It’s a drama about an aging television personality (Woodstock’s Bill Tush) and how he copes with losing the only thing he’s ever truly loved…his job. It’s a cautionary tale about the illusory and oft-times absurd nature of fame and celebrity. It’s a candid look into the mind, heart, and soul of an ordinary man at the crossroads of an illustrious career, as he faces the abyss with a quick one-liner and a pint of beer. It’s about the loneliness of genius, the magic of television, and the stuff that legends are made of. Director’s Bio: Adam Kluger is a first-time filmmaker. For over 12 years he worked at CNN as a television writer/producer. He attended Vassar College, Cornell University and the Horace Mann School. A native New Yorker, he is a playwright/poet/performance artist. He was inspired to create “The Legend of Chick Chandler” after reading a poem by Charles Bukowski. Producer/Director/Writer: Adam KlugerCo-Producers: Nick Glasser, Mark ScheererCinematographer: Pawel LitwinskiEditor: Nick Glasser
re: Donald Trump
I met Donald Trump a few times as well interviewing him at NYC events with Marla Maples and once at Trump Tower to discuss the Celebrity Apprentice. He is what you see on TV. There is very little artifice to the man. The description of his office bathroom was taken directly from my memory of having visited it.
Over the years, I have met with Bill Tush (aka Chick Chandler) on occasion at a NYC coffee shop to interview him about whatever was on his mind with the hopes of putting together a sequel to The Legend Of Chick Chandler…in 2013 we met to shoot some commercials for my first book that I was working on called, “Desperate Times.” A couple of years ago I again enlisted Bill to be the host of a bizarre variety/Oscars show called the “Bill Tush Holiday Special“–once again, Bill showed he could take my scripts and change them into something much funnier than what was on paper…
Click the link below and use password: