For those paying attention to this season's version of The Apprentice
, you know that one of the contestants is a former Olympic gold medalist. Angela Ruggiero
was a member of the 1998, 2002, and 2006 USA Women's Hockey teams and she that took home the gold medal in 1998. An impressive feat, to be sure, but has The Donald given Angela preferential treatment as a result? It sure looks that way.
It started from the very first episode when Trump was introduced to the contestants. When Angela was introduced, he skipped the typical handshake and gave her a big old Trump bear hug. He applauded Angela on her Olympic history, and made a big production of the whole thing. Nothing egregious here, but it was just the first example of Trump's favoritism.
Over the course of the season, Trump has taken almost every conceivable opportunity to comment on Angela and her gold medal. Although (to me, at least) Trump's infatuation with Angela has been creepy at times, it's not enough to make a case against Trump for blatant favoritism. However, some “inside” information has come out in a couple of our interviews with The Apprentice
Specifically, it seems as if Aimee Trottier's
firing was directly effected by Trump's love of gold medals, listen to what she said in our interview
Here’s something: I actually said that I was going to take Angela back in the Boardroom with me. That was the original statement, that I was taking back Angela and Jenn. And Trump said to me, “Do you really think I am going to fire an Olympic athlete?” And I said, “Mr. Trump, Angela was in charge of marketing, it was her responsibility, ultimately, to find out what the demographic was. I didn’t ask her in, I asked Jenn specifically. Derek and Jenn were responsible for reporting in to her. So I believe that she shares in the responsibility, not to mention she misprinted the sign. And that was very stressful, to try to find a printer at 2 o’clock in the morning to get the signs redone and have them ready by 8am. But, you know, thankfully we were able to get that accomplished. So, she failed in every aspect of her responsibilities and she wanted to be the Director of Marketing, she asked for this. For that reason I am taking her back with me.” And he flat out said, “Do you really think I am going to fire an Olympic athlete?” And I said, “I believe you should if she holds the responsibility for losing the task.” He looked at me and said, “Aimee, I am not firing Angela, pick someone else.” And I about died, and that of course, was edited out, which I find extremely interesting because we’re all supposed to have equal opportunity considering it is a game show.
So, I ask you: Is Trump out-of-line here? Should this be a bigger story than it is?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer