Volume 31, Number 2

Nothing But a Huckster, a Flim-Flam Man, a Snake Oil Salesman: It’s All an Illusion

Fred Schepartz

Somehow lost in the shuffle of all the legal issues swirling around Giant Baby Man and his horrible spawn is a lawsuit alleging fraud, perpetrated during episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the show was a vehicle to promote a multi-layer marketing scam business called American Communications Network (ACN). Viewers of GBM’s show would pay ACN $499 for a “chance to sell videophones and other goods.”

And the people who paid that money to ACN lost everything. And now they are going after GBM and his spawn for fraud, false advertising and unfair competition.

“Four anonymous plaintiffs brought the suit, including what court papers describe as a hospice caregiver, a self-employed man who was once homeless and a food delivery driver.” In general, the anonymous plaintiffs were poor and disadvantaged people who believed GBM when he endorsed ACN. They did not realize that GBM was paid to endorse ACN.

They did not realize that GBM knew the whole thing was a scam.

Does this sound familiar? It should.

Here’s GBM endorsing a product that does not do what it claims it does, and he knows it’s all a scam. And yet he’s saying, “Try it. What do you have to lose?

Are you perhaps thinking hydroxychloroquine?

If so, you get a prize. That’s exactly what this reminds me of.

GBM has been shilling for hydroxychloroquine for months by now. And he keeps at it, keeps at it. Despite study after studying debunking the use of it, he keeps at it and accuses those studies of bias, of being anti-him.

At this time, we do not know exactly why he has this strong hydroxychloroquine fixation. I’ve seen some articles claiming that his family has some sort of financial ties, but nothing has been exactly substantiated.

Clearly there is a reason, and it surely has to do with some sort of advantage or benefit to GBM. I look at the ACN lawsuit, and again, it is all just too familiar.

So why exactly does this matter?

These are trying times for absolute certain. We are facing a global pandemic of a proportion not seen for 102 years. This is a time where we need leadership.

Or more to the point, this is a time where we need calm, steady leadership.

Sad to say, that’s not what we’re getting in the United States.

A major part of the problem is that GBM is unable to distinguish between reality and the illusion of television.

I am convinced that from his perspective, he is currently hosting a brand-new television show with huge, huge ratings, ratings higher than any television show has ever seen.

The Pandemic!

What a perfect vehicle for someone whose entire adult life has been a sleight-of-hand illusion. The grifter’s greatest talent is convincing people that everything is legit and above-board, getting them to look away when the grifter reaches into their pocket.

The Pandemic! has everything from sycophantic guest stars, amusing abuse of the studio audience, i.e. members of the White House press corps, and of course cleverly placed drop-ins to endorse the sponsors like hydroxychloroquine and an antibody test that fails half the time.

And instead of “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” we have GBM constantly telling us what a great job he is doing.

While 100,000 Americans died in less than four months.

Again, why does it matter that the president of the United States is nothing more than a huckster, a flim-flam man and a snake-oil salesman, peddling bogus multi-layer marketing schemes and medicines that don’t work?

It does, in fact, matter. It matters a great deal.

A crisis requires leadership. What we got was a preening narcissist using tragedy as a means to stroke his own ego, as a means to exploit a tragedy to further divide us, as a means to exploit a disaster for his own political gain.

How did we get to a place where wearing a mask is a political act, where GBM accused a member of the White House press corps of being “politically correct” because he would not remove his mask when GBM ask him to do so?

Treating a crisis as a television show with ginormous ratings is no replacement for competency. What should GBM been doing instead of attending rallies? What should GBM have been doing instead riding in the pace car at the Daytona 500 in mid-February when Americans were already starting to die from Covid19?

Not to go into huge detail of his missteps, but suffice it to say, we should have been better prepared. Time was short, but there was still time. A nationwide logistical strategy should have been set up involving medical equipment and supplies, testing and contact tracing.

And we must never forget the Columbia University study that found that if social distancing had started one week earlier, approximately 36,000 Americans would still be alive.

We know these things. We draw on the experience of lessor pandemics in recent years. We draw on the experience of the 1918 pandemic. For sure, we have much better science than we had in 1918, yet I find myself asking, why we’re not any smarter than we were 102 years ago.

I find myself wondering if we’re much smarter than the ancient Romans who thought the Antonine Plague was due to the anger of Apollo.

The ACN lawsuit speaks volumes because it illuminates the illusion of this Administration. In the warped mind of GBM, the presidency is just a big television show, and he’s the big, big star. The show is all about stroking his monstrous ego, oh and of course, feathering his own bed as well.

ACN or hydroxychloroquine. Really, there’s no difference. The Apprentice or The Celebrity Apprentice or The Pandemic!—again, there’s really no difference.

All we needed was just a bit of competency. And maybe a little bit of compassion and empathy.

That was a bridge too far.




George Floyd.

I cannot be silent. The last few days have been an overwhelming kaleidoscope of images. I have yet been able to process it all. I see handwritten signs stating, “No justice, no peace.” I feel that says a great deal about where we are at.

This cannot be allowed to be our normal, but it is. Racists get to wear badges. The badges let them kill Black and Brown brothers and sisters with impunity. Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. I sincerely hope that he is held accountable.

With no accountability, there is no justice.

We have protests all over the nation. It is not my place to judge, but what is happening is happening for a reason. I just came across a quote from Colin Kaepernick, “We have a right to fight back.”

Again, no peace, no justice. We ALL have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is not the right for some who happen to be the right color. This is the right for all of us.

Remember the name George Floyd.