In a move aimed at rehabbing his image, ex-NBC “Today” Show host Billy Bush gave a blockbuster interview in which he doesn’t play nice with President Trump. In fact, an easy read between the lines suggests that he doesn’t know him well and never did. Despite the ratings gold that might prevail, Bush has no desire to interview him. Hell, he’s not quite sure how Trump got the Oval and he got the shaft.
THR: You got fired, and the other guy on that tape became president. How does that make you feel?
Bush: I will admit the irony is glaring.
Still, his juicy interview with The Hollywood Reporter, published over the weekend, is quite contrite without ever going easy on Trump. “It hurt a lot, and I felt apart,” he said in the interview, explaining that he never had a legal team or a publicist before this. More than once, he explained how “ashamed” and “embarrassed” he was.
Last fall, the TV entertainment reporter’s career came to a shattering halt after an 11-year-old tape emerged of a behind-the-scenes conversation with Donald Trump just before an Access Hollywood interview. In the incident — which transpired on a large bus — Trump infamously said can “grab ’em by the pussy,” with Bush laughing and egging him on.
In 2005, Bush’s beat was Trump. It was “the core” of his job to spend time with him and stay in his good graces so The Donald could appear on the show three times a week.
“I always had a nervous energy through these situations because he also decided a lot of times from day to day, moment to moment, who he liked, who was in and who was out, and my job was to remain in,” he told THR. “I needed to be in, or maybe I’d be out. So that was the Trump environment.”
Bush poignantly said he didn’t have the “strength of character” to change the course of the conversation.
He also said he had no clue who Trump really is.
“I don’t know who he is,” he said. “We don’t have a personal relationship and never have.”
At times, the interview in THR is wince-worthy.
For instance, it’s hard to connect the dots between Bush’s self-described “big traumatic event” and Bush.
Sure. In Hollywood World, that may be the case.
Having your 15-year-old daughter phone you from boarding school crying and telling you what a douchebag you are (loose translation) is a tough moment. Bu it’s not trauma.
Neither is attending emotional rehab in Napa Valley that costs $5,000 a week.
Or walking on fiery coals.
Or attending a weirdo Tony Robbins event in which he has a “Good Will Hunting” moment with Bush and tells him that “One moment in your life does not define who you are.” CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
On the whole, Bush 2.0 says he wants to be deeper reporter.
No doubt, this has affected him deeply.
Let’s see what he does with it.