The conclusion to last week’s A Cinecle View – Home Invasion, Part 1 – or as (NAME REDACTED)’s lawyer calls it, “Terroristic threats and inciting a mob to criminally stalk,” is preempted this week by breaking news: Billy Bush has been outed as an eternal frat boy by his former employer, Access Hollywood, and “indefinitely suspended” from the Today Show.
Unfortunately, I think there’s a small chance that Donald Trump may end up as collateral damage in this incident as well.
While I believe that it’s extraordinarily bad to be dismissive of others and judge their character by superficial criteria, I’ve been harboring a hypocritical secret that defies this philosophy:
I hate Billy Bush. Solely for his smug expression, overly-affected DJ voice and vacuous on air persona. Yes, it’s wrong, but when your delivery makes Ryan Seacrest sound like Walter Cronkite, it’s easy to succumb to that impulse.
I’ve always assumed (again, that’s bad) that he was an empty-headed bro-boy in the throws of terminal Peter Pan syndrome. But last week, Access Hollywood came to my rescue with the now infamous audio of Trump and Bush caught doing their best Joe Francis impersonations …
Already seen/don’t want to watch it? Here’s a recap: Trump acted like a misogynist asshole – surprising no one that has read interviews with him or heard his appearances on the Howard Stern Show in the last 20 years.
The big shocker is Bush’s behavior/predatory verbal diarrhea who said the following about Arianne Zucker, the woman with whom they were filming a segment:
(To Trump) Sheesh, your girl’s hot as shit … Yes, the Donald has scored … You gotta look at me when you get off … will you give me the thumbs up? … you gotta give the thumbs up … YOU GOTTA GIVE THE THUMBS UP … Yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs.
After laughing giddily at Trump’s near candidacy-ending “Grab them by the pussy” line, Bush can be heard whining about a less-attractive woman blocking his view.
Come on, shorty … Oof, get out of the way honey.
Upon meeting their guide, Bush went into wingman mode, facilitating physical contact between Trump and Zucker:
(To Zucker) How about a little hug for the Donald, he just got off the bus.
… and between Zucker and himself …
How about a little hug for the Bushy?
… his plastic, horny, married self. I’m sure his wife and three daughters are beaming with pride.
Of course, an apology came swiftly after online backlash exploded:
Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago – I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.
Really? You were “younger” and “less mature”?
Between the ages of 12 and 15, I did and said shit to young women that horrifies me today, and if I could go back and undo/unsay them, I definitely would. BUT I WASN’T STILL DOING IT AT 32!!!
Perhaps I’m judging him too harshly. You can’t really condemn someone with only one incident to back your thesis …
Oh … Billy. While researching my column on American dick-baggery champion, Ryan Lochte, I happened to be watching live as that unfolded.
Again, if you’ve already watched/don’t want to watch (you really should; seeing Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie use every fiber of their beings to restrain themselves from calling Bush a douche-nozzle on live TV is life-affirming), here’s a transcript edited for space:
Bush: He certainly lied about some details.
Guthrie: SOME details? There was no robbery …
(Roker lists Lochte’s lies)
Bush: … if someone is saying you’ll give me money or you can’t leave …
Roker: He LIED!
Bush: Sure he embellished that point.
Roker: NO, NO, NO …
Bush: Money unwillingly came out of his pocket, Al …
(Bush admits to some lies on Lochte’s part; Roker makes an incredulous “DUH!” sound.)
Bush: … the Rio organizing guy, does he want an apology? He says no, these are kids traveling abroad, they’re great swimmers, we don’t want an apology from them …
Guthrie: I think he owes the people of Rio an apology …
Bush: We talk about there is video of the vandal … we haven’t seen the video of the vandalism, Keir Simmons did a piece on this this morning, he took them in there, there’s nothing damaged in the bathroom, there’s certain elements …
(Roker tries to cap the discussion while Bush talks over him)
Bush: There’s certain elements … There was a gun …
(Roker and Guthrie want Lochte to come on the show and tell his side of the story)
Bush: Look it’s not a shining moment and there are embellishing moments, there are total untruths, in the end, Al, he shouldn’t have lied to his mother. The one he lied to in the beginning, was mom, and she then got the story out there.
And there, in the last quote, is all you need to know about Billy Bush: The only thing that 32-year-old Lochte did wrong was lie to his mommy; the international incident was all Ileana Lochte’s fault.
Bush’s bro-ciferous defense of Lochte corroborates my diagnosis; he’s an affluenza afflicted 15-year-old trapped in a 43-year-old body. It should come as no shock to anyone that he not only encouraged, but participated in Trump’s “locker-room talk.”
I’m hoping that The Bushy’s “indefinite suspension” becomes permanent, if for no other reason than I can start watching hour three of Today again without throwing up in my mouth a little each morning.
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.