Class Dominance and Reality Television

One form of mainstream American media that has become very popular is reality television. A particular show that reflects the class dominance ideology is the reality show “The Apprentice”. Donald Trump who is well known with corporations and the upper class is the host of the show. The concept of the show is that Donald trump picks 18 apprentices and gives them a 15 week interview which is filmed live on TV. During each week the apprentices are given a task that is usually involved with some big corporations like Wal-Mart, Cruise lines, Hotel chains, and almost any company that Donald Trump is involved in. All of these tasks are viewed by the public, and in a way are manipulated with this capitalistic show.

Donald’s Trumps reflects Domhoff’s perspective on class domination. Domoff’s perspective is that large media companies are owned by members of the upper class, and they have extensive interlocks with other large corporations. In the apprentice, Trump definitely has interlocks with top people of large corporations; this includes NBC who broadcasts the show every week. This reality television show is filmed in the U.S. in New York City. The location of the show makes a big difference on how it the public constructs their opinions. Since New York is the head quarters for many of the top corporations including Trump towers it feeds to the capitalistic view of the upper class. Each show of the apprentice seems to focus on upper class goals and creating capital and income.

The values that Apprentice displays are those of consumption, power, and involving class dominance. The show concentrates on business endeavors and consumers. Even though the show does involving companies that have the working class it focuses on Trump’s endeavors with the apprentices. What the public doesn’t realize is that NBC and Trump want as much publicity as possible. The more people that watch the show and the higher the ratings are the more income these companies create. The Apprentice reality television show manipulates the thoughts and beliefs of the public by making capitalism glamorous and maybe achievable. Trump rewards on winning team of apprentices with a prize that the normal working class person would probably never receive. However, the apprentice show creates a false hope that normal working people can become part of the upper class with the help of Trump.

The apprentice show never tells the public how much Trump is making off the tasks that the apprentices perform or from all the publicity from the show. The tasks also never usually involve businesses that are owned by the middle class or the lower class. The media manipulates and exposes the public to all of the corporate advertising in each show. Trump’s show wants the public to believe that consumption is the way into the upper business class. During the show, the working class is rarely shown or acknowledged. The apprentice show clearly represents how the upper class dominates and is related with the media.

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