Donald Trump is a terrible businessman.  Just check his track record in Atlantic City for evidence.  But in this crazy, fucked-up media world where egomaniacs on private jets believe everybody not them is a moron, he’s sold as a hero, an icon, a devilishly smart, handsome adonis with business acumen no mortal man possesses.

And, if you win the job of his apprentice, you go around America opening shopping malls, extolling the greatness of…Mr. Trump.

Oh, wait a second, I thought you were supposed to work, get a leg up!  It’s supposed to be your first step into moguldom.

Yeah right, did you just fall off the turnip truck?

Lyor Cohen’s gonna give some punk, some idiot, his own label?

Last time I checked Warner Music wasn’t handing out labels to SUCCESSFUL people.  Hell, they even closed down David Foster’s 143 Records.  And, maybe that was the old regime, but the new regime seems more intent on firing people and cutting back than establishing OPPORTUNITIES!

When I started buying Warner Records, I learned who Mo Ostin was by side references in interviews.  He did no publicity, he wasn’t a star, he was an ACCOUNTANT!  The day Lyor Cohen makes his own rap record is the day he deserves all the press.  Even Doug Morris, Mr. Cohen’s old boss, has retreated from the limelight.  Even JIMMY IOVINE, after taking the stage in Las Vegas alongside the doomed Carly Fiorina and lambasting the family values of downloaders after purveying such wholesome fare as "I Smell Pussy", now rarely goes on record.  And, when he does, it’s not to burnish his image.  His albums’ SUCCESS speaks for/cements his image.

Lyor’s been nice to me, but if I remove all passion and just look at the numbers, when he left Island Def Jam the company was not a raging financial success.  And now that he’s been empowered at Warner, rather than hits, one sees shit.  If he truly believes running this reality show will benefit Warner’s bottom line, than maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree.  But isn’t that like Steve Jobs believing nobody at Apple Computer knows how to come up with the next great product so he’d better hire some high school graduate from the street, not even one with tech credibility?

Watch the video.  The one that says "Meet Lyor Cohen".  (Although you might have a hard time watching it if you’re on a Mac.  Oh, you can hear it, but the picture freezes.  They’re using QuickTime, which works just fine for Apple streaming every studio’s movie trailers, why can’t AOL stream this itty-bitty video?  AOL has given no respect to Mac users for a decade.  AOL for OS X is the worst software I have EVER encountered in the OS X world.  It’s slow.  It’s buggy.  It’s essentially unusable.  THIS is the way to run a business?  One that competes in a world where even John C. Dvorak has said OS X is better than XP and it might ultimately triumph?,1895,1840479,00.asp)  Couldn’t Mr. Cohen get anybody not on the payroll/who shares no personal history to say how great he is?  I mean isn’t this equivalent to trotting out your mother to say you’re a great guy?  Kevin Liles?  Guy Oseary?  (And why not fire Guy, what has HE done for Warner lately?)

Then there’s the part where Lyor testifies.  About the haters.  Well, obviously he knows of which he speaks, for he couldn’t get one competitor, certainly not Steve Gottlieb, to testify in his promotional video how Mr. Cohen is a man of love.  Oh, I’ll give Lyor credit. He sells it.  Saying that since nine out of ten albums fail it’s easy to say everything sucks.  He’s looking for someone to say everything’s great, or at least the one album that sells enough to cover up all the turkeys.  But, there’s no investigation of the premise.  Why IS IT that ninety percent of albums fail?  Was it like this for David Geffen?  Master P?  Even Death Row?  Maybe the premise is FALLACIOUS!

And also fallacious is the whole premise of Get Into The Biz.

The problem isn’t that there’s an underground of potential Doug Morrises who have no opportunity, who would blossom if they only competed in the Biz.  This is like saying the best talent in America appears on "American Idol" and "Rock Star: INXS".  But those shows are filled with second-rate wannabes.  Anybody with real talent will have nothing to do with them.  They’re opposite everything they stand for.  And it’s the same deal with this show.  There are PLENTY of opportunities for real businessmen who want to crack the music sphere.  And, these people are working right now.  Promoting their wares all over the Internet in a way that Warner thinks is illegal.  Who in their right mind, someone with talent, would want to play this game when he can just put up a Website, hype on MySpace, get a gig at a local bar and try to make it himself, taking ALL the money.  Doesn’t one of the videos on this page say it’s about not working for somebody else?  Why would the next Lyor Cohen want to work for Lyor Cohen?  Hell, HE started off as an entrepreneur, that’s how he made HIS first tens of millions.

There’s no upside here.  AOL continues to project its image as an uncool outlet that is not in touch with the inhabitants of cyberspace.  Warner does not find the next exec who delivers the next Metallica.  And to all the haters of major labels, the ones who revile the lawsuits, the copy protection, the lame music, the payola, this show is just going to further their perception that the business is run by egotistical jerks who think their shit doesn’t stink.

The Biz

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