Donald Trump's presidency has already negatively affected countless people, from would-be immigrants to actual immigrants to people who sorta look like they could be immigrants. There's one group that's seldom discussed, though: poor, downtrodden TV and movie writers. Of all the problems with Trump's presidency, the fact that he's ruining what used to be common TV plotlines ranks, well ... somewhere near the bottom, if we're being honest. Still, it's surreal that stories that used to seem outlandish will now look quaint and chaste in the face of cold, hard, insane reality. We'll never again be able to enjoy stories like ...
"Gaffes Will Kill Your Political Career!"
It's the oldest trope in shows about politicians: Get caught doing something dumb or terrible, and you might as well start applying for a job at Burger King.
House Of Cards, which started as an over-the-top melodrama but now looks like a throwback to a distant era when our politicians were restrained and likable, has a plot in which Frank Underwood's presidential campaign is nearly derailed when a photo of his father shaking hands with a KKK member emerges. Then, right when he manages to smooth that over, another photo is released of him shaking hands with a Confederate Civil War reenactor -- bad news for a Democrat who needs to win the Southern black vote. Cue sad trombone sound! Frank does eventually win his party's primary, but the photos were damaging enough that he loses his home state, an embarrassing defeat that teaches him the valuable lesson that you should never shake hands with anyone, in case it comes back to haunt you.
"Mental note: Only high-five my racist friends from now on."
In The West Wing there's CJ Cregg, the press secretary to President ... Wing, if we remember correctly. In season three, it comes out that the president has multiple sclerosis, but didn't disclose it before he began his presidenting career. At the same time, an emergency pops up in Haiti, and CJ tells the press that the president was "relieved" to be focusing on something that matters. The media is shocked by this flippant remark -- is the president happy there's a crisis? Or does he not consider his own health important, even though his incapacitation could send the country into chaos? As soon as CJ gets out of there, she punches the wall because she's so angry at herself, and she offers her resignation.
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"CJ, these hallways are for walking and talking, not screaming and punching."
Even freaking Batman Returns features the Penguin, a political figure, having his public image destroyed after Batman leaks a recording of him mocking the people of Gotham.