the sacking of Billy Bush



Who is Billy Bush?

The nephew of former President George H.W. Bush.

The cousin of former President George W. Bush.

A former anchor of Access Hollywood, a weekly television program, and the former host of a nationally syndicated talk and music radio show.

Most recently, until just a few days ago, he was a co-host of the third hour of NBC’s Today show.

I had never heard –- before a couple of weeks ago, that is – of Billy Bush. I had no idea who he was and had never seen him on television.





On October 17, 2016, NBC News fired Bush.


As is well known, he was caught on tape in a vulgar conversation about women with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before an “Access Hollywood” appearance. The story was broken on October 8, 2016 in the Washington Post, which gained access to the tape.

It seems that practically everyone has seen the tape, which is three minutes and six seconds long and is on YouTube.

On the tape, Bush is heard laughing as Trump talks about his fame enabling him to grope and try to have sex with women not his wife.

Bush said later that he was “embarrassed and ashamed” by what was caught on tape.




A few thoughts of my own, for what they’re worth.

I would be embarrassed myself if I were caught taking part in such a conversation and it were made public.

I did not find the conversation interesting or edifying. Bush appears foolish and callow on the videotape.

He is heard laughing — appreciatively, at least on the surface — at Donald Trump’s lewd remarks.

He has little to say himself except for:

commenting with two or three words on a sexy woman’s appearance saying that she looks “hot as shit”;

when Trump says ‘when you’re a star … you can do anything,” Bush answers, “whatever you want”;

he makes an admiring comment about a woman’s legs.

For this, he has been fired?

This is a serious offense?




How would I react if someone made Trump like disclosures to me?

I might react with disapproval, although I doubt I would vent it. If this were the case, I would probably clam up and be stone faced.

I might laugh a bit nervously and try to show I am “one of the boys.”

I don’t know.

Who cares?

The point I would like to make is that our society has gone bonkers when it comes to public morality. For the offense of laughing at lewd remarks about hitting upon women, one gets fired from one’s job?

I don’t care personally about Billy Bush. I am not interested in his career.

But I do feel that his “punishment” is ridiculous.





It has been and still is the case in repressive, totalitarian societies that freedom of expression is not permitted. So, that if, say, you insulted Stalin in the USSR, you might have been denounced and executed.

Similarly, I would not recommend, if one lives in North Korea or happens to visit there, making fun of a poster of Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Laughing or showing disrespect in such totalitarian states can be sufficient to get you a long sentence in prison at hard labor, at the minimum.

Laughing at the lewd remarks of Donald Trump in today’s repressive cultural milieu can cause you to lose your job.


— Roger W. Smith

     October 2016

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1), a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
This entry was posted in general interest, personal views of Roger W. Smith, political correctness (PC), public morality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to the sacking of Billy Bush

  1. William Carron says:

    I agree with you Mr. Smith. Society has become punitive with sexual remarks, but is lax in other important issues — i.e. Mrs. Clinton not being indicted for her private server and emails when she served as secretary of state.

  2. Thank you, Mr. Carron. I appreciate your comments and agree with what you have to say.

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