1958 TV Show Had Conman ‘Trump’ Selling Mystical ‘Wall’ to Hysterical Townspeople (Must Watch)
10 Jan 2019 – The writer and animator Alex Hirsch yesterday flagged a quirk of television history with an odd connection to present-day politics: In 1958, CBS aired an episode of the series “Trackdown” called “The End of the World,” in which a confidence man named Trump attempts to sell a western town a “wall” — in the form of supposedly mystical parasols — to protect them from the fake threat of a meteor shower.
What the fresh hell. This is REAL. Filmed in 1958- about a conman who grifts a small town of suckers into building a wall. History not subtle enough for you? GUESS THE GRIFTER’S NAME
(And watch until the end) pic.twitter.com/6FA3p6KC00
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) January 9, 2019
Snopes did the fact-checking legwork: In the episode, “Dr. Walter Trump, DU MC SSR” — or “Doctor of the Universe, Master of Cometry, Student of Stellar Reactions” — whips a western town into a frenzy by tricking its residents into believing they’ll be wiped out by a meteor shower before the day is done.
As protection, he sells parasols with drawn-on mystical symbols, calling them a “wall” that can magically repel danger.
Eventually — despite Trump’s threat of a lawsuit — the show’s protagonist, Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman, reveals that Trump is a fraud who’s in cahoots with the town’s sheriff, and midnight passes without any meteor-related deaths. Trump ends up dead, shot by the sheriff in an attempt to cover up the scheme.
The episode is full of relevant dialogue: “I bet it fits,” Gilman says at one point of the name “Trump.” Elsewhere, a judge warns the ranger: “I live here, I know these people pretty well, and right now there’s nothing in the world that can change their minds [about Trump] — and anybody who tries to could end up getting hurt. They’re not going to listen.”
“Well, what if he starts a panic?” Gilman responds. “It could happen.”
“Well sure, but you might as well try to spit out a forest fire,” the judge says, adding: “It’s funny how a big lie can make us all kids again.”
Later, after the narrator refers to Trump as “the high priest of fraud,” the conman delivers some hauntingly prescient dialogue in a speech to the town.
“I am the only one! Just me! I can build a wall around your homes that nothing will penetrate,” Trump says.
“What do we do?” a someone asks. “How do we save ourselves?”
“You ask: How do you build that wall?” Trump responds. “You ask, and I’m here to tell you.”
Gilman eventually interrupts: “You’re a liar, Trump!” Finally, as the scheme unfolds, fateful words from the ranger: “You’re under arrest, Trump.”
Snopes dug up a full version of the episode on YouTube. Watch it below:
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
One Response to “1958 TV Show Had Conman ‘Trump’ Selling Mystical ‘Wall’ to Hysterical Townspeople (Must Watch)”
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
- The U.S. Can’t Control the World
- Nonviolent Intervention and George Floyd
- Trapped at the Border: Their Fate Is Our Fate
- “Regime” and “CCP”: Propaganda Tools for Dissociating a Targeted Nation from Its Government
- My New Book on Journalism, Exposing Corruption, and the Resulting Risks, Dangers and Societal Changes
- Need a Quote from an Official Enemy Denouncing Democracy? Do like the New York Times and Make It Up
- Not Just “Cops”: It’s Time to End the Entertainment Industry’s Anti-Black, Pro-Police Programming
- Paris Museums Put 100,000 Images Online for Unrestricted Public Use
- Turner Prize Awarded Four Ways after Artists' Plea to Judges
SHORT VIDEO CLIPS: