March 16, 2005, - 7:54 pm

Domestic Hypocrisy: Martha Stewart’s “Apprentice” Lie

By Debbie Schlussel

Amidst the Second Coming of Martha Stewart, the Domestic Diva told another big lie.

But not a single member of the pandering media has taken note.

Remember the empathetic Martha’s exhortations from prison about poor treatment of convicts when they’re released from prison?  Stewart decried the lack of employment for convicts.  No-one will hire them, she complained.

No-one, including Martha.

Even before she was released from Camp Cupcake in Alderson, West Virginia, Stewart’s production partner, reality TV king Mark Burnett, was holding auditions for Martha’s version of “The Apprentice.”

A look at the lengthy application on NBC’s website makes it clear:  No ex-cons need apply.

Sure, it doesn’t say that in the fine print.  But you get the message.  Questions like, “Tell us something embarrassing about yourself” (“I shared a metal toilet with Large Marge.”), and “How would your co-workers describe you?” (“Looks good in stripes.”) are on the basic application.

But, as the application specifies, the real weeding out is done with a complete, extensive  background check and a much longer application where criminal history is scrupulously explored.

Burnett, Martha’s reality show partner, has been burned before.  In initial episodes of his first reality hit, “Survivor,” stories abounded regarding show contestants’ rap sheets.

And Burnett has learned his lesson.  That’s why you’ve never seen or heard about so much as a minor misdemeanor in the background of a single contestant in three seasons of “The Apprentice,” the Donald Trump version.

It’s also why you won’t see any ex-cons or even any misdemeanants as contestant’s to become Martha Stewart’s “Apprentice.”

Martha’s compassion for convicts was nice while she was in the Big House.  But now that she’s back at her New York estate and whining about having to exercise while wearing her security “ankle bracelet,” it’s a different story.

That’s the thing about liberals—especially limousine liberals like Martha Stewart.

They always want the rest of us to open our hearts to the world.

To convicted criminals.   To deviants.  To everyone else that would normally not be deserving.

Often, the liberals are wealthy, like Martha, and can afford to be so mindlessly open-hearted.  And often, like Martha, they hypocritically don’t follow their own advice, but expect the rest of us, who can’t afford it, to do so.

A look at Martha’s fellow prison-mates, including several who claim she’s promised them employment, makes it understandable why employers generally wouldn’t hire them.  Here are some the Wall Street Journal named:

  • Mona Lisa Gaffney – She was convicted of bribery, witness tampering, and conspiring to smuggle heroin into a prison for her incarcerated brother, and is serving a 17-year, 5-month sentence.  She lost both custody and track of her twin 15-year-old sons.
  • Meg Scott Phipps—The daughter and grand-daughter of former North Carolina Governors, she was North Carolina’s Agriculture Commissioner, until she was convicted of accepting bribes.  Serving a 46-month sentence, she left her two teen-aged children without a mother.
  • An unnamed psychologist who committed Medicaid fraud.
  • A nun who sabotaged a Colorado missile site.
  • Audrey Dean McGirt – She’s serving a 15-year, 8-month sentence for money laundering and conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine.

Would you trust any of these people enough to hire them as your “Apprentice” and risk experiencing their high recidivism rate at your multi-billion dollar company?  Would you regularly feature one of these ex-cons on your syndicated TV show (as the winner of Martha’s “Apprentice” will be)?  Neither will Martha, Burnett, or Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia shareholders—who already lost their shirts once because she lied to the FBI.

While in prison, Martha described these fellow convicts as “perfectly, nice ‘neighbors next door.’”  But now that she’s out of the slammer, Martha doesn’t live anywhere near such a “neighborhood.” She’s staying as far away from these “perfectly nice” criminals as she possibly can.

Despite what Hollywood and Martha would have you believe, life is not a bowl of “Shawshank Redemptions.”  Most ex-cons are not innocent Andy Dufresne types.  On the contrary, those who’ve come out of prison are more likely than the rest of us to go right back in.  They’re a whole lot less likely to be making home-made candles and tortes from scratch a la the Domestic Diva.

Martha Stewart can set the whole domestic world on fire with new prison-chic knitted ponchos.  But one craze she’s definitely not starting is employment for ex-cons.

Martha’s Christmas letter from prison sobbing over employment for ex-cons was cheap and phony.  Just like the blue-blood accoutrements she sells at K-Mart.

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