An Encounter with Omarosa

| August 17, 2018

By Bernadette Duncan

Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from the popular book “Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers” (Talkers Books, 2016) in which author Bernadette Duncan recounts memorable experiences culled from a 26-year career as a radio talk show producer. This piece originally ran as a segment of the chapter titled “Talk Show, Freak Show.”  In this piece, she discusses what it was like working with Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (her first husband’s name) on what was known in 2009 as a “satellite tour.”  Duncan was the central producer who coordinated a morning full of non-stop talk radio interviews across the nation for client-affiliates of United Stations Radio Network.   

Just when I grew to cherish each and every reality show guest, along came Omarosa.  During the Clinton administration, she was hired in Vice President Al Gore’s office as Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel.  She didn’t keep the job very long.  Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, had quite a history of getting fired… long before Donald Trump sent her home from “Celebrity Apprentice.

As noted in People,“The former political appointee – who spoke glowingly of her White House days – was banished from four jobs in two years with the Clinton administration.”  A former White House staffer said of Omarosa, “Her job was ‘scheduling correspondent.’ She was supposed to respond to invitations received by Vice President Gore. But didn’t do her job – and that got everyone else in trouble.”

According to Cheryl Shavers, the former Under Secretary for Technology at the Commerce Department, where Omarosa worked for just several weeks in 2000, even after she was repositioned in yet another gig, “She was asked to leave as quickly as possible, she was so disruptive.” Shavers added, “One woman wanted to slug her.”

I completely understood the sentiment.

By the time Omarosa joined me on radio in 2009, she had already appeared on more than 20 reality shows (including “Surreal Life,”“Fear Factor”and“Girls Behaving Badly”). One of the twists in her life – and the primary reason to bring her on as a guest – was that she had enrolled in divinity school at the United Theological Seminary in Ohio.  In 2012, she was officially ordained a minister.

The interview she conducted under my watch was by a landline from her home in California.  As we proceeded, she grew more and more irritated – with me, with the hosts – spewing insults during breaks.  “These hosts are really stupid.”  “What a waste of time.”  And finally, “I don’t know why I agreed to do this.”

Each and every time she bashed someone new – that is, my people, the guys I worked with every day – my adrenaline soared.  Them were fightin’ words!

“If it’s so bad,” I suggested, “why don’t you just hang up?”

At which point she flung the words, “You’re a fucking moron.” I flung an F-bomb back at her, the first and only time I ever did so with any guest.

“On second thought,” I added, “I’ll hang up first.”  Then I did.  Of course, now I had to explain to the remaining hosts what happened.  Some, like Bill Meyer at KMED in Medford, Oregon – one of the nicest, hardest-working hosts in the business – asked me on the air to tell the story.

“Omarosa was true to her reputation,” I said, telling the timeline of events.  “Ironically,” I added, “she came to promote her book The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off (Phoenix Books, 2008), informing women how to locate their ‘inner bitch.’”

Thanks Omarosa. You inspired me to find mine.

Bernadette Duncan can be contacted at 413-565-5413.

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Category: Features