Monday, May 23, 2016

1646 The Envelope Please

It’s in the constitution, in the bill of rights.  You don’t think so? Look it up:  Everyone gets a trophy.

Our founding fathers, anticipating children and adults with feelings of inferiority and a lack of self esteem would need a boost, ranked the right to trophies right up there with freedom of speech, religion and heat-packing.

What foresight!

Getting prizes for showing up or trying reallyreally hard to connect bat with ball even if unsuccessful are nothing new.

And and prizes for the un-prizeworthy are not just for slackers and laggards.  Did you know that Abraham Lincoln got an award for perfect attendance in Sunday school?

Or that Donald Trump got an award for trying reallyreally hard to have nicely trimmed fairways and greens at his golf courses.

More about that later.

There are some truly meaningful awards.  The Medal of Honor. The Nobel in any field, even dumb ones. National medals in science.  The Intel Prize.

But most awards are nothing more than institutions patting themselves on the back.  It’s better, of course, to win an Oscar than not.  Or a Pulitzer.  But after that, we’re heading in the general direction of the Pillsbury Bakeoff or Wendy’s Employee of the Week.

In TV we have a saying about the Emmys. They’re like a head cold.  Eventually, everybody gets one.

All of which brings us back to the prestigious American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and its coveted Star Diamond Awards.

What! You mean you’ve never heard of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences?  For shame.  You can find it’s website here .  If you click on the site you’ll find a lot of pictures of fancy places and fancy people. Lotsa Trump on that site, too.

But if you click on the link to find out who runs this place -- their trustees, you’ll find the link doesn’t exist.

Well, no matter. At least we know who the chief cook and bottle washer is, Joseph Cinque.  Mr. Cinque is known in the trade as a mover, shaker and Very Important Person.  He also is known as “Joey No Socks.”  

And the Academy is headquartered at his Central Park South apartment in Manhattan.

The Associated Press reports he is a convicted felon. And Yahoo News, quoting sources at the Academy, mentions he is a one of “Trump’s dear friends.”

Trump was once and still may be a member of that can’t-be-found board of trustees. His title was “Ambassador Extraordinaire.” His properties have won many of those Coveted Star Diamond Awards.

And of course there’s absolutely, positively, certainly no connection with someone on the board getting fists full of awards from it.  Positively. Absolutely.

Trump has described Cinque thus: “There’s nobody like him.  He’s a special guy.”

But, shockingly, he now has changed his tune.  Now, he tells the AP, he doesn’t “know they guy well” and “wasn’t aware of his criminal record.”

We’ve become accustomed to Trump’s 180 degree turns when questioned about actual issues and policies.  It’s nice to know that the same carries over into his business life.

Joey No Socks is not in the same league as Sammy the Bull or “Crazy Joe” Gallo or “Fat Tony” Salerno. But still… it’s an odd nickname.  And it’s an odd bedfellow for Trump.  But you can be sure it’s an award winning bed.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments (and send awards!) to

© WJR 2016

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