Obama Tells Memphis High School Grads: Aim Higher Than Reality Show

May 16, 2011
Originally published on May 16, 2011 3:29 pm

In his speech to the graduating class of Memphis' Booker T. Washington High School Monday, President Obama went beyond the prepared text handed out to reporters to make a shot at at reality TV that seemed relevant given Monday's Donald Trump news. The aside is in italics.

OBAMA: Education also teaches you the value of discipline — that the greatest rewards come not from instant gratification but from sustained effort and from hard work. This is a lesson that's especially true today, in a culture that prizes flash over substance, that tells us that the goal in life is to be entertained, that says you can be famous just for being famous.

I mean, you get on a reality show — don't know what you've done — suddenly you're famous. But that's not going to lead to lasting, sustained achievement.

The president, who recently skewered Trump's reality show stardom at White House Correspondents' Association dinner, may not have had the real estate developer in mind, since obviously Trump had achieved business success before becoming a TV star.

But it's probably safe to say nothing Trump has done recently would make Obama reconsider his view.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.