(Thanks to Gabe at Videogum for agreeing to host this -- I figured it'd be rejected by YouTube faster than Sinbad was by Donald Trump.)
Ever since I posted the supercut closest to my heart, "I'm Not Here To Make Friends," about two years ago, people have urged me to explore other reality show clichés via the medium. One repeated suggestion is, "Throw him/me under the bus." I've resisted so far because that seems like a phrase that extends way, way beyond reality TV in a way that "I'm not here to make friends," doesn't (it's just more practical in its potential use), and its obviousness is furthermore enough to make hunting down those clips a monumental task.
However, I started watching The Apprentice for the first time this season (mostly for Bret Michaels – I covered all three seasons of Rock of Love for work and loved every saliva/other stuff-drenched second of it), and was immediately taken by how often "under the bus" was said on this show alone. "Great, a wrap-up supercut of all the different utterances is how I'll cover the show!" I thought (at this point in my professional life, it feels very strange to follow a reality show and not write anything about it).
I was very happy with my idea until I realized it's been done before – officially by NBC last season, no less (though I have no idea how that NBC video played, though, because it is no longer available). I realized this midway through my clips-gathering and was tempted to scrap the idea immediately. But then it occurred to me that it's even more insane that this "under the bus" refrain is a phenomenon documented by a source as official as the channel that airs the show, and yet it endures in spades. Maybe these competing celebs aren't paying attention. Maybe they're being told by producers to say it whenever possible. Maybe they're self-scripting out of respect for the Donald (who has obvious affinity for the phrase). Maybe the very concept of being clichéd is lost on these people. Maybe throwing someone under the bus is as infectious as the negativity that precedes it (or the paranoia that causes accusing someone else of doing so).
Whatever. One thing's for sure: people say it a lot, and repetition is hilarious. That observation is a cliché, too, but one I embrace wholeheartedly.
Update: This is mind-blowing: according to Newsweek "William Safire, the author of Safire's Political Dictionary, traced the popularization of the phrase back to Cyndi Lauper, who jauntily tossed her critics 'under the bus' after the release of her debut album She's So Unusual in 1983." So that's why she says it so much! She's proud! [via the Videogum comments]