BOCA RATON — What was to be a quiet half-hour interview filmed by the BBC has become a big to do at the fancy Boca Raton Resort & Club.
Resort officials actually turned down the British network’s request to film on their sprawling property, never mind that any BBC documentary provides free worldwide publicity.
If you believe the subject of the shoot, local PR man Thomas Madden, it’s because he was to be interviewed about a book he wrote on President Donald Trump.
The resort’s honchos said “no” to access despite the fact Madden has been a member of the club for 15 years after paying a $50,000-initiation fee and spending upward of $20,000 a year on the grounds.
Here is one passage in the email from the Waldorf Astoria Hotels resort lawyer Robert Rubenstein on why:
“It is my understanding that the book you are promoting is about President Trump and frankly, I am leery of the topic,” Rubenstein wrote in his email to Madden. “We live in a polarized time where corporations need to walk a neutral line so as to avoid upsetting any group which may have an emotionally charged interest.”
Here’s the thing about the book written by Madden — Is There Enough Brady in Trump To Win The Unsuperable Bowl? (Brady in the headline is New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, btw!): It’s neither for or against Trump. The tome, which hit Amazon today, is a collection of Madden’s blog entries about the election and the country’s reaction to Trump.
“This incident with the resort illustrates perfectly the premise of the book,” Madden said. “It’s critical of Trump’s handling of the immigration issue, and it’s complimentary of Trump for his being flexible in his approach.
“Actually, I voted for Hillary (Clinton). So, it’s pretty balanced. But the book also talks about the anxiety that Trump’s name is causing. The resort isn’t biased against Trump. They’re just fearful, and it’s silly.”
In an email to Gossip Extra, Rubenstein cited another passage in his email, about how the BBC refused to sign a waiver in case of damages as well as the BBC’s request to worldwide rights to pictures of the resort.
“The Boca Raton Resort & Club was not able to allow filming of this documentary due to contractual issues with the BBC related to rights and usage of the club’s image,” Rubenstein wrote. “The Boca Raton Resort & Club maintains a politically-neutral stance and the decision to not allow filming was not related to the documentary’s content.”
Said Madden: “It’s a cop-out and they know it. As a member, I’d pay if someone I invite to the resort breaks a glass. I just thought it’d be nice to make Boca Raton look good on foreign TV, but we’ll film poolside at my condo building over the weekend.”
Incidentally, the interview is scheduled to be conducted by Lynn Aronberg, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. Lynn told us when she filed for divorce in February that her support for Trump and scorn from the husband’s Democratic supporters weighed heavily in her decision to file.