Trump Threatens “Saturday Night Live” with Federal Investigation for Mocking Him
President Donald Trump threatened comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” with a federal investigation for its consistent mockery of him.
In a pair of tweets early Sunday morning, President Donald Trump threatened to have the long-running NBC late night show, “Saturday Night Live,” investigated by a federal agency and blasted the show for having an unfair bias against his political party.
“It’s truly incredible that shows like ‘Saturday Night Live,’ not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of ‘the other side,’” the president wrote. “Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows. Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this? There must be Collusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia! Such one sided media coverage, most of it Fake News. Hard to believe I won and am winning. Approval Rating 52%, 93% with Republicans. Sorry! #MAGA”
The timing of Trump’s rant is all the more strange since SNL didn’t even air a new episode this weekend; it was a repeat that featured at least one Trump sketch (with Alec Baldwin reprising his role as Trump). New episodes will return March 30.
Federal Investigation of SNL Isn’t Necessary
Although entertainment programming mocking newsworthy figures is protected as free speech, Trump may be referring to the “equal time rule,” which mandates that U.S. broadcast TV stations give equal air-time opportunities to opposing political candidates in prime-time, if requested. However, Trump is president, not a candidate, and SNL airs late at night and is a satire.
There’s also the FCC’s “fairness doctrine,” a regulation that required networks to give balanced coverage to matters of public controversy. The FCC eliminated the policy in 1987.
Additionally, as any casual viewer knows, SNL has had a long and illustrious history portraying every current president on the show. Several presidents have taken it in stride, even meeting and greeting their esteemed comedic doppelgängers eventually in real life.
Nonetheless, it could be argued that SNL and its broadcast network NBC have long held a liberal slant, politically (although the Clintons and Obama didn’t escape unscathed). This may be reflected in its work and how they portray both sides of the political aisle .
The president’s fixation with SNL only exacerbates claims of his being egomaniacal, petty and frivolous—since there are naturally more pressing matters that the leader of the free world should be concerned with.
Trump has long slammed SNL, shown hostility toward mockery in general and is even known to hardly ever laugh. (“I’ve never seen him laugh. Not in public, not in private,” former FBI Director James Comey told ABC).
Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone has said Trump decided to run for president after President Obama mocked him at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner—a celebration and roast that Trump has refused to attend as president.