Every president is fair game on SNL for mockery. Apparently, no one prepped Donald Trump for this inevitability because when “Alex” Baldwin began doing his Trump impression (which Alec later described as “agony”), the then-president was incensed. The Daily Beast reminds everyone (since Trump’s Twitter account no longer exists) that he once tweeted how he wanted the feds to “look into” whether SNL was engaged in “[c]ollusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia!” He also complained, “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.”
Well, Trump apparently went further than tweeting and actually started pushing for an honest-to-god investigation on the issue. He was also, apparently, incredibly peeved with Jimmy Kimmel for taking shots at him during monologues (which, again, is customary and fair game because the U.S. doesn’t pull the Russian State Television thing, and that adds a whole other shade of irony to Trump’s complaints). Here’s how the Daily Beast describes what wheels Trump tried to put into motion:
According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump had asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the courts systems, and–most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants–the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers.
To those who heard it, Trump’s inquiries into what federal regulations could be used to bust the likes of Kimmel and SNL was more of a nuisance than a constitutional crisis. “It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,” one of these sources recalled. However, the conversations further showed, in the pettiest of ways, how the 45th U.S. president was keen on turning the country’s top law enforcers into something more akin to his own personally retained law firm.
The whole “more of a nuisance” than a “constitutional crisis” part is particularly telling, given that the Daily Beast spoke with sources who detailed how Trump was very confused and had to be told why SNL and late night sketches are protected as satire and don’t have to follow any “fairness doctrine” guidelines (which Trump mistakenly referred to as “equal time”), and he simply didn’t get it. A source told The Daily Beast that Trump persisted in asking, “Can something else be done about it?” This person claims that they tossed a form of “I’ll look into it” toward Trump, and that never happened because the Department of Justice doesn’t exactly dive into late-night comedy matters.
Of course, the takeaway here is that Trump can’t take a joke. He wanted to punish any comedy that was anti-Trump. One of his favorite words can be used to describe this situation: it’s pretty “sad.”
(Via The Daily Beast)