It's no mystery why President Trump wouldn't much care for this weekend's 'cold open' on Saturday Night Live, which borrowed from the Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life, to portray how much happier everyone would be if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency. That premise is probably the most laughable element of the whole sketch, which prompted a fiery and ridiculous presidential response:
Kellyanne Conway is soulless, Eric Trump is stupid, Justice Kavanaugh is a weepy meathead drunk, the Vice President is repressed, etc., etc. The tropes are stale and predictable. That's the comedy offense here, in my opinion. Also, depicting the First Lady as divorced from the president, and happily remarried to another wealthy and controversial man, in this alternate reality probably struck a lot of people as needlessly personal and mean-spirited. If Trump had simply ignored the sketch, or specifically objected to the barbs directed at his wife and family, he may have won over more defenders and sympathizers. Instead, he went with this:
A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Lame, lazy, partisan, paint-by-numbers comedy may be groan-worthy, but it's 100 percent protected by the First Amendment. Obviously. Even though that tweet doesn't seem terribly serious (the 'collusion' troll was a bit of a giveaway), it must be said that it's not healthy for public officials to be musing about weaponizing governmental power to limit or quell content they don't like. Many conservatives rightly ripped into a Congressional Democrat's recent sentiment, wishing he could regulate Fox News; adherence to principle calls for consistency. May I also remind the president that he literally hosted this show as a presidential candidate in 2015. SNL's writers may have committed the ultimate comedy crime of unfunniness, but they're fully in the clear, legally speaking. No court tests necessary. I'll leave you with this sentiment, which I endorse:
SNL needs competition.— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) December 16, 2018
The late night comedy scene has become an insufferable echo chamber of lefty pieties and anti-Trumpism. We get it, guys. We know exactly how you feel. Now please make us laugh.