Donald Trump threatens 'Saturday Night Live' with federal investigation for mocking him

Ben Arnold
Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump (Credit: NBC)

Donald Trump has threatened an investigation into Saturday Night Live’s persistent mocking of him on US TV.

The US president tweeted yesterday that the ‘Federal Election Commission and/or FCC’ should look into the veteran comedy show.

NBC didn’t even air a new show on Saturday night, rather a repeat of the 2018 Christmas episode which parodied It’s a Wonderful Life in its opening skit, in which Trump never became president and all those around him were infinitely happier because of it.

However, seeing the episode clearly upset the president, who angrily tweeted about it.

“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.’ Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows,” he wrote.

“Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this? There must be Collusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia! Such one sided [sic] media coverage, most of it Fake News. Hard to believe I won and am winning. Approval Rating 52%, 93% with Republicans. Sorry! #MAGA.”

The claimed figure of his 52 percent approval rating clashes with other polls which see him with a 39 percent approval, and 57 percent disapproval, according to Gallup. One Rasmussen poll found him with 52 percent approval, but this was in early February.

Donald Trump (Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Mart)

Trump has been railing at SNL more and more in recent weeks.

In February, he called the show a ‘total republican hit job’, and once again called the media ‘the enemy of the people’.

Alec Baldwin, who plays Trump on the show, later rebuked the president, tweeting: “I wonder if a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?”

In answer as to whether the show is allowed to mock the president with impunity, American Civil Liberties Union simply tweeted: “It’s called the First Amendment.”

Meanwhile, legal columnist Elura Nanos told Law&Crime: “Comedy programs are under exactly zero legal obligation to be even-handed in their satire, regardless of whether the butt of their jokes is a political figure.

“Similarly, news programs are legally permitted to be as one-sided as they like. As an agency of the federal government, the FCC must adhere to the limitations set out by the First Amendment — which means that censoring speech based on its political content is as illegal as it gets.

“Tempting as it is to focus on the silliness of Trump’s thin skin, his tweets are disturbing on a much deeper level in that they evidence a complete lack of familiarity with the basics of media law and free speech.”