President Donald Trump is demanding that something be done about “Saturday Night Live” and its ongoing skewering of his presidency.
Given his malapropisms and wildly false statements, the guess is SNL’s writers can’t type fast enough.
It’s a little shocking that a person born and raised in New York City, of all places, would be so thin-skinned, particularly when he doesn’t hesitate to punch downward.
It isn’t the first time the president has taken a whack at the the First Amendment, which protects not only the press but also your right to free speech without fear of government censorship.
He is ignoring his oath to uphold the Constitution. Even if you agree with his criticisms of media as “the enemy of the people,” it’s only a matter of time until someone else in power sets sight on the pundits and TV shows you like.
Every president — every single one — has been made fun of in some form. Frankly, it’s what makes America.
The late columnist Molly Ivins roasted George W. Bush’s presidency like it was made of mesquite. He probably still wakes up screaming.
Comedian and JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader’s “First Family” series, which made fun of the Kennedy clan, were among the best-selling albums of the 1960s. It’s said that Jacqueline Kennedy hated the albums, but the president, a good sport, remarked that Meader sounded “more like Teddy than me.“
The decade ended with candidate Richard Nixon doing a “Sock it to me?” cameo on “Laugh In,” shortly followed by President Nixon Halloween masks paired with striped jail outfits.
During a fishing trip, President Jimmy Carter used an oar to fend off a swimming rabbit that he claimed was being aggressive. Needless to say, the jokes wrote themselves. Carter was even made fun of for not cheating on his wife but confessing he had “lusted” in his heart.
A 1986 SNL skit lampooned Ronald Reagan as a docile old man in public and a evil mastermind behind closed doors. Others included Carter as an expert on LSD, the athletic Gerald Ford as a klutz, George H.W. Bush as a nebbish, Bill Clinton as insincere and lecherous, and George W. Bush as a supremely confident know-nothing.
Presidents are human, so there’s no doubt being made fun of stings on occasion. Barack Obama probably burned his “mom jeans” after they were declared a national fashion emergency.
Every black stereotype imaginable was hurled at Obama, who never responded publicly, giving opportunity for comedians Key & Peele to perform a gag as “Obama’s Anger Translator.“
Trump has ignored the White House Correspondents Dinner, the event where presidents are thoroughly drubbed, sometimes to their chagrin, and where civilian Trump was the butt of a joke delivered by Obama in 2011.
A historian will host this year’s dinner, which won’t remotely stop comedians from making presidential wisecracks.
Our culture is such these days that anyone who strides into the arena of public service is going to get egged, no matter what. The only thing that matters is whether a candidate supports the Constitution. All of it.
If you can’t take a punch, get out of the ring.
Charita M. Goshay is a columnist for GateHouse Media. She can be reached at [email protected]