SNL and the President

With all that’s going on in the world—from climate change to wanton violence and political turmoil—I simply don’t have the energy to watch Saturday Night Live.

But President Donald Trump, who apparently has much more free time than most of us, is a regular viewer and critic of the show.

How else to explain Trump’s strange habit of taking to Twitter whenever the show skewers him? Trump did so again weekend, when the show mocked him with a rerun of an old Christmas episode based on the classic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

“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’,” Trump tweeted. “…Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”

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After my jaw dropped at the president’s suggestion that a comedy show should be federally investigated for telling jokes, I found myself wishing I could watch Saturday Night Live as faithfully as Trump does. When I was younger, stars like Eddie Murphy, Gilda Radner and John Belushi made the show into must-see TV for my generation.

Alas, I simply don’t have time to watch the show regularly these days.

Maybe it’s because I live in the real world, where white supremacists kill people in black churches in Charleston, in synagogues in Pittsburgh, and in mosques in New Zealand.

Maybe it’s because just blocks from my house in Philadelphia, a man was killed when he was shot twelve times in his car, and another man was wounded in a separate incident near a school where I mentor children.

Maybe I don’t have time to watch Saturday Night Live because I’m too busy working to feed my family, working to succeed in my career, and working, quite frankly, because unlike some people, I can’t afford to pay a bribe to get my kids into college.

I don’t have time to watch Saturday Night Live because I’m responsible for the life and safety of four people in my house. So how in the world does the president of the United States, who’s responsible for 327 million people, have time to watch Saturday Night Live, and even more time to tweet about it?

Apparently, the president has far too much idle time. But even more disturbing, the president does not seem to grasp the full meaning of his oath of office.

Saturday Night Live engages in free speech. That right is front and center in the document Trump swore to uphold and defend when he became president. It’s called the Constitution, and it is the foundation upon which all of our laws should be based.

So maybe instead of threatening federal investigations of comedy shows, Trump should call out the white nationalism that just cost 50 people their lives in New Zealand. Maybe he should make free treatment available for the thousands of Americans dying daily from opioid overdoses. Maybe he should come to Philadelphia and help us figure out why we’re still the poorest big city in America.

But whatever he does, I do know this much. If I don’t have time to watch Saturday Night Live, the president doesn’t have time to watch it either.

Listen to Solomon Jones weekdays from 10 to Noon on Praise 107.9 HD2

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