In an interview with New York City’s AM 970 this weekend, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the media – particularly those reporters who make their living in the White House press pool – is unbelievably biased against conservatives and, in particular, anyone who works for this president.
“The level of vitriol that exists within – especially the press corps that’s in the White House – the elite media, the folks that have occupied the main stage of journalism in that room, the front few rows, who I think have a personal animus towards the president and anybody who works for him,” Spicer said. “They don’t like conservatives in general and I think that they in particular really don’t like this president. And it shows every single day.”
Spicer was also critical of another media institution: NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The comedy show managed to get plenty of mainstream attention thanks to Melissa McCarthy’s impression of Spicer, which included a motorized podium and lots of angry gun chewing, but the former press secretary thinks SNL has jumped the shark in the Trump era.
“Growing up, I think for so many of us, ‘Saturday Night Live’ has been iconic with funny skits and being able to poke fun at folks,” he said. “I think they’ve kind of crossed that line and become an agenda-based show now where they are clearly in the camp of not being funny as much as personally attacking the president and the folks around him in a very mean-spirited way.”
It’s hard to disagree with Spicer on either count; there are people in the press pool like CNN’s Jim Acosta who not only consider themselves enemies of this administration but actual actors in a morality play where Trump represents the ultimate evil. As for SNL, one only needs to watch one or two of their cold openings from last season to understand that they don’t consider Trump a figure to be lampooned, even in the way they handled George W. Bush or Sarah Palin. They want to cut him down with every lame joke they make, and Alec Baldwin is the perfect, mean-spirited outlet for their “comedy.”
We suppose there’s some kind of audience for this crap – hell, Stephen Colbert’s late-night Trump-bashing show is killing Jimmy Fallon in the ratings – but it’s going to be hard to come back from the edge. SNL, much like the major cable news networks and newspapers, is becoming a show meant only for Democrats. Once the Trump phenomenon is over, are viewers going to stay tuned?
For “Saturday Night Live,” the slump can be fixed with some new writers and cast members. They’ve come back from the brink more than once.
For NBC, CNN, and The New York Times? All we can say is: Good luck with that.