Censoring SNL Threatens Us All
By David L. Shadrick
It has been my position to let things unfold as they will and allow history to be the final judge of the Donald Trump legacy. I find it hard to criticize the splinter in his eye with the log in my own bulging out so obviously. However, the suggestion by Trump, that Saturday Night Live scripts should be subjected to government censorship because they are “lobbying efforts” by the Democratic Party has to be addressed. He has gone too far.
Satire as Tradition
The idea that anyone who disagrees with Trump’s position must be silenced is so anti-American that I feel I must speak out. Satire should never be the target of government censorship, it is a tradition of protest as old as government itself.
Bits and Pieces
Trump spends more time attacking the press and the media than he does the world’s worst autocrats; men known to kill and torture reporters and citizens alike. In fact, recently a Washington Post reporter, Jamal Khashoggi, was lured by Saudi Arabian officials into a Turkish embassy where he was attacked and sawed into disposable pieces while alive, and distributed all across Turkey. If it’s okay to kill a reporter, how far are we away for killing a comedian?
What I’m complaining about here isn’t Trump’s politics, it’s the idea that a leader should never have to listen to criticism. No president, conservative or liberal, should have any say in what comedians do to exercise their free speech. Yes, Trump’s attacks on Alec Baldwin are childish and moronic. But Trump has learned to weaponize his attacks and since he has become president he brandishes the power of the presidency with unrestrained hate and anger. Trump’s constant incendiary rhetoric against the media and the press are doing real damage to the country. Now his attacks are creating a new threat, government censorship of a comedy show.
Trump is a Crybaby
The threats and tantrums coming from President Trump over an SNL skit prove he can’t take a joke. This isn’t a Conservative phenomenon, it’s a Trump thing. Both Bushes loved the lampooning, the elder Bush even invited Dana Carvey to the White House, specifically to make fun of him! Only Trump feels he should use government censorship to stop the mean kids from teasing him.
Only The Good
Trump now wants to pressure and censor networks into saying only good things about him. Using Presidential power to threaten free speech and practice government censorship because you are thinned thin skin is unsettling. It is just part of a long pattern of attacks on the press by Trump. His twitter attacks against the media as the “enemy of the people” and propagators of “fake news” is dangerous.
I just wonder if Donald Trump understands how government censorship could affect FOX News. If SNL can’t promote Liberal views it follows that FOX can’t promote Conservative views. It doesn’t matter how you lean politically, everyone has the First Amendment to the Constitution to protect expression of their opinion, no matter how stupid or funny. In reverse, everyone has the right to respond to stupidity.
A Wall Across The Border Of Criticism
To President Trump everything is an attack. If the message doesn’t follow the Trump line, an overblown and inappropriate response is all Trump seems to have as a plan. That plan of attack includes use of government censorship.
The Influence of Roy Cohn
The strategy was one advanced by old Trump ally and personal attorney, Roy Cohn. Cohn was a nasty, vile, attack dog of an attorney. For twenty years Cohn was That Trump’s chief hatchet man. Cohn’s motto was “attack, counter attack, and never apologize”. This philosophy would include government censorship and might work for a pugnacious casino owner, but as president of the United States it is a failed strategy.
Just Spell My Name Right
Another Cohn fundamental belief embraced by Trump to this day is the belief that all publicity is good. Put those beliefs together, and we have potential dynamite. It is all about the moment. Of course, Trump’s overblown and inappropriate response is Roy Cohn theatrics at its best. Threaten potential government censorship enough times loudly enough and he is likely to garner loud support from his hypnotized supporters.
Grow A Pair!
Finally, grow up, Donny! If you don’t want to hear negative comments you shouldn’t look for them. Don’t watch SNL. It is not required. If you don’t want to have your feelings hurt, don’t watch the show. But, if you decide to watch, laugh and learn. If you don’t like what the New York Times writes, don’t read it. It’s time for you to man up, grow some grapefruits and leave your threats of government censorship in the back of your head instead of the tip of your tongue, or your tiny twitter fingers.