According to Nate Cohn of the New York Times, President Donald Trump assumed office with the lowest approval ratings ever in telephone surveys performed by Gallup. More recently, however, after the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Trump’s approval rating was at an all-time nadir at 38 percent. For all other presidents, though, approval ratings are at their peak within the first month of office.
Among the many people who disapprove of Trump being in office are prominent talk show hosts, including John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Samantha Bee. These satirists made their dislike of Trump and his actions quite clear before and after his election. For example, Oliver, from HBO’s Last Week Tonight, announced on February 12 that he had bought some commercial screen time from Fox News in between shows that Trump has been reputed to watch frequently. These commercials involve a cowboy spouting facts that are necessary qualifications to be President, facts that, based on interviews, the POTUS does not know.
One show in particular, however, deserves special attention: Saturday Night Live. Actor and comedian Alec Baldwin is almost legendary for his parodic portrayal of Donald Trump. The writers of the show exaggerate, through Baldwin, a few of Trump’s more outrageous claims and mock some members of his administration, such as Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Counselor Kellyanne Conway.
“[SNL] makes funny interpretations of the truth in my opinion,” said West Ranch High School sophomore Minjoon Kang. “The exaggeration of details and politicians is hilarious, and Alec Baldwin is a good representation of what Trump really is.”
President Trump, on the other hand, has tweeted multiple times castigating SNL for a “horrible cast,” as well as for being “not funny” – a fact that people who dislike Trump, of which there are many based on approval ratings, repudiate by their avid attention to the show.
While, for many people, the SNL skits are a point of humor in the midst of political turmoil, they also have the potential to make Trump supporters angry.
“The exaggerations on SNL humiliate and aggravate supporters while providing sympathy and humor for those opposing him,” Kang said. “But I think they are important because they change perceptions of who Trump really is and provide us with a bit of satirical humor.”
There isn’t much a Trump supporter can do to stop talk show hosts and SNL from mocking the POTUS and his administration, especially considering that the other side very much enjoys the shows. All are welcome to express their opinions, as always, yet people from every side should strive to learn what they can from these shows that amass millions of views online.