ABC Wonders If SNL Is ‘Going Too Far’ Attacking Trump; ‘Sacrificing Some Laughs Along the Way’

While the rest of the media were swooning over recent Saturday Night Live episodes almost exclusively devoted to anti-Trump sketches, Monday’s Good Morning America hit pause on that narrative, wondering if it’s “going too far” “pushing their politics” and “sacrificing some laughs along the way.”

Co-host and former Clinton administration spin doctor George Stephanopoulos surprisingly led the way, admitting that even though the show’s seeing a ratings bump, SNL could come crashing back to earth as “now critics suggest they may be pushing their politics too far sacrificing some laughs along the way.”

Chief national correspondent Tom Llamas followed with a full report, explaining to viewers that “SNL is doing more and more Trump sketches but some are saying the comedy is going from cutting to cruel.”

Llamas reported that the most recent episode “scoring their biggest audience in six years” with over “22 million clicks on YouTube to watch Melissa McCarthy spoof Press Secretary Sean Spicer.” However, Llamas conceded that “[t]rashing Trump may be ratings gold for SNL, but now some are asking are they going too far?”

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Llamas expounded upon the controversial sketching featuring Kate McKinnon as Trump counsel and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway embodying “Glenn Close in her 1987 film Fatal Attraction as she stalked CNN’s Jake Tapper (played by Beck Bennett).

“The sketch painting Conway as violent, graphic, sexual. At one point, she falls from a window only to come back to life...New York magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi, who covers Trump, tweeting: ‘SNL just gave a gift to the White House with this sexist, unfunny Kellyanne Conway skit,’” Llamas added.

Llamas concluded that the real-life Conway told ABC that she wasn’t bothered and seemed to be a good sport about it. 

Stephanopoulos reappeared with far-left comedian/pundit Dean Obeidallah, who loved how SNL has gone extremely political in their sketches. Concerning the Conway sketch, Obeidallah shamelessly saw no problem with it:

At the end of the day, Kellyanne Conway in that sketch, she has the last laugh. She gets up. She says, I'll see you on TV. I think it was actually really well done and I think in today's day and age, comedy is cathartic. We need to be laughing at the Trump administration for those people who don't like the Trump administration. It's a release and makes you feel good. I think it’s empowering. And I think it’s really important, I think it was really well done. 

When even Stephanopoulos hinted that perhaps SNL should be concerned that they’re “going to the well too many times,” Obeidallah misread his question and instead fawned over how the NBC program now mocks a number of other people in the administration besides the President.

“I bet you they're disappointed Trump didn't tweet after the show afterwards...In fact, I want him to mock me on Twitter. It’s good for business. So, if he's watching, @DeanOfComedy, come right after me. But I think that, on some level, SNL is doing us a great service. It's making people laugh at a time when we really need to laugh,” Obeidallah ruled with a Trumpian tone.

Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl joined the conversation near the end of the segment, vehemently disagreeing with Obeidallah about the “mean-spirited” Conway bit:

I don't think it was funny. It seemed to be incredibly mean-spirited. This is somebody who has young children and also just didn't — you know, what makes SNL so funny when they cut a little bit towards the truth. That was just not an accurate portrayal of Conway. I mean, she is somebody who actually is pushed to do more television by the President. Somebody who the President wanted to be the press secretary. The President wanted her to be out there nonstop. She has many more requests to go on television than those that she actually accepts.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from ABC’s Good Morning America on February 13:

ABC’s Good Morning America
February 11, 2017
7:20 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: 7:31 AM “SNL” Takes on Trump]

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming up, Saturday Night Live seeing a ratings spike by taking on President Trump but are they going too far?

(....)

7:31 a.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s take a look at Saturday Night Live.  They have been taking on Trump and his staff in a big way, getting a big ratings boost but now critics suggest they may be pushing their politics too far sacrificing some laughs along the way.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New This Morning: “SNL” Takes on Trump; Has Showed Pushed Its Politics Too Far?]

(....)

TOM LLAMAS: Now, SNL is doing more and more Trump sketches but some are saying the comedy is going from cutting to cruel. 

(....)

LLAMAS: Saturday Night Live riding a ratings high. This past weekend scoring their biggest audience in six years. 

SNL’s TRUMP: Vladimir is an amazing person. He knows me better than anyone. 

LLAMAS: And it's not just on TV. More than 22 million clicks on YouTube to watch Melissa McCarthy spoof Press Secretary Sean Spicer. 

SNL’s SEAN SPICER: Because I came out here to punch you in the face and also I don't talk so good. 

LLAMAS: Trashing Trump may be ratings gold for SNL, but now some are asking are they going too far? 

(....)

LLAMAS: The show comparing President Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway to Glenn close in her 1987 film Fatal Attraction

GLENN CLOSE IN FATAL ATTRACTION: I'm not going to be ignored, Dan. 

LLAMAS: In the SNL bit, Conway upset CNN was not booking her for an interview. 

(....)

LLAMAS: The sketch painting Conway as violent, graphic, sexual. At one point, she falls from a window only to come back to life. 

SNL’s KELLYANNE CONWAY: See you on the news. 

LLAMAS: New York magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi, who covers Trump, tweeting: “SNL just gave a gift to the White House with this sexist, unfunny Kellyanne Conway skit.” For months, President Trump has tried to fight back against the show, tweeting: “Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!”

(....)

LLAMAS: But Spicer’s not laughing when it comes to other parts. 

SEAN SPICER: Saturday Night Live used to be really funny and I think there's a streak of meanness now that they've kind of crossed over into. 

(....)

LLAMAS: Now, this morning we do have a statement from Kellyanne Conway to ABC News on that Fatal Attraction sketch. Conway says, “I appreciate the ‘not funny, not fair’ outrage from all political and alpolitical corners. Things that aren't true don't bother.” 

(....)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in the Clinton White House, real outrage over the skit they did over Chelsea. They later had to apologize and stop doing it. In this case, did they go too far with Kellyanne?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH: I honestly don't think so.

(....)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the comedy even funny? 

OBEIDALLAH: To some people, yes. To others, it’s funny. At the end of the day, Kellyanne Conway in that sketch, she has the last laugh. She gets up. She says, I'll see you on TV. I think it was actually really well done and I think in today's day and age, comedy is cathartic. We need to be laughing at the Trump administration for those people who don't like the Trump administration. It's a release and makes you feel good. I think it’s empowering. And I think it’s really important, I think it was really well done. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: At some point, do they have to worry about going to the well too many times?

OBEIDALLAH: Sure and I think that’s why you see, you know, it's not just Alex Baldwin as Donald Trump. In this last show, they went after Sean Spicer, Jeff Sessions and Kellyanne Conway. So I think they're aware of that. It's funny. I bet you they're disappointed Trump didn't tweet after the show afterwards cause, have no doubt that, in your heart, you want Donald Trump to respond. In fact, I want him to mock me on Twitter. It’s good for business. So, if he's watching, @DeanOfComedy, come right after me. But I think that, on some level, SNL is doing us a great service. It's making people laugh at a time when we really need to laugh. 

(....)

JONATHAN KARL: But I got to say on the Kellyanne Conway sketch, I don't think it was funny. It seemed to be incredibly mean-spirited. This is somebody who has young children and also just didn't — you know, what makes SNL so funny when they cut a little bit towards the truth. That was just not an accurate portrayal of Conway. I mean, she is somebody who actually is pushed to do more television by the President. Somebody who the President wanted to be the press secretary. The President wanted her to be out there nonstop. She has many more requests to go on television than those that she actually accepts. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Dean, Saturday Night Live not going to stop. 

OBEIDALLAH: I hope not. I think we need it. Come on, SNL! More jokes. It’s good for us. It’s a lot of fun. Ratings, 22-year high. So, it's a great time for SNL.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections Media Bias Debate Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Sexuality Feminism ABC Good Morning America NBC Saturday Night Live Video George Stephanopoulos Jake Tapper Olivia Nuzzi Jonathan Karl Tom Llamas Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway Sean Spicer Kate McKinnon Dean Obeidallah
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