"Saturday Night Live" continued to satirize President Donald Trump over the weekend, with the president's subsequent call for "retribution" prompting a backlash over First Amendment rights.
"Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC!" Trump tweeted Sunday. On the show, Alec Baldwin mimicked Trump declaring a national emergency Friday over the proposed border wall, with the "Weekend Update" segment also lampooning the speech, and a final bow in which host Don Cheadle wore a jersey bearing the Russian-language initials of the former Soviet Union, and on the back the name "Trump" and the number 45.
"Question is," the president’s tweet continued, "how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? Likewise for many other shows? Very unfair and should be looked into. This is the real Collusion!"
Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu, responding on Twitter, wrote, "One thing that makes America great is that the people can laugh at you without retribution. The First Amendment allows Saturday Night Live to make fun of you again, and again, and again. You should read the Constitution, or get briefed on it."
The American Civil Liberties Union wrote simply, "It's called the First Amendment."
A unanimous Supreme Court ruling in 1988 reaffirmed that satire and parody are protected speech.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, responding to a subsequent Trump tweet calling the media "the enemy of the people," wrote, "Those who love our Constitution know that its first amendment protects the freedom of the press. The media informs the people so we can hold our government accountable. To call them the enemy is to seek to subvert democracy itself."
In the cold open, Amityville and Massapequa native Baldwin parodied the president's controversial declaration of a national emergency, saying, "You can all see why I gotta fake this national emergency, right? I have to because I want to. It's really simple."
He later imitated Trump's singsong prediction on Friday that he would be sued, ruled against twice, and would eventually win over the issue in the Supreme Court. In Baldwin's version, "I'll immediately be sued, and the ruling will not go in my favor, and then I end up in the Supreme Court, and then I'll call my buddy Kavanaugh and I'll say it's time to repay the Donnie."
"Weekend Update" co-anchor Colin Jost commented of the original Trump version saying, "Watching him it was like if 'Schoolhouse Rock' had a stroke."