Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic portrait of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, on a quest to find President Trump, was a highlight of SNL’s latest episode — and the outtakes from the Manhattan Spicey shoot may be even funnier than what was aired.
The continuing fiasco of the president’s decision to fire James Comey has revealed secret taping in the Trump White House, at least according to those @realDonaldTrump tweets. (Of course, those tweets are as likely to be true as anything else uttered by Trump, meaning not too likely.) For press secretary Sean Spicer that requires covering up, obfuscating, and stonewalling Watergate-style, which is horrifying as White House conduct — and comedy gold for Stephen Colbert.
Poor Sean Spicer: Sometimes, as Danziger records, the White House press secretary plays the liar, and sometimes he plays the fool. It can’t be much fun on that podium.
When Sarah Huckabee Sanders shows up unexpectedly on the White House press podium, the Saturday Night Live press corps feels a sudden twinge of hope. But Sean Spicer (Melissa McCarthy) is lurking in the bushes outside, and swiftly barges in, wielding a fire extinguisher to reassert control.
For the truly gullible, the White House brought forth that letter on the Comey firing from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — prompting Colbert to snark that the Department of Justice should be renamed “the Department of Justification.”
On ‘The Simpsons,’ Trump ruminates: “One hundred days in office, so many accomplishments. Lowered my golf handicap. My Twitter following increased by 700. And finally, we can shoot hibernating bears.”
In the Saturday Night Live cold open, Trump (Baldwin) complains about the dictator of North Korea. “He’s a war monger, he’s quick to anger, he’s a huge narcissist, he’s got a stupid little haircut, why would they let a man like that run an entire country?” Then he gets down to real business, the simmering feud between the spectral, demonic Bannon (Mikey Day) and Jared Kushner, played with aplomb by guest host Jimmy Fallon in a blazer and flak jacket.
“Jared, you’re such an inspiration,” the president gushes. “You showed everybody that if you were born rich and marry my daughter, you can do whatever you want.”
On the first day of Passover, Spicer attempted to cast Syria’s Bashar Assad, who recently used sarin gas on his own citizens, as more evil than Hitler. He did this by misrepresenting the Holocaust. “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said during a press briefing. “You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Comparing Assad to Hitler, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said even the Nazi dictator “didn’t sink to using chemical weapons…on his own people” prompting accusations of Holocaust denial and demands for his firing. He made the remarks only hours before the second night of Passover, a Jewish holiday celebrating liberation from oppressors.
“I wish somebody would tell us straight up, what does it mean when you’re given immunity?” says Seth Meyers innocently as he opens a discussion of disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s failed attempt to win exemption from prosecution by offering testimony about the Trump campaign’s Russian contacts. Naturally, he turns to Flynn himself, […]
The press. Government employees. Non-partisan government agencies helmed by Republicans. All of them are now being portrayed by the administration as unworthy of the public trust, because they put out information damaging to the president.
Perhaps nowhere outside the West Wing is that retreat more apparent than at the State Department, which for the first six weeks of the Trump administration essentially shut off all communication with the public and the press.
Now the collective outrage about President Trump’s many attempts to bully journalists needs to be institutionalized. It needs to be backed up by the power and prestige of the country’s largest news organizations. In other words, it’s time for institutions to take collective action and fight back.
Do Trump and his associates have something to hide — something even bigger and uglier than Watergate? The ferocity of their reactions certainly arouses suspicion, and so did their peculiar effort to conceal the misconduct of fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, which they attempted to hide even from the hapless vice president.
Presidents from both parties have always enjoyed partisan cheerleaders in the press who will defend an administration from attacks and enthusiastically support its agenda. But what the Trump team is trying to assemble is something else entirely. It’s trying to build its own self-sustaining, hermetically sealed information bubble so that Trump, his aides, and his supporters don’t have to acknowledge everyday facts.
The ethics office has little enforcement power, but it can formally recommend disciplinary action if the White House does not act. That recommendation would not be binding, and the process would take until late April or early May. If the ethics office does formally recommend discipline, it would be up to the White House to decide any steps against Conway.
If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they’d read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration. Flynn’s not the first, and he’ll surely be far from the last, to learn that Trump’s insistence upon personal loyalty is a one-way street.
Imagine if Sean Spicer wrote a memoir about his time as press secretary? Oh, the tales he could tell from inside the White House. In only three weeks, he has certainly compiled enough shocking “insider” material for a surefire bestseller.
This current crisis of confidence is about an entire White House philosophy of dishonesty driven by Trump himself. And that certainly includes Trump TV surrogates such as Spicer and Miller, who are quickly amassing resumes built around pushing daily falsehoods. If news producers are avoiding Conway, they should also be pondering the worth of hosting Spicer and Miller.
President Trump, who spent 2016 chronically boasting about his ability to spike TV news ratings, clearly falls short of the ratings successes Obama posted early in his presidency. As the least popular new president in modern American history, Trump seems to having trouble connecting with the masses.
The February 12 edition marked Alec Baldwin’s record-breaking 17th appearance as SNL guest host. The actor showed up for the monologue as himself, although his Emmy-worthy portrayal of Trump does grace a later sketch, as the president attempts to defend his travel ban on The People’s Court (with a cameo by Beck Bennett as his “character witness” Putin).
It is frankly hard to get enough of Melissa McCarthy’s “Spicy,” the press secretary who performs a manic review of week three’s unfolding troubles, from the travel ban imposed on seven Muslim majority countries to Nordstrom’s rejection of the Ivanka fashion line.
Trevor Noah suspects the Ivanka blowup may hint at deeper political problems. “For someone who would have won the popular vote, Trump seems pretty unpopular! IIt must be those millions of dead illegal immigrants who aren’t buying Ivanka Trump shoes.”
In response to the Twitter comment Trump posted criticizing Nordstrom, White House spokesman Sean Spicer characterized the company’s action as a “direct attack” on the president’s policies. Nordstrom said it routinely cuts brands each year and that the decision to pass on the Ivanka Trump brand had been based on its performance.
Take the bogus Bowling Green massacre story, with the underlying wailing about how the evil, evil press didn’t report that Obama banned Muslims from Iraq afterward. The horrifying question: Is Conway just a liar, or is she so uninformed that she doesn’t know everything she said was untrue?
Melissa McCarthy’s dim, pugnacious, emotionally unstable screen persona engages the Spicer mode perfectly from the moment “he” steps to the podium to inform the stunned White House press corps that the briefing would begin with “an apology — from you to me” — which of course he doesn’t accept.