01:34 - Source: CNN
'SNL' mocks Trump's Twitter use

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Dean Obeidallah: In his "SNL" tweets, Donald Trump doesn't get the joke -- he is the joke

Comedians making fun of presidents is "as American as apple pie," he writes

Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM’s radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @TheDeansreport. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

CNN  — 

Here we go again: another “Saturday Night Live” sketch and another tweet from Donald Trump complaining about how that iconic comedy show is unfairly mocking him. Trump is quickly becoming the “whiner in chief,” at least when it comes to comedians poking fun at him. You would think a person who will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States next month would be too busy to watch and critique a comedy show as “unwatchable and totally biased,” but not Trump.

Dean Obeidallah

Instead the President-elect took to Twitter at 12:13 a.m. ET to slam the show for its latest comedic takedown, which featured Alec Baldwin as Trump being distracted by his Twitter feed in the midst of a national security briefing. Trump’s taking to Twitter to attack “SNL” is hilariously ironic, given that the “SNL” sketch Trump was upset about had slammed him for being too focused on tweeting and not enough on preparing to be our next President. Trump was unintentionally making “SNL’s” very point!

A recent poll found that 59% of Americans want Trump to stop tweeting and delete his Twitter account. That’s Trump’s call.

Now if Trump had not been the guy who had slammed “SNL” in the past – including calling in October for the decadeslong TV show to be canceled because he was upset with the way they had mocked him – Trump’s tweet could be construed as him being in on the joke. But Trump is not in on the joke, he is the joke.

Trump lashing out at comedians who dare to ridicule him is nothing new. Years before running for office, Trump went after Jon Stewart, who at the time was still hosting “The Daily Show,” numerous times on Twitter after the late-night host comically crushed him.

In 2011, after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner where Seth Meyers stung Trump with jokes mocking him as politically inexperienced and racist , we saw Trump lash out at Meyers, calling him a “stutterer.” And in a stunning 2013 twist, Trump actually sued Bill Maher for $5 million after the comedian joked that Trump was “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”

Did any of these comedians stop mocking Trump after his public or legal attacks? Nope. In fact, these comedians arguably all intensified their ridicule of Trump.

That is what Trump doesn’t get. If you tell comedians they can’t mock something they will do it even more. As a comedian myself, I can vouch for that firsthand. It’s part of our DNA. This is especially true when the person we’re mocking is in a position of power, much less the President of the United States, the leader of the free world. In fact, this morning Alec Baldwin taunted Trump with a tweet of his own in response to Trump’s attack of his “SNL” performance: “Release your tax returns and I’ll stop. Ha”

Trump’s dislike of being lampooned is so sincere that even his own family is apparently aware of it. Over the weekend a comedian friend of mine, Mo Amer, found himself seated next to the President-elect’s son, Eric, on a long flight. During their conversation, Amer mentioned that he’s the opening act for Dave Chappelle’s comedy tours, which caused Eric to reportedly comment that he hoped Chappelle would “take it easy” on his father. Amer responded the same way any comedian would, by telling Eric that comedians will not “take it easy” on a President Trump, just like we wouldn’t take it easy on any president.

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    Even Sarah Palin, who possibly was the most comically roasted politician in modern day politics, rolled with the punches. She never demanded comedians or “SNL” stop telling jokes about her. In fact, Palin was such a good sport she even appeared on “SNL” to laugh off the jokes.

    But not Trump. This thin-skinned, Twitter-obsessed, vindictive President-elect instead can’t stop taking to Twitter to whine about “SNL.” If Trump, however, thinks his whining about “SNL” or comedians mocking him will stop us from doing so, he’s not only wrong, but he’s also inspiring us to step it up even more. Remember Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush or Will Ferrell as George W.? Mocking the President is as American as apple pie. It’s that simple.