Alec Baldwin has decided not to ignore President Donald Trump’s criticism of Saturday Night Live. The actor who impersonates the president on the NBC comedy show spoke up hours after the president sent out a tweet criticizing SNL, characterizing it as a purveyor of “total Republican hit jobs” that the “Networks get away with” and don’t suffer any “retribution.” Trump said that media criticism of his administration is “very unfair,” “should be looked into” and amounts to “the real Collusion!” He then sent an all-caps tweet slamming the media as a whole: “THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
Baldwin took to Twitter to respond to the president’s comments later on Sunday. “I wonder if a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?” Baldwin wrote.
The actor responded to the president after many analysts and commentators blasted Trump for what seemed to be a pretty direct attack on the First Amendment. Although Trump’s attacks on the media are pretty common, it’s still an astounding aspect of this administration. “It’s worth remembering that no other president in decades publicly threatened ‘retribution’ against a television network because it satirized him,” wrote the New York Times’ Peter Baker.
Rep. Ted Lieu from California also responded to the president, saying that being on the receiving end of criticism just comes with the territory as commander in chief. “One thing that makes America great is that the people can laugh at you without retribution,” Lieu wrote. Many also pointed out that the president isn’t easing on the heated rhetoric against the media even after violence has been directed toward journalists in recent months.
Support our journalism
Help us continue covering the news and issues important to you—and get ad-free podcasts and bonus segments, members-only content, and other great benefits.Join Slate Plus