Our notoriously thin-skinned president is at it again. Rather than paying attention to the important issues facing the country, he’s spending his time sending tweets whining about the unfair treatment he thinks he’s getting from late night TV hosts.
Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very "unfunny" & repetitive material, always anti-Trump! Should we get Equal Time?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
Now Mike DiCenzo, a writer and producer for NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, has responded to the president’s attack with a lesson that you would think that the ratings-obsessed former game show host would already know.
That's not how it works. You're not campaigning. You're the president. Now kindly stop tweeting nonsense and go do your job for once. https://t.co/KoKf0xUNdR
— Mike DiCenzo (@mikedicenzo) October 7, 2017
Every president has been the fodder for jokes by comedians both on late night TV and in prime time shows alike. No other president has ever been petty enough to be bothered about something that simply comes with the territory. Even President Nixon, who famously kept an “enemies list”, included only serious media journalists like Daniel Schorr on his list, not comedians (although he did see fit to include actor Paul Newman on the list.)
Trump’s call for “equal time” refers to a Federal Communications Commission rule that applies to broadcast channels using public airwaves only, not cable, satellite or internet delivered media. it states that these channels must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it. The equal-time rule was created because the FCC was concerned that broadcast stations could easily manipulate the outcome of elections by presenting just one point of view and excluding other candidates. SInce Trump is not in an election campaign, the rule simply does not apply.
The equal-time rule should not be confused with the Fairness Doctrine, which dealt with presenting balanced points of view on matters of public importance and was repealed under the Reagan administration. Neither rule was considered to apply to political comedy which has always been seen as a matter of free speech.
Luckily, the people behind the golden era of political satire that Trump has inspired are smart enough to know this and can call out the president on his misplaced priorities. Perhaps if Trump would spend more time reading policy briefings and less time watching TV and tweeting, he would be providing less material for late night comedians to lambast him with.