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SNL captures Trump's crazy logic

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In the latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open skit, actors portraying Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx get a surprise gift from audience members.

Posted: Dec 14, 2020 3:21 PM
Updated: Dec 14, 2020 3:21 PM

"Saturday Night Live" didn't need Alec Baldwin appearing as Donald Trump to fillet the lame-duck President and one of his main media allies for bogus claims of election fraud. Instead, SNL came up with a parody sports show to make the case that Team Trump's claims are so outrageous that they're laughable.

The SNL sketch focused on Newsmax, the staunchly pro-Trump cable network that on Friday featured an anchor declaring, "it's not over," even after the US Supreme Court decision ended what was viewed as Trump's last legal option to overturn the 2020 election. The pro-Trump host wrongly claimed that the election results have "not been settled" yet in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. (In reality, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have certified their election results.)

The comedy show, though, took on much more than just the Trump-recommended Newsmax, also going after many of the fact-free claims made by Trump and his allies. The sketch began with the voiceover, "Real Americans are switching from Fox News to Newsmax because Newsmax tells them the truth: that Donald Trump could still win this election." Then came the announcement of the launch of "Sportsmax...The network for real Jets fans, giving you the truth about America's favorite football team." For those who don't follow the NFL, the New York Jets have lost all of their games played so far this season and "boast" the worst record of any team in the league. To say the Jets are awful is being kind. But on "Sportsmax," the anchors are spinning a different reality: The Jets are the biggest winners! (I'm sure you get where this is going.)

One of the anchors on faux Sportsmax began by slamming the "mainstream sports networks like ESPN" for claiming that the Jets are winless. This prompted another pro-Jets "anchor" to angrily declare, "The truth is, the Jets have already won 11 games this season!" In support, the anchor presented a graphic showing the Jets were up by three points over the Buffalo Bills at the end of the first quarter in a recent game. He added that then "something very suspicious happened," noting how suddenly the Bills scored more points in the final three quarters, concluding: "Either the Jets won three to nothing or this whole game is rigged."

This laughable claim mirrors Trump's own repeated idiocy that he won the election because he was leading at "10 o'clock" on election night, but then "very weird things happen" that led him to lose the so-called rigged election. Obviously, just like with the NY Jets versus the Bills, the winner is not the person leading a quarter of the way through the vote counting.

One of the funniest lines in the sketch took aim at Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani's claim that he has affidavits supporting Trump's claim he won. Giuliani -- who was discharged from hospital Wednesday after treatment for Covid-19 -- was on Fox News earlier Saturday claiming he possesses "1,000 affidavits from witnesses in 6 different states" that back Trump's (baseless) allegations of voter fraud.

On SNL, a so-called Jets expert, played by host Timothée Chalamet, boasted that "I have sworn affidavits from 500 Jets fans who swear they witnessed the Jets win." Chalamet then remarked, in the fashion we typically see from Trump defenders in the media who are big on passion but short on facts: "Let's look at this logically. Only a really bad team would only score three points during a football game, and the Jets are the greatest team ever...So something's not adding up here!"

But it was the words of SNL cast member Pete Davidson, who appeared as another "expert," that sounded like the type of gaslighting we've heard over and over from Trump's allies. Davidson assured the viewers that despite what the media is claiming, the Jets are going to win it all, declaring, "Long story short, the Jets are going to the Super Bowl. That's a promise."

Just hours before SNL aired, Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn -- recently pardoned in a Trump tweet after lying to the FBI -- delivered a similar message. Speaking to a pro-Trump rally in Washington D.C., Flynn told the crowd, "On a scale of one to ten, who will be the next president of the United States? I say Donald Trump. Ten. A ten." All that was missing was Flynn then yelling out, "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"

On SNL, this is funny. In the real-world, Trump's claims of voter fraud -- that he has been unable to prove in any court in America -- are dangerous. We don't know the full extent to which Trump's lies about this election have eroded faith in our democracy. But we shouldn't have any problem believing that Trump would claim the NY Jets have already won the Super Bowl if he believed it would help him personally -- and that some of his media allies would tragically amplify that lie. That should worry all Americans who believe in our democracy.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
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Spencer310734
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Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
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Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
Summit548531041
Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
Lorain30438525
Warren29170326
Mahoning25988629
Clermont24726278
Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
Unassigned05
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