President Trump Executive Order Bans Saturday Night Live-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
President Trump signed an executive order banning Saturday Night Live after the show repeatedly targeted him with satire and parody.
A fake news website is behind false reports that President Trump signed an executive order banning Saturday Night Live.
The story originated at the St. George Gazette website — which is mocked-up to look like a credible, local media outlet — under the headline, “Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Cancelling Saturday Night Live.” The article begins:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Today President Donald Trump made what could very well prove to be the most controversial move of his presidency by signing Executive Order 14838, which cancels the television show Saturday Night Live, or SNL. Under the new order, it is now illegal for any private or federally funded agency to air or show footage of the popular television show in any format. Any company or individual who violates this order can now face fines of up to $250,000 and five years in federal prison.
During the press conference today, Trump explained that his decision was based on a personal belief that the show is “divisive” and “contrary to America’s deepest held values.”
The story was quickly viewed more than 5,000 times within the first 24 hours of publication. Because the St. George Gazette doesn’t clearly identified itself as satire or fake news, many were misled into believing that the president had actually sign an executive order banning Saturday Night Live.
The official White House webpage listing all executive orders is a great place to start whenever you see questionable stories about President Trump signing an executive order. In this case, no such order banning Saturday Night Live exists.
The federal government is not allowed to ban television shows because of free speech protections under the First Amendment. However, networks sometimes voluntarily pull episodes of television shows if they stir public outrage or controversy. Again, that didn’t happen in this case, and this report should be regarded as “fiction.”