Report: Chrissy Teigen Wasn’t the Only Celebrity Trump Tried to Censor for Being Mean to Him
Earlier this month we learned, during a congressional hearing, that in September 2019, the White House demanded Twitter remove a tweet from Chrissy Teigen calling Donald Trump a “pussy ass bitch.” As Anika Collier Navaroli, a former employee of the company, told lawmakers: “We’d received a request from the White House to make sure we evaluated this tweet, and they wanted it to come down because it was a derogatory statement directed at the president.” Later, in another exchange with a House representative, Navaroli read the full tweet into the congressional record:
Anyway, we were reminded of this—this being President PAB having the thinnest skin known to man—thanks to a new report re: the previously unknown lengths Trump apparently went to try to get late-night host Jimmy Kimmel to stop making fun of him.
As Rolling Stone reported over the weekend, in early 2018, the then president had become “so upset by Kimmel’s comedic jabs that he directed his White House staff to call up one of Disney’s top executives in Washington, DC, to complain and demand action,” according to people familiar with the matter. (Disney is the parent company of ABC, on which Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs.) According to the outlet, “In at least two separate phone calls…the White House conveyed the severity of [Trump’s] fury with Kimmel to Disney.” Trump wanted Disney to “rein in the…ABC host,” who the then president felt had been “very dishonest” and made jokes that the former real estate developer “would have once sued over.”
And it apparently became the talk of Washington:
Obviously, the campaign to stop Kimmel from mocking Trump was unsuccessful, though that didn’t stop the leader of the free world from trying to use the full weight of the federal government to silence his critics. As Rolling Stone notes, months prior to L’Affaire du Jimmy, Trump’s FCC chairman said the agency would investigate a joke Stephen Colbert had made about the president and Vladimir Putin. (An investigation actually did take place, and Trump would “repeatedly ask aides for updates on if the FCC had made a decision yet,” according to a source who spoke to Rolling Stone. The FCC did nothing in the end, because, despite Trump’s hopes and dreams, the US is not North Korea.) In 2019, Trump once again enlisted the FCC—and the Justice Department—to see if the government could retaliate against late-night shows, having been enraged by an unflattering rerun of Saturday Night Live he’d happened to catch, as the Daily Beast reported in 2021. (We’re sure the GOP‘s newly formed Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government will be holding a hearing on all of this soon.)
Anyway, will the former guy make all jokes about him illegal in the event he wins in 2024? We’ll just have to wait and see!