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On ‘S.N.L.,’ a Game of ‘Deal or No Deal’ to End the Government Shutdown


At the “Weekend Update” desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to riff on the shutdown and a BuzzFeed News report that was disputed by the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Jost:

President Trump, the man who said he would own the shutdown, clearly does not care about the people who are working unpaid, who can’t afford basic things like food. But why would he care? He’s a billionaire who controls all the hamburgers in the world. Then after Scrooge McDonald’s was done hosting his burger orgy, he went on television today and made a new proposal to end the shutdown. And that proposal was basically, “You give me $5.7 billion and I’ll give you back the Dreamers.”

Am I the only one who thinks that sounds like a hostage negotiation? I can’t wait to see his written proposal. [A ransom note appears on screen.] By the way, these protections he’s offering aren’t even real laws, they’re just vague promises he’s making. And I trust a promise from Donald Trump as much as I trust R. Kelly in a Claire’s boutique.

Che:

Yeah, I agree. That speech sucked. First of all, he didn’t even say hi. He just started talking, like we was already talking. I found that to be rude. Then he said he’s going to stop half the crime and 90 percent of the heroin with something called slats. Which as you can see is a wall without all the wall. Hear that, Mexico? Good luck trying to crack this code. What are you going to do, pass your drugs and small children through those giant slats? Imagine you’re a Coast Guard or TSA or any of the thousands of government workers that are actually stopping drugs and crime from getting into this country, and you haven’t been paid in a month. And the president gets on TV — doesn’t say sorry, doesn’t even say hi — but instead, he’s like, “Hey, what do you all think about slats?”

Jost:

BuzzFeed published a story that said Robert Mueller had evidence of Trump committing an impeachable crime. But the details were so sketchy that even Mueller’s team had to be like, “Sorry, fake news.” How disappointing was that? You know how many suburban moms had to retract their group texts to the family reading, “We got him!!!” The crazy part is that the White House is now celebrating that Mueller disputed only this one aspect of the investigation, while there’s still like 100 other crimes still on the table. If you got tested for every STD, and your doctor said, “Well, the good news is, you don’t have chlamydia,” you wouldn’t be like, “That’s all I need to hear, doc — no condoms for this guy.”

Che:

Look, BuzzFeed, I think it’s great — we all think it’s great that you all want to help. But this isn’t really what we need from you. Y’all are BuzzFeed, you do memes and lists. Everybody’s got that aunt who has roaches, and every Thanksgiving, she’s like, “Hey, y’all, what should I bring?” And we’re like, “Uh, ice. You bring the ice, because we don’t want to be picking raisins out of the turkey.” That’s you, BuzzFeed, you bring the Ice. As Dr. King once said, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” There’s no shame in that. We all play a role. Look, sometimes, kids come up to me and they’ll say, “Michael Che, I get all my news from you.” And I say, “Don’t do that.” I bring the ice.

Weekend Update Deskside Bit of the Week



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Gladys Knight, Ahead of Super Bowl Anthem Date, Criticizes Colin Kaepernick


The soul singer Gladys Knight, who will be singing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, seemed to criticize Colin Kaepernick in a statement published by Variety on Friday.

Kaepernick is the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose refusal to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” — and kneel instead — to protest police brutality has made him a divisive figure nationwide, earning him praise from civil rights groups, but scorn from many conservatives, including President Trump.

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight wrote to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The statement continued: “I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3, to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life.”

This is the latest twist at the intersection of politics, sports and music that has surrounded this year’s Super Bowl. Kaepernick is still in the middle of an ongoing arbitration case regarding a grievance he filed against the N.F.L. He has accused the league’s owners of colluding to keep him out of the league after not being signed last season.

His protests during the anthems became a cultural flash point, even though he wasn’t in the league. Other N.F.L. players began kneeling to support Kaepernick, as did celebrities off the field. Last fall, Nike made Kaepernick the face of a prominent advertising campaign

This year’s Super Bowl became particularly fraught because of the halftime show. Some high-profile artists, including the rapper Cardi B, said they would not be willing to perform, in a show of solidarity with Kaepernick. Last year, Jay-Z rapped in one of his songs: “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.”

Earlier this week, the N.F.L. announced the halftime acts would be Maroon 5 and the rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. Scott’s decision to participate, in particular, received backlash, including from prominent African-Americans like Al Sharpton. Variety reported that Kaepernick and Scott spoke before the announcement and described the conversation as “cordial and respectful.” But on Wednesday, several posts critical of Scott appeared on Kaepernick’s Twitter account.

Perhaps anticipating the criticism, Scott announced on Sunday, in conjunction with the halftime billing, that he and the league were teaming up on a $500,000 to Dream Corps, a social justice group.

Representatives for Kaepernick and Knight did not respond to a request for comment.



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