Wait. It’s Wednesday. How is it only Wednesday? That can’t be right. There are already so many eye-popping details emerging out of this chaotic news cycle, and you’re telling me there’s three more days left before “Saturday Night Live” airs?
SNL, like the rest of late-night comedy, has gone super heavy on the biting political humor (and unlike in prior seasons, they’ve amped it up since Election Day). And in case you haven’t watched TV or opened a newspaper or been online in the past 24 hours, this is an exceptionally dramatic moment for the Trump administration and journalists covering the White House — meaning NBC writers and onscreen talent have a lot of their go-to material to work with.
Add in this week’s host, Melissa McCarthy of Sean “Spicey” Spicer fame, and, oh, buddy, talk about expectations. The show released its promo for this week’s episode, with McCarthy showing her transformation into the White House press secretary.
But all this news doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for writers to write outlandish topical sketches. Like, how do they amp it up more than these real-life reports? A sampling:
Spicer had wanted to drop the bombshell news in an emailed statement, but it was not transmitting quickly enough, so he ended up standing in the doorway of the press office around 5:40 p.m. and shouting a statement to reporters who happened to be nearby. He then vanished, with his staff locking the door leading to his office….
After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind [outdoor TV sets], Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?”
Update! The Post story was updated Wednesday night to “more precisely describe Spicer’s location near the White House bushes”:
This story has been updated to more precisely describe Spicer's location near White House bushes on Tuesday night https://t.co/kRwAq4lLeo
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 11, 2017
— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) May 11, 2017
Mr. Comey was addressing a group of F.B.I. employees in Los Angeles when a television in the background flashed the news that he had been fired.
In response, Mr. Comey laughed, saying he thought it was a fairly funny prank.
Then his staff started scurrying around in the background and told Mr. Comey that he should step into a nearby office.
Mr. Comey stopped addressing the group. He proceeded to shake hands with the employees he had been speaking to. Then he stepped into a side office, where he confirmed that he had been fired. At that point, he had not heard from the White House.
Shortly thereafter, a letter from Mr. Trump was delivered to the F.B.I.’s headquarters, just seven blocks from the White House.
Mr. Comey’s day had begun in Florida, where he spoke to a group of police officers. He then flew to Los Angeles, where he was also scheduled to speak at a diversity meeting.
This was literally the conceit of Trump's entire TV show. https://t.co/PNQ87c7kRo
— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) May 10, 2017
From local and cable television news:
— Alison (@thisismewriting) May 10, 2017
Anderson Cooper’s epic eye roll at Kellyanne Conway:
this anderson cooper eyeroll at kellyanne conway is… choice pic.twitter.com/ZWHcvD2XDU
— tc (@chillmage) May 10, 2017
There’s also the fact that this happened the day after James B. Comey’s firing, prompting comparisons to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” with some Democrats labeling the move as “Nixonian”:
Pool brought into the Oval. It's Trump and … Kissinger. pic.twitter.com/1F1CPO4kQw
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 10, 2017
Oh, and this also happened:
— RichardNixonLibrary (@NixonLibrary) May 9, 2017
Democrats and some Republicans expressed concern about the timing of Comey’s firing on Tuesday amid the FBI Russia probe.
This meeting had been on the president’s schedule for Wednesday:
Ambassador Kislyak and President Trump / Посол С.Кисляк и Президент Д.Трамп pic.twitter.com/Ckkx2YL9KX
— Russia in USA (@RusEmbUSA) May 10, 2017
— Russia in USA (@RusEmbUSA) May 10, 2017
The White House declared the meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to be closed press, meaning that reporters couldn’t attend and cover independently. But one outlet did get in: TASS, a Russian state media organization.
In addition, Russia’s foreign ministry quickly distributed photos of the Trump meeting with Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. And the Russian embassy even tweeted a shot of the president and Kislyak.
… Several journalists also highlighted the unusual situation whereby the U.S. press became reliant on Russian government handouts for details about the U.S. president’s meeting.
An unnamed White House official tried explaining TASS’s access in a statement to The Hill’s Jordan Fabian, who served as pool reporter on Wednesday afternoon.
“Our official photographer and their official photographer were present, that’s it,” the official said.
And Thursday hasn’t even begun yet.