Michael Stipe Tells Alec Baldwin his ‘SNL’ Impression Helped Trump

Before Trump's win was secured, Stipe lamented the entertainment-ization of politics.

By Hayden Wright

Michael Stipe stopped by Alec Baldwin’s WNYC radio show to discuss the 2016 presidential campaign. He lamented how the entertainment media crept into politics this election season and said that even Baldwin — who portrayed Trump on Saturday Night Live — played a hand in that trend. His remarks are an almost prescient.

Related: Michael Stipe Expresses Support for Chelsea Manning

“It is so sad that we have allowed ourselves to sink to this level of reality entertainment, that’s what it is,” said Stipe, who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. “I blame media completely for it, including Saturday Night Live.”

He said Baldwin’s portrayal of Trump on the program was excellent, but that it ultimately helped fuel the candidate’s popularity.

“What does it feel like from inside?” wondered Stipe. “What does it feel like playing that character? It’s satire, it’s brilliantly done, but it’s still adding to the push of… Warhol said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. How have we created this monster? How have we put our particular American brand on this thing?”

Baldwin replied, “When I was approached by Lorne [Michaels], who is a friend of mine, to do it, my first impulse was ‘no.’ Because in order to do that effectively, you need to have at least some appreciation of the person … for which Trump I have none.”

Listen to Stipe’s full interview here:


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