The “Murphy Brown” reboot continues to get in its licks at President Donald Trump. Thursday’s episode took aim at the president’s hostility toward the press and how many believe it has encouraged physical violence against reporters. Remember when Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) body-slammed The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs and Trump later expressed admiration for the assault at a rally?
Art imitated life somewhat on the CBS comedy when Murphy’s colleague Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) covered a fictional Trump rally and paid a dear price for merely doing his job.
First, Trump (voiced by an actor) calls out newswoman Murphy (Candice Bergen) and her “flunky friends” for “planting their big fake stories.” Then he points out “Fibbin’ Frank Fontana” to the crowd. “Maybe a good body slam, waddya say?” Trump snipes in the clip below.
Murphy later sees Frank’s swollen face in the hospital and remarks in the segment below: “I guess when you major in journalism these days, you have to minor in kickboxing.”
Frank explains to Murphy that he left the press area to interview some of the attendees. “Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by a sea of red hats.”
The episode was titled “Beat the Press.”
“This is what’s going to happen if people are encouraged to look at journalists as people not to be trusted and people who are trying to bring down the president or people who make things up and are very bad people,” the show’s creator, Diane English, told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s really, very frightening to me, frankly, and I think that for us, this was a particularly challenging episode because there’s nothing really funny about that, intrinsically. So we had to find the ways around the event where we could get some humor.”
This week several showbiz trade publications reported that CBS was not ordering more episodes of “Murphy Brown” and that the sitcom was intended to have a limited run anyway. English clarified on Twitter that the show was not canceled and will have to wait for spring to see if it’s renewed.
In the meantime, the show is taking its shots at the Trump administration while it can.
This article was updated with clarification from English about the future of “Murphy Brown.”