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SNL cold open muddles Rupert Murdoch’s Fox defamation case and Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial

Saturday Night Live’s cold open poked fun at the legal troubles of two powerful figures this week – by hilariously muddling Rupert Murdoch and Fox News’ defamation lawsuit with Alex Murdaugh and his double murder trial.

The comedy sketch show featured a Fox & Friends spoof with cast members Mikey Day as Steve Doocy, Heidi Gardner as Ainsley Earhardt and Bowen Yang as Brian Kilmeade.

The hosts began by discussing the $1.6bn defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against the network and media mogul Murdoch’s shocking testimony in the case.

At that point, Gardner leaped to Murdoch’s defence saying he would never “never murder anyone”.

“This whole trial has been so unfair. They are raking him over the coals. Rupert Murdoch would never murder anyone,” shw said.

“They sent him away for life. Look how sad he looks. Now where’s that picture I found?”

A photo of Murdaugh – not Murdoch – flashed up on the screen.

Murdaugh – whose name is pronounced the same as the Fox News boss – was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the double murder of his wife Maggie and son Paul in a case that has captured the nation’s attention for the best part of two years.

Day pointed out that the man in the photo is not the same person, prompting yet more mockery from Gardner.

“Well, we just blew the case wide open. They got the wrong guy,” she said.

The spoof panel went on to discuss the lack of airtime that Fox News has given to its defamation lawsuit.

“Rupert Murdoch admitted that Fox News aired election fraud conspiracies to get ratings, even though everyone at Fox knew they were false,” Day said.

Yang, as Kilmeade, responded, saying: “I didn’t. Loop a brother in next time,”

“Now you may be wondering if it’s such a big story, why haven’t I heard about it on Fox,” Gardner, as Earhardt then said.

“I think it’s because they’re suing us for $1.6bn,” said Yang. “No, it’s because it’s complete BS. The media is taking private texts from Fox News hosts and showing them completely out of context.”

The trio then poked fun at text messages between Fox hosts where Sean Hannity called Rudy Giuliani “insane”.

“How could you leave out the rest?” said Yang. “Rudy Giuliani is insanely hot, I just wanna lick that head dye right off.”

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, played by the versatile James Austin Johnson, was then introduced lived from CPAC, and he couldn’t help himself from having a crack at the vote processing company.

“Every Dominion machine has a Venezuelan Oompa Loompa inside,” Johnson said.

From left: SNL’s Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner and Bowen Yang spoofed Fox & Friends in its latest cold open (NBC)
From left: SNL’s Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner and Bowen Yang spoofed Fox & Friends in its latest cold open (NBC)

The cold open topic came amid Fox News’ conspicuous silence about the damning revelations in the Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit.

Internal communications and sworn depositions in the court battle have revealed that Fox’s star anchors and executives knew that Donald Trump’s false 2020 election fraud claims were bogus.

Since the allegations were made public in unsealed court filings last week, Fox News has barely acknowledged them.

Meanwhile, the legal woes continue to mount for Fox.

On Friday, progressive watchdog Media Matters filed a lawsuit with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Fox made an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign when it shared confidential campaign information with the former president’s son-n-law Jared Kushner.