Earlier on Monday, he was booked on Newsmax’s morning show Wake Up America to talk about Elon Musk’s hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. But when Rob Finnerty asked him about the episode, Litt wanted to talk about Newsmax’s role in elevating false claims about election systems company Dominion Voting Systems. Finnerty eventually cut short the interview.
Litt is also a comedy writer and book author, who wrote last December about the the claims of voting fraud in a Guardian op ed with the subhead, “Trump is not the first politician to push the voter-fraud myth for his political advantage, but he must be the last.” He also authored a book, Democracy in One Book Or Less, that delves into voting inequities.
He said that in the pre-interview for the appearance, he was asked for his thoughts about SNL but he did not say that he was planning on bringing up Newsmax’s coverage. He said that he thinks the problem is that Newsmax thought they could “compartmentalize,” or do the segment without getting into other issues.
Litt said that nothing more was spoken after Finnerty ended the interview, but he “followed me on Twitter almost immediately.”
PREVIOUSLY: When Newsmax decided to do a segment on Elon Musk’s hosting gig on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, it booked comedy writer and speechwriter David Litt.
But Litt, who worked in the Obama White House, quickly tried to steer the interview into The Big Lie, or the unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by Donald Trump.
Rob Finnerty, anchor of Newsmax’s Wake Up America, started by asking, “What did you think of Elon Musk’s performance? This is the first time since 2015 that we’ve had a non athlete, non entertainer on the show. The last person to do that and do well with great ratings, our former president Donald Trump.”
Litt answered, “Well Rob, it’s a great question. What happened on SNL this weekend is that people made stuff up and then said it on television like it is true. And that happens pretty frequently in American TV. For example in 2020, Dominion Voting Systems sued Newsmax over its false claims about election fraud. Newsmax was lying to its own viewers and Newsmax had to settle that lawsuit. Actually, I just had to check in. Are you still telling that lie or are you telling new lies?”
Finnerty then said, “Are you trying to talk about something non related and trying to catch me on a Monday morning totally off topic, or do you want to talk about Elon Musk?”
Litt then said, “I can see you don’t want to talk about Dominion Voting Systems because if you do, Newsmax could get sued and lose billions or dollars because these are lies.”
Finnerty responded, “David … I know this is a very funny moment for you. I am sure you didn’t sleep last night as you sort of prepared to ‘Get the morning anchor on Newsmax.'”
He then said that he would talk to Litt about SNL “but obviously I am not going to talk about anything else right now. So you decide in this moment on live television. Go ahead.”
The Litt asked, “Did Dominion Voting Systems have any impact on the 2020 election?”
Finnerty sighed and said, “David, we look forward to having you back on very soon again. That was a stellar interview.”
Late last month, Newsmax issued an apology and settled claims brought by Eric Coomer, director of product strategy and security for the company. Coomer sued Newsmax and other outlets, along with Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, and media figures and commentators like Michelle Malkin and Chanel Rion, over their claims that he was involved in a scheme to rig the 2020 election. Newsmax said, “On behalf of Newsmax, we would like to apologize for any harm that our reporting of the allegations against Dr. Coomer may have caused to Dr. Coomer and his family.”
Newsmax anchor: What happened on SNL?@davidlitt: "People made stuff up, then said it on television like it's true, and that actually happens pretty frequently on American TV. For example, in 2020 Dominion voting system sued Newsmax over its false claims about election fraud…" pic.twitter.com/ealyHGdGlM
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) May 10, 2021
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.