- The Washington Times - Friday, November 30, 2018

CBS’ “Murphy Brown” took its jabs at the Trump administration to a new level this week with a story in which character Frank Fontana is beaten by a mob of MAGA-hat wearing thugs.

Rumors swirled this week that Candice Bergen’s show would not be renewed after its initial batch of 13 episodes aired, but the creators’ liberal stance was further solidified on Thursday with a story called “Beat the Press.”

Actor Joe Regalbuto’s character is left battered and beaten after “President Trump” calls him out at a campaign event.

“When Trump left the stage, I decided to leave the press pen and go interview some of the people. Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by a sea of red hats,” the character says at one point.

“Oh, God,” replies the show’s lead, the media watchdog NewsBusters reported Thursday evening.

The act was instigated after the fictional version of Mr. Trump lamented “Fibbin’ Frank Fontana” and suggested he deserved “a good body slam.”

At a later point in the episode the victimized reporter likens America under Mr. Trump to Libya.

“I filed [my Libya experience] away under ‘Bad stuff that can only happen in another country.’ But I’m home, Murph. This is America, and … I don’t feel safe here anymore.”

The Hollywood Reporter noted Wednesday that CBS will not renew the show due to low ratings, although the show’s creator disputed such claims Thursday on Twitter.

“No, we are not cancelled,” Diane English wrote. “But we will have to wait until spring to hear if we are renewed for another season of 13. Thank you for being such a loyal audience. We shoot episode 13 tomorrow. Meanwhile you have four more episodes to enjoy starting with tonight.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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