President Donald Trump took aim at Snoop Dogg early Wednesday morning in response to a music video in which the artist fired a toy gun at a clown depicting Trump.
He suggested that the California rapper would face jail time if he'd portrayed former President Barack Obama being shot in the video.
"Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama?" Trump tweeted. "Jail time!"
The problem with the implication here is that the First Amendment isn't selectively applied — and the artist's music video qualifies as freedom of speech, according to Clay Calvert, the director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida.
"The Snoop Dogg video might not be tasteful to President Trump — yet on the other hand, it's clearly protected by the First Amendment," Calvert told ATTN:.
Though there are limitations on freedom of speech prohibiting incitements to violence, for example, Snoop Dogg's music video is "not a true threat of violence at all," Calvert said. "True threats have to put a person in imminent fear of harm, and we know that this is entertainment."
In an interview with Billboard on Sunday, Snoop said his portrayal of Trump as a clown was meant to "fill in a void" of political commentary in the music industry.
"I feel like it’s a lot of people making cool records, having fun, partying, but nobody’s dealing with the real issue with this fucking clown as president and the shit that we dealing with out here," he said. "I wanted to take time out to push pause on a party record and make one of these records for the time being."