Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer Tops 2017's Best TV Moments

Playing President Trump’s Inauguration Tops TV Political Moments of 2017

Politics continued to take center stage of the American media landscape in 2017 and no other medium captured it better than television. 

On a day filled with extraordinary pomp and pageantry, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on January 20. 

The Trump family smiled and waved as they soaked in cheers from well-wishers.
 
The inauguration also led to a prickly start for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who accused the news media of deliberately underestimating the size of Trump's inaugural crowd.

Spicer was mercilessly mocked on Saturday Night Live thanks to Melissa McCarthy's spot-on impersonation. All the ribbing won McCarthy an Emmy and Spicer quickly exited just months later. 

In September, Trump ignited a firestorm after he said NFL players should be “fired or suspended” if they kneel during the national anthem. 

In defiance, many players continued to take a knee during the national anthem.

By year's end, the protests had died down, but Colin Kaepernick who started the movement in 2016 as a protest against police brutality against African-Americans, was honored as Sports Illustrated's Person of the Year. Kaepernick, who continues to push for social justice, has not played thus far in the NFL season. 

Another TV moment that had all of America watching was when  disgraced football star O.J. Simpson was freed from prison after nine years behind bars for armed robbery and kidnapping in Nevada. 

The news of Simpson’s release came just hours before the horrific massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in October. 

Gunman Stephen Paddock, who holed himself up in the Mandalay Bay hotel, fired into an unsuspecting crowd. In the end, 58 fans were dead before Paddock turned the gun on himself.

But along with tragedy, there were also moments of unity. Americans from coast to coast donned special glasses to catch a glimpse of a rare, total eclipse. An estimated 160 million people watched the moon pass in front of the sun, briefly darkening the day. 

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