SNL Mocks Obama, Pelosi for Their Eloquent Grace Under Fire
Saturday Night Live (SNL) is held up by “television historians” as a paragon of insightful, ruthless satire of the political scene.
Whatever merits SNL might have once had in that department, lately its level of political analysis has been about as deep as the shot glasses its writers undoubtedly empty before they pen each week’s program.
In its recent season opening skit—which was overlong and dolefully unfunny, like the rest of the show these days—SNL mocked Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell over—wait for it… her wacky background! The tasteful, thoughtfully written sketch included an O’Donnell impersonator admitting that she masturbates constantly and an interlude in which the onanist pleasured herself off-set and returned to ask fellow performers for snacks.
Two years ago, during the 2008 presidential election, Tina Fey’s impression of Governor Sarah Palin was a hit, not because it was especially accurate, but because (1) it was amusing to watch the antics of this colorful, clueless, moose-hunting politician Fey had created out of whole cloth who bore no characterological resemblance to her real-life model, and (2) there was schadenfreude in seeing the snarky Fey gussy herself up and try but fail to imitate the classiness and charisma of the real Palin.
In a similar display of what passes for the evidentiary basis for Democratic public policy nowadays, comedian Stephen Colbert testified before the House last week on the plight of migrant workers. Colbert cited as firsthand experience the publicity stunt whereby he recently spent a few hours in comfy upstate New York being photographed loading crates of vegetables for the United Farm Workers. Colbert bored and abused committee members with his bottomless ego, then demonstrated his pro-gay credentials by telling a charming joke about Iowan “corn packers” that caused his audience to groan in revulsion.
Even Democrat John Conyers, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, had to ask Colbert to leave the hearing during the middle of his testimony, though his sponsor—nutty California Democrat Zoe Lofgren—urged him to stay. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was later shamed into calling Colbert’s testimony “an embarrassment.”
And Jon Stewart, the number one hard news source for leftists under 40, is bringing his oh-so-clever Rally to Restore Sanity to the National Mall next month, where it will compete with Colbert’s isn’t-it-ironic March to Keep Fear Alive. Both are supposed to be satires of Glenn Beck’s recent Restoring Honor rally and the massive Tea Party gatherings held in D.C. the past two Septembers.
So millions of sincere and patriotic Americans travel hundreds of miles to the nation’s capital on a heartfelt quest to show solidarity with fellow citizens who are disgusted with unprecedented government spending, regulations, and deficits—and the brightest and most influential minds on the left respond by pointing fingers and giggling at protestors’ clothes. How about a Stewart rally defending the merits of the stimulus bill or ObamaCare instead of one poking fun at people for wearing tri-corner hats or dressing up like Benjamin Franklin?
Contemporary leftists have learned that one way to avoid sober analysis is to ridicule one’s opponents for personal quirks and fringe elements in their followings. It’s true that laughter can be used to draw in an audience or emphasize a genuine point, but it can also be used to sidetrack discussion and win over sympathizers via a superficial, crowd-pleasing style rather than through probing facts and penetrating arguments. As political communication expert and professor Lauren Feldman reports, “[P]olitical comedy suppresses argument scrutiny. What this means is that when audiences are exposed to political humor or satire they are less likely to counter-argue the information contained in the message or question the fairness or accuracy of the message, relative to a non-humorous message.”
If comedy’s what the public wants, then a truly astute, non-PC SNL political satire would, say, chronicle the addle-headed trillion-dollar stimulus bill and its ludicrous, disproven Keynesian assumptions; the administration’s risible invention of the “jobs created or saved” metric; its snail-paced implementation of projects, tongue-tied lies about funded projects, and use of funds for ridiculous pork projects; and the bill’s predictably laughable failure to bring down the unemployment rate.
A series of hilarious sketches might skewer ObamaCare proponents’ side-splitting claim that the law will cover 30 million more Americans yet somehow bring down the cost of care; the preposterous Wile E. Coyote schemes Democrats plotted to pass the bill such as reconciliation, “deem and pass,” the Christmas Eve vote, and the Cornhusker Kickback; and Democrats’ kamikaze obduracy in passing the bill against the public’s wishes.
But no: having Kristen Wiig don a witch’s hat and fly away on a broomstick—now that’s getting to the heart of what’s wrong with the political system in America!
Since they’re so obsessed with the backgrounds of Tea Party candidates, let’s consider the history of various storied SNL actors’ fates: died from drug overdose (John Belushi), died from drug overdose and being obese (Chris Farley), murdered by drug-addicted wife (Phil Hartman), committed suicide (Weekend Update anchor and Reagan impersonator Charles Rocket), for starters. These are part of the cadre of fine, upstanding thespians lecturing O’Donnell for having friends who dressed as goths in high school.
Republican politicians need SNL, Colbert, Stewart, Bill Maher, and other leftist chuckleheads like an elephant needs a flock of blue-footed boobies picking nits off its backside—less, actually, since the birds provide a useful function by keeping the elephant clean. These “comedians” feed on the right-wing political class like parasites, then pass off their antics to rubes on the left as serious political discourse.