There's a theory floating around the right side of the blogosphere that NBC removed a "Saturday Night Live" skit from the Internet because the network had second thoughts about making fun of liberals or caught too much heat for doing so.
But a new theory has surfaced in the mainstream media. Advertising Age is reporting that the skit may have been pulled for apolitical reasons. "A good guess: The clip, a fake C-SPAN news report, identifies [former bank owners Herb and Marion Sandler] ... as 'people who should be shot' in a graphic."
A story on the San Franciso Chronicle Web site seems to buttress that view. It is headlined "Herb Sandler Takes On SNL After Snark Attack" and quotes Sandler as saying, "We are being unfairly tarred" for problems in the mortage industry.
A citizen journalism site called Digital Journal revealed another key detail: "After seeing the skit replayed on the Internet, Sandler was described as 'seething' about how he and his wife were portrayed.'"
That information makes the apolitical theory about the pulled video sound plausible. But NBC's silence is fueling complaints of liberal bias because the network already is widely perceived as being in the tank for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Here's a sampling of comments on NBC's Web site:
- "Where's the bailout video? Did it hit home too hard? Your Masters said CENSOR it, so you rushed to comply. Chickens!"
- "Cowardice and satire do not work well together."
- "You just have to laugh at the hypocrisy of NBC and the lack of fortitude at SNL."
- "Guess we're all at your mercy to provide proper content, as in what YOU want us to see."
- "Hey Olbermann, tonight's 'Worst Person In The World' should be evident even to you. It's NBC/GE."
The invective may well be unjustified. But remember this: It's a direct result of NBC having covered Campaign 2008 so shoddily that it's easy to see bias in every decision the network makes, even about removing comedy skits from its Web site.