It wasn't only the press that completely misunderstood and therefore misrepresented Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claim this week that he likes being able to fire people.
NBC's Saturday Night Live actually began Saturday's show with a sketch depicting the former Massachusetts governor trying to fire everything - including the food! - at a South Carolina diner (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
The show opened with Jason Sudeikis as Romney, "Speaking to you from Jim-Bob's Kitchen, a really fantastic diner outside of Aikens, South Carolina."
Sudeikis played Romney as a cold, stiff, almost robotic character with little in common with regular folks. That was made clearly evident when Sudeikis mentioned "tomorrow's" Broncos-Patriots game. Of course, it was to be played "tonight."
Sudeikis then tried to explain Romney's comment earlier in the week about liking to be able to fire people.
"It's like when you've been raking leaves outside and your t-shirt is a little clammy," said Sudeikis. "You go inside and fire it - replacing it with a dry t-shirt, or no t-shirt at all. It's like that."
Sudeikis then shook hands with his waitress and guessed that she was 31 years old. "I'm nineteen," she said.
"Close enough," responded Sudeikis with a wink to the camera.
He then ordered two eggs "laid off." Of course, he meant "over easy." When told they came with bacon, Sudeikis said, "Let's throw the bacon out of work and can I replace it with sausage?"
When the waitress said he could, Sudeikis asked, "Can I replace the bacon with sausage but pay half the price for the sausage I would have paid for the bacon?" She told him it's the same amount. "I just thought I'd ask," responded Sudeikis with another wink to the camera.
"It also comes with toast," said the waitress.
"I don't care for toast, so I'd like to see the toast lose its job, without notice if possible," replied Sudeikis. "Can I have an English muffin instead?"
When told he could, Sudeikis asked, "Can the English muffin be hired on a temporary basis, meaning that if I'm not hungry enough to eat it, I don't have to pay?"
That was fine with the waitress who then asked if he wanted coffee. "No coffee, I'd like some orange juice," he said. "Is it freshly strangled?"
"You mean fresh squeezed," said the waitress.
When she left, Sudeikis said, "She's a nice girl. I'd like to be able to fire her."
The sketch concluded with Sudeikis saying, "Well, I've really enjoyed this time we've spent together, and I think you'll agree that I've come across as genuine and warm."
Obviously not, and that was the point.
Good, clean, albeit not very funny satire? Sure.
But the image left with the viewer is an almost inhuman candidate willing to fire anything if it makes and/or saves him money.
In an era of high unemployment and a movement depicting everyone on Wall Street as greedy, heartless pigs, such an appearance could be deadly, especially as the President and his surrogates will be campaigning against the so-called one percenters.
Anything that helps foster this image of Romney greatly benefits the White House. Sudeikis and the folks at SNL showed Saturday they're willing to do their part.
It just seems that if they're going to act as sycophants, at least they could come up with better material that evoked the occasional laugh or giggle.