Update 11-25 8:20 AM: Morning Joe Makes SNL References -- see discussion at foot.
Call it "The Wild 'n Crazy Guy–Billionaire Style." Maria Bartiromo's interview of Saudi Prince Alwaleed, the largest shareholder of Citigroup, is literally a Saturday Night Live skit waiting—begging—to happen.
CNBC's Bartiromo conducted the interview by remote this afternoon. When the camera went to the prince in Riyadh, you might have expected to find him in a TV studio, or perhaps in his business office, maybe even in one of his palace rooms. But no, there he was sitting outdoors, apparently by his stables, with seated camels and sleek horses very visible in the background. And rather than being attired in business or traditional Saudi dress, the Prince was duded up with an open collar, tinted glasses and a scarf warding off the desert's cool night air. He could be seen occasionally fingering what appeared to be golden worry beads.
"Saturday Night Live" absolutely skewered MSNBC's Keith Olbermann last night accurately depicting the "Countdown" host as a pompous, dishonest buffoon who regularly takes things completely out of context, or just plain makes things up, in order to lambast Republicans.
Frankly, it was shocking to see an NBC program so aggressively attack a fellow employee, and to watch the excessively liberal actor Ben Affleck, playing the part of Olbermann, participate in the skit.
This must-see video is embedded below the fold with a rough transcript:
Busybody Keith Olbermann couldn't wait to see how Saturday Night Live was going to portray him. So, says Politico.com's Michael Calderone, he apparently breached the show's (I thought) tight security to find out.
And of course, when contacted, the MSNBC host took yet another cheap shot at his personal obsession, Sarah Palin. It was just a few weeks ago on NBC's Sunday Night Football that Olbermann made a Palin Derangement Syndrome-betraying allusion when describing the mental condition of a just-injured NFL quarterback.
Is it any wonder that polls revealed a 17 percent increase in Palin's unfavorability ratings in just one month?
After examining the TV news coverage of Palin from September 29 to October 12, CMI found that ABC, NBC and CBS news shows ran 69 stories about Palin. 2 stories were positive, 37 were negative and 30 were neutral. The 2 positive stories were a two-part interview with Palin's parents on the CBS Early Show. Not one of the major network evening news programs - ABC's World News, NBC's Nightly News, and CBS's Evening News - ran a single positive story about Palin.
ABC was hardest on Palin, as 60 percent of its stories on Palin were negative. NBC came in second, as 54 percent of its stories were negative. CBS also ran 54 percent negative stories, but also ran the only two positive stories (8 percent).
CMI found that the networks promoted three major narratives about Palin:
Chevy Chase, who has had a distinctly unfunny disposition for years, is so aggravated by Sarah Palin that he claims it was a big mistake to let her on Saturday Night Live. Chase, who also claims the biggest mistake of his life was leaving SNL after only a little over a year there, let his feelings be known in Access Hollywood:
NEW YORK, New York --
As a former cast member and “Weekend Update” anchor, Chevy Chase knows something about “Saturday Night Live” – and he wasn’t impressed by what he saw this Saturday night, when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a much-hyped appearance.
“Quite frankly, it’s a big mistake to let her go on,” Chevy told Access Hollywood at the Give Food a Chance benefit in New York. “What was brilliant about [‘SNL’ chief] Lorne [Michaels] was that he had nothing written for Sarah and that apparently she cannot improvise herself out of a paper bag!”
Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar agree: Whoopi Goldberg’s "do I have to worry about becoming a slave" question to John McCain was "good." Whoopi, for her part, does not think the question was "tough." On the October 20 edition of "The View," in calling for Sarah Palin and Barack Obama to appear, the discussion evolved into a recap of McCain’s recent appearance.
Whoopi Goldberg denied that they were tough on Senator McCain, but the rest of the panel disagreed. Sherri Shepherd praised Whoopi’s question of a return to slavery after McCain called for a stricter interpretation of the Constitution on behalf of his judicial appointments. Sherri Shepherd, who has demonstrated ignorance on history and geography, seemed to forget that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution forbids slavery, not a product of an activist court. Joy Behar agreed "it was good." [audio clip available here]
Earlier in the segment, upon discussing Sarah Palin’s recent"Saturday Night Live" appearance, Joy Behar blasted the Alaska governor for not appearing on "Meet the Press" or "The View." Behar suggested that Sarah Palin just reads the teleprompter and not appearing on "The View" where she would "actually have to put a sentence together." Joy Behar missed that Palin has been off script in interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. One may counter "that’s just a softball interview." Perhaps, but no softer than a Matt Lauer interview with Barack Obama.
The Obama-loving media might hate Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, but according to preliminary estimates, the Alaska governor's guest appearance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" gave the program its highest ratings in over fourteen years.
This seems to go hand in hand with the great reception Palin got Saturday evening from the audience in attendance for the live broadcast who enthusiastically applauded as she walked onto the stage during the program's opening sketch.
Maybe even more surprising, they weren't the only typically liberal New Yorkers enthralled with the Alaska governor, for the New York Times' television critic actually gave Palin a very solid review.
But before we get there, here's what Reuters reported moments ago (emphasis added):
I thought Sarah Palin did more than fine on Saturday Night Live [Noel's got the video here]. In particular, during her Weekend Update appearance Palin displayed a speaking poise and polish exceeding that of the other candidates on both tickets. But Republicans who agree to appear on such shows put themselves in the lap of the liberal media gods. And those lesser deities abused their power last night, running a nasty joke at Clarence Thomas's expense during Weekend Update shortly before Palin appeared.
The set-up was the fact that, in a dissenting opinion published this past week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts employed the style of a hard-bitten detective novel. That set up this . . .
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.
UPDATE: YouTube link to deleted video at end of post.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in its most recent installment did an extraordinary skit which amongst other things accurately blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis.
Early Sunday morning, as is customary for NBC, the video of this sketch was posted at its website. Some time Monday, it was taken down without any explanation.
One possibility is that two of the targets in the skit, the founders of Golden West Financial who were mocked by "SNL" as having made billions selling subprime mortgages to unqualified borrowers, aren't happy with how they were portrayed. As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added):
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last evening amazingly blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis, and accurately informed viewers that the Bush administration warned about the looming calamity many years ago.
In addition, much like a report Matthew Sheffield and I did for the Capital Research Center last month, "SNL" exposed the money behind far-leftwing causes and entities in a stunningly accurate fashion, including chiding hyper-partisan billionaire George Soros as being the owner of the Democratic Party.
Here are some of the highlights (video embedded right):
It was certainly no surprise that NBC's "Saturday Night Live," in its most recent installment, lampooned Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
However, despite doing a nice job of mocking Biden and host Gwen Ifill -- masterfully played by guest Queen Latifah -- the butt of most of the jokes was cleary Palin who was once again portrayed by Tina Fey (video embedded below the fold, photo courtesy Huffington Post):
The wording may be a tad nuanced, the referenced two-bit dictator from a different country, but the idea behind the following jokes involving Barack Obama and the race card seems too similar for mere happenstance.
Judge for yourself.
On September 19, conservative blogger Jim Treacher wrote the following fictious exchange between "President" Obama and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that seems eerily similar to the one presented on the most recent installment of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (video embedded right, relevant section at 3:30):
On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell loved Tina Fey's parodying of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," so much that she played a clip the "30 Rock" star mocking Palin's inexperience, while simultaneously airing an actual clip of Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric, as Mitchell charged: "the reviews have been withering for her interview with Katie Couric, only her third since nominated."
When the latest installment of Saturday Night Live parodied Friday’s presidential debate, the NBC comedy program gave attention to Barack Obama’s connections to convicted criminal Tony Rezko, corrupt Chicago politics, and Obama’s recent attempts at "playing the race card," which notably are all matters that the mainstream news media have given little attention to. While the show also took a number of shots at John McCain, several times having him propose a bizarre gimmick like challenging Obama to a pie-eating contest for example, the Illinois Senator also received several noteworthy jabs. One line involved McCain’s character, played by Darrell Hammond, referring to Obama, played by Fred Armisen, as making an earmark request titled "Tony Rezko Hush Money." Obama’s character also bragged that his tax cut plan would benefit Chicago politicians and city employees "because my plan would not tax income from bribes, kickbacks, shakedowns, embezzlement of government funds, or extortion."
The Obama character later promised that he would "play the race card" against dictators like North Korean President Kim Jong Il if necessary to guilt-trip them into dismantling their nuclear programs, as he would accuse Kim of refusing to cooperate with him because "I’m not like the other guys on the $5 and $10 bills."
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" opened its most recent installment with a John McCain-bashing skit believed to be the idea of Senate Democrat candidate Al Franken.
In the segment, McCain, played by Darrell Hammond, approved numerous campaign ads making absolutely absurd claims about Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
One accused the junior senator from Illinois of wanting to provide health insurance for everyone in the universe including Osama bin Laden, while another said Obama approved tax cuts for pedophiles (video embedded below the fold).
Yet, according to Politico, this was all the brainchild of Franken:
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
Decimate: 1. to destroy a great number or proportion of: the population was decimated by a plague. 2. to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.
Is that the definition of the post-partisan politics Barack Obama claims to be preaching? You know, the kind where there's no blue-state America or red-state America: just the United States of America? Maybe Chevy Chase didn't get the email. Appearing on Morning Joe today, Chase expressed his disappointment that Tina Fey didn't go after Sarah Palin harder in her SNL impersonation. Chase wanted to see Fey "decimate" the Republican VP candidate.
Chase was appearing to tout a charity auction he and wife Jayni are conducting to fund environmental education in the schools. See Bonus Coverage for a disturbing factoid Jayni let slip. Chase's call for blood came in response to Willie Geist's very first question.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann began to poignantly patch things up two nights ago. But there's clearly still mucho trabajo to be done to heal the rift between Joe Scarborough and the temperamental Countdown host. Readers will recall that during the Dem convention, Olbermann was caught [accidentally on purpose?] on an open mic suggesting Scarborough "get a shovel" for his failure to toe a sufficiently pro-Obama line.
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took a thinly-veiled shot at Olbermann for the way he tried to keep Republican analyst Mike Murphy off the air, and then tried to pull the plug ["let's wrap him up, alright?"] when Murphy eventually made it into an interview with Chris Matthews.
Pat Buchanan was the sole voice on today's opening-hour panel to opine that Fred Thompson had done a good job with his speech last night. In contrast, Scarborough suggested Thompson had been flat. Pat expressed his feelings of alienation as the show was going to a break. It was then that Joe and Mika let Buchanan know that—in contrast with other MSNBC venues—dissident voices were welcome on Morning Joe.
There's nothing into which Saturday Night Live can't work its liberal politics--even a conventional game-show sketch. NBC aired a re-run of the February 24th SNL last night, and watching it this morning I spotted what you might call a "subliminable" anti-Ann Coulter product placement.
In "What's That Bitch Talking About?" two contestants viewing a succession of women offering bare snippets of dialogue have to guess what they're talking about. The male contestant is consistently clueless. But Tina Fey's character gets it uncannily right every time, down to details that would in reality be impossible to guess. Sample: a woman murmuring "okay" into a phone is indeed getting directions to a margarita party to celebrate her graduation from DeVry, etc.
The male loser is sent packing, but not before he receives a lovely parting gift in the form of the home edition of "What's That Bitch Talking About?" Cut to a quick close-up of the package featuring four women: Whitney Houston, Queen Elizabeth, a beauty queen who's presumably Miss South Carolina of "US Americans" fame, and, most prominently featured . . . Ann Coulter. See screencap.
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" continued its political activism disguised as satire on March 15, this time choosing to make the case for Barack Obama while doing an entire sketch about John McCain being "crazy old."
During Saturday's "Weekend Update," former SNLer, and current "30 Rock" co-star Tracy Morgan, stumped for Obama, and did so quite comically (embedded right).
After getting a huge amount of publicity for accusing the media elite of being "in the tank for Obama," the popular NBC show "Saturday Night Live" is trying now to combat allegations that it is biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times reports:
Executive producer Lorne Michaels has long maintained that the show risks its comedy credentials if it appears partisan. So he is troubled by the recent chatter that the venerable late-night program has exhibited a pro- Hillary Clinton bent.
"That's a major concern," Michaels said. "I can assure you that there's no agenda, that there's only a reaction to what's going in the world."