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Ben Johnson

CNN vs. SNL

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Posted on October 8 2009 9:29 pm
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Saturday Night Live, which was was notoriously vicious toward Sarah Palin, has really winged Barack Obama, by my count, only twice: once for the media’s bias toward him (and then only because Tina Fey thought it hurt Hillary during the primaries), and once last Saturday. The Obama character told NBC some people worried he was transforming the country into a socialist state, but “when you look at my record, it’s very clear what I’ve done so far: Nothing. Nada.” He then ticked off a litany of non-accomplishments. The lone deviation from media idolatry was too much for CNN, which dispatched entertainment “reporter” Kareen Wynter on what had to be a first-ever understaking: fact-checking satire.

And lie about her findings — even when the expert she interviewed contradicted her thesis (and himself). What’s surprising is not just the MSM’s push-back against a comedian’s thoughtcrime, nor lies masquerading as fact on CNN (snore), but the fact I have not heard mentioned elsewhere yet: the clip they critiqued had its own subtle bias toward the Left.

The honest, non-partisan journalists of CNN took umbrage at this segment:

Wynter began her analysis by insisting, “On many points, well, SNL couldn’t have been more off the mark.”

She then interviewed Bill Adair of Politifact.com, whose defense of Obama was less-than-robust. “On Iraq, Saturday Night Live said, ‘Not done,'” he said. “And of course, that’s true.” In fact,  so far Obama has not done any of the things SNL listed in the segment. So what’s to correct? 

This isn’t fact-checking; it’s damage control. Wynter was remarkably open about her PR spin, asking at one point, “So, is this harmless humor or damage done?” The segment reinforced the growing realization, which many of us have noted time and again, that the Community-Organizer-in-Chief seems to think all the world’s problems can be solved with a glib smile, an artful speech, and the radiation of his incandescent charm and warmth. So far the George Clooney approach to foreign policy has left him with, in the words of SNL, “jack squat” to show for it. NATO nations, Iran, Russia, China, and now even the Olympic Committee have shot down his entreaties as though he were President Bush. His first diplomatic accomplishment will likely be Iran’s nuclear weapon.

But the segment in question had its own leftward bias. On the domestic front, Obama has done quite a deal more: placing a race-obsessed leftist on the Supreme Court for life, creating unprecedented deficits, and firing private-sector CEOs at will. The combined weight of his proposals would fundamentally transform the United States — which is part of the reason he has met so much opposition in implementing many of them. None of this was addressed.

Moreover, the intro to the segment gave away the game: the Obama character said all that to disprove claims he was altering the historic character of the country in a socialist direction. It is a standard tactic of the Left: Democrats are always “too timid,” not “doing enough.” SNL has honed an impressive double standard: Republicans are inevitably stupid while Democrats allow their flaws to sabotage their brilliance. Witness SNL’s treatment of the 2004 Bush-Kerry debates, when Kerry was always portrayed as giving the “right” answer but then rambling on too long. It fits the comfortable narrative, enhanced by films like The American President, that conservatives live to demonize and destroy others while oh-so-patriotic liberals are too genteel to reciprocate.

In other words, the caricatures also malign the Right.

Wynter tapped into this perception when she insisted — in the tone of voice that Dinosaur Media reporters use when they tell you what they want you to believe — that the Obama “sketch won’t resonate with the audience as much as” Tina Fey’s feckless performance of Sarah Palin. Yet other segments have “resonated.” For the record, no one has yet contested this SNL assertion:

Nor Amy Poehler’s prescription, while posing as Hillary Clinton, that the country needs to elect:

Someone so annoying, so pushy, so grating, so bossy and shrill, with a personality so unpleasant, that at the end of the day the special interests will have to go, “Enough! We give up! Life is too short to deal with this awful woman!” And I think the American people will agree, that someone is me.

Wynter ended her strange critique with the requisite rhetorical incantation to prove she is truly a disinterested journalist: “Wolf, we reached out to the White House for their reaction on this. They wouldn’t comment.” Why gild the lily?

In light of CNN’s reaction to this skit, another SNL segment “resonates” as more on-the-mark than ever:

Watch a network anchor have an Obamagasm.

Watch a network anchor have an Obamagasm.

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun and AllahPundit at HotAir.com have more on this story.

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