March 9, 2008

What I think of the "SNL" spoof of Hillary's "3 a.m." ad.

Here's the video.

In typical "SNL" fashion, it goes on way too long — and that's especially glaring when you're spoofing an ad — because it's inherent in the nature of an ad to be short. You're not spoofing an infomercial. But it's mildly amusing if you think the topic is unfair commercials, and it's substantially intriguing if you think the issue is whether "SNL" is in the tank for Hillary.

Think about it. We're seeing her long, completely unfair ad — and, yes, they've told us to think about how unfair it is. But the ad really does push us to think that Hillary Clinton has a lot of experience and Barack Obama is a neophyte. The fact that we know it's an exaggeration doesn't prevent it from stimulating our anxieties about the underlying truths. And if we're disposed to look at a comedy sketch and find it funny, then our minds slip into the place where we perceive the thing that is being exaggerated. Our defenses are down. Don't you love Amy Poehler? In the tank!

34 comments:

George said...

The skit references the Iranian nuclear project, but short term, the danger comes from the Syrian/Iranian axis backing Hezbollah in Lebanon. "In the past week, Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador from Damascus, and urged all its citizens to leave Lebanon as soon as possible....

"Syria’s role in Lebanon is rooted in its alliance with Iran and Hezbollah, which it views as crucial weapons against Israel and the West. But most Arab nations, led by Sunni Muslims, view Iran, a Shiite-dominated nation, as a dangerous and implacable foe, and they appear to have given up on luring Syria back into the Arab fold through diplomacy.

“...Syria’s game: keep Lebanon paralyzed, and Saudi has to subsidize everything... Syria thinks they can outlast [the Saudis].” And us, too?

Hard to imagine either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama using personal diplomacy to defuse this bomb.

Middle Class Guy said...

The skit could be reversed with the same effect. Hillary has as little experience as Obama.

It is too long to be effective comedy. Notice though, Hillary was sleeping alone. Who was Bill sleeping with?

Meade said...

Shoot, I could love Amy Poehler
out of the tank.

Beldar said...

Oh, man. I just wrote about it last week, after Ellen DeGeneres' ultra-gentle questioning. But clearly, the SNL skit telegraphs that, cued by Hillary and her minions, this is the week Obama's gonna get hammered on his cigarette smoking. It's also mentioned in the generally unflattering NYT article today about Obama's lack of a real legislative record (except as charity cases adopted by two senior-to-him GOP senators, Lugar and Coburn, when the GOP still controlled the Senate). And the NYT — smoke-flavored kiss of death! — accuses Obama himself, and not his staffers, of trying to mount a smoking-habit cover-up:

"He tended to his image, even upbraiding a reporter for writing that he had smoked a cigarette (a habit he later said he gave up for his presidential bid)."

"Upbraiding"! Oh, that's brutal. Yeah, the gloves are finally off.

rhhardin said...

It's a spoof of the campaign in general, if anything. It loses the initial framing pretty quickly.

The come-away impression is Hillary is a bitch and Obama is an empty suit.

It's not too long so much as not being particularly funny.

Not up to Colbert, just a random clip I stumbled into last night, unrelated to Hillary. That doesn't run too long.

Just to touch base with amusing political humor.

Seneca the Younger said...

The skit references the Iranian nuclear project, but short term, the danger comes from the Syrian/Iranian axis backing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Gee, George, you mean a Saturday Night Live routine didn't take into full account the current and future geopolitical situation and all its diplomatic and military ramifications?

George Weiss said...

1. only SNL has really claimed that the media favors Obama

2. Hillary has gotten to deliver the "live from New York" line 2 weeks in a row now.

3. SNL is based in Hillary's home state


hmm i wonder if SNL favors hillary

John Doe said...

Get real. Lorne Michaels gave $2,300 to McCain in February.

If the program "favors" Hillary, it is because she would be the weaker candidate in the fall.

vet66 said...

Both Obama and Hillary are empty suits. All they bring to the table are soothing words of "We feel your pain" to radical Islam. They both will rely on left wing advisors who love the U.N., a neutered NATO, and a weak U.S. military.

The recent bombing of the recruiting office in Time's square, the seditious behavior of Berkeley and University of Santa Cruz regarding the military portend a deconstruction of America as the lone super-power.

Portraying Hillary wearing a mask was brilliant. Presenting Obama as an empty suit was precious because he is a dreamer with no substance.

rattlerd said...

I agree with Meade--Amy Poehler can climb in or out of my tank anytime...

Maybe I don't get out enough, but I thought it was funny. Not 'strategery' or 'febtober' funny, but good enough.

garage mahal said...
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garage mahal said...

Looks like East vs West style now. SNL against Bill Maher.

The Notorious Hillar-E vs 2Barack.

I say screw the super-delegates, and let Suge Knight and Puffy Combs decide this election.

From Inwood said...

Next SNL does a spoof on President Obama's calling Bret Favre about how to choreograph his (Obama's) retiring from the Presidency because he can't handle the real world of foreign leaders after 17 days or so.

I thought that the SNL sketch was funny & not too long for political junkies.

But are the folks who follow Obama like some Sci-Fi movie zombies listening to this? Methinks they'll see it as SNL in the tank for Hill as some great blogmistress has noted.

Mark Steyn has commented on Maureen Dowd's faux wisdom & usual cutesy sentence construction about America choosing the lesser of two sins, misogyny or racism. He notes that perhaps America will elect McCain, demonstrating that most don’t share in a self-torturing satire of upscale liberal guilt confusions, but, in any event, that such Democrat nominating process will at least give us a laugh along the way.

rcocean said...

Pretty lame. One reason I never watch SNL anymore. The usual one joke sketch that goes on and on and on.

And what's with the swearing? Trying to pad out the sketch even more or too stupid to write funny dialog?

former law student said...

short term, the danger comes from the Syrian/Iranian axis backing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Who is Hezbollah? From the BBC:

Hezbollah - or Party of God - emerged in Lebanon in the early 1980s and became the region's leading radical Islamic movement, determined to drive Israeli troops from Lebanon.

So, (1) invading an Arab country inspires (2) radical Islamic resistance movements, which still cause (3) danger a quarter-century later. Recall that al-Qaeda-in-Iraq was negligible until we invaded, and now is a significant radical Islamic resistance force. Thanks, Bush!

Ann Althouse said...

John Doe: ""What I think of the "SNL" spoof of Hillary's "3 a....": Get real. Lorne Michaels gave $2,300 to McCain in February. If the program "favors" Hillary, it is because she would be the weaker candidate in the fall."

How do you know he didn't "favor" McCain because he'd be the weaker candidate and lose to Hillary? Does Michaels have a record of supporting Republicans?

Meade said...

"Recall that al-Qaeda-in-Iraq was negligible until we invaded, and now is a significant radical Islamic resistance force."

I had forgotten that. Yup -- a clear case of Cause and Effect. Before March 2003, al Qaeda-in-Iraq wasn't even in Iraq. It was in, I don't know where, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Germany, Miami...

Thanks, former law student!

Pastafarian said...

Althouse --

In an earlier post, you said that you wouldn't use the phrase "in the tank" until you knew its exact meaning and origins; so I'll assume that you now know. I liked Cedarford's explanation -- and his definition (purportedly objective but actually harboring a secret bias) was certainly what I had in mind when I used this phrase in a comment (when I stated that I thought that you were "in the tank" for Obama).

To be honest, I had no idea where the phrase came from -- I've just heard it before, and deduced this meaning from context. Maybe I should be more careful with such phrases, particularly in these comments: Had this phrase had a racially unsavory origin, I'm sure that I would have been skewered mercilessly. It certainly wouldn't take much to set off outrage in anyone who sees a racial slur in "Good Night" on a pair of jammies.

Re. the topic of this post: This clip was as unfunny as anything on post-Belushi SNL, beating a single punchline into the ground. And I don't see how a skit that lampoons Clinton ads as unfair distortions favors Clinton. You said that it brings the Obama experience deficiency back into our attention -- but how exactly would they have done a skit about this 3am ad without mentioning the fact that this was Clinton's criticism?

Is it actually off-limits to even so much as mention this ad, without being accused of favoring Clinton, even if in mentioning it, we're criticizing it?

Sorry, all I see here is more evidence that you're in the tank for Obama.

Cedarford said...

FLS - So, (1) invading an Arab country inspires (2) radical Islamic resistance movements, which still cause (3) danger a quarter-century later. Recall that al-Qaeda-in-Iraq was negligible until we invaded, and now is a significant radical Islamic resistance force. Thanks, Bush!

Brilliant thinking, FLS.

Radical Islam inspires radical Islamist terrorism, not the reaction they cause from people they attack.
Recall that ideological movements like radical Islam have long lives - 1400 years to be more precise. Like scorpions, they may be content to sit a while then be provoked to sting, but that doesn't change their fundamental scorpion nature.
It is like you are arguing that the ONLY reasons Nazis ended up in N Africa was that Britain and France declared War on them, thus, all the carnage in N Africa was the fault of the UK and France.

And recall that the Islamist terrorists that showed up in Iraq were not created out of thin air. They were initially created in other Muslim countries and were a danger on their native soil or where they went abroad after becoming Islamised to wait as sleeper or do active recruitment, finacing, or butchery in Islam's name.
THEN the US drew the miscreants into one battlefront and has killed over 10,000 and captured 2,000 of them (where the poor babies suffer in jail in Iraq with no Jew with an ACLU card there to protect their terrorist liberties and rights).

As they focused on killing US Marines and Army and Iraqis and largely lost that battle, instead of doing deaths and mischief outside Iraq for the last 5 years. Worse for the Islamoids, they also left huge intelligence leads for the US to pick up and pass on to countries from Canada to China on nests of Muslim bad guys. Some of whom, like Switzerland, were shocked to learn they had a radical Muslim terror problem brewing in their own cities. And on the North South Axis, the message down in the Ummah is that Arab Sunni Iraqis have decided that to have Al Qaeda amidst your people is like inviting a monster into your tent. Such monsters that Americans are preferable to coexist with.

The basic concept, go in and beat up an impertinant, dangerous Muslim country to make all Muslims hesitate to support Muslim terror and fuck with the USA with assymmetric warfare , was not a bad idea or 80 Senators wouldn't have voted for it - WMD nonwithstanding. 17 defied UN resolutions, shooting at our pilots, menace to Israel, the Bush I assassination try, need to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia - lots of reasons existed - many legitmate acts of war against us.
What failed was Bush-Bremer-Rumsfeld-Neocons in the postwar. Disastrous decisions, idiotic Sharansky-Wilsonian nation building.

It's 3AM. June 10, 2010. Syria hit Israel along with Hez. Iran threatens to send 350,000 Iranian Republican Guard across Iraq to Syria. An Iraq that President Obama yanked Americans out of in a 4-month retreat that turned into a rout. An Iraq which is now in chaos. Oil is at 200 a barrel. A demoralized US military saw 1/3rd of it's members quit after the Democrat Party defeated them.

Media hears of the 3AM calls Obama got from Israel, KSA, asks what Obama will do. He offers to meet with all parties and "send his message of hope".

Kevin said...

Never mind the inexperience ... SMOKING!?!! A lot of people react badly to that -- especially kids who've been taught to view tobacco as a dangerous drug.

Kansas City said...

The skit is clearly much more critical and humiliating to Obama than to Hillary - it is not even close. And it is modestly amusing. It also seems strange that each week SNL mostly deprecates Obama, when therer also is a wealth of material that could be used to belittle Hillary.

Michael said...

John Doe: Get real. Lorne Michaels gave $2,300 to McCain in February. If the program "favors" Hillary, it is because she would be the weaker candidate in the fall.

Political contributions by Lorne Michaels, according to opensecrets.org.

According to them, he did make two contributions to McCain this election cycle, but those contributions were way back in March ($1000) and May ($1300) of 2007. And given the list of who else he has made contributions to in the past makes any suggestion that he's In The Tank for McCain laughable.

paul a'barge said...

Barak Obama IS a neophyte.

former law student said...

The basic concept, go in and beat up an impertinant, dangerous Muslim country to make all Muslims hesitate to support Muslim terror and fuck with the USA with assymmetric warfare , was not a bad idea or 80 Senators wouldn't have voted for it

I didn't like the basic concept the first time I saw it, when it was called the Six Day War. How well did that work out for Israel? Unless you think the development of the suicide bomber was a positive breakthrough, I would say "Not all that well."

Cincinnatus said...

I don't think Israel's choice between existing and participating in the six day war was deliberated as much as you'd like.

Trooper York said...

This election really sucks as a reality show. On Fox we have the contest between the clean cut black guy Cha-cheeze-ie with the wierd foriegn sounding name. And the horrible voice of Amanda Oversinger the refugee from the sixties. On the other channel we got the old dude Rudy, the vet from Survivor Season 1 Hanoi Hilton. Thank God baseball is almost here so we can change the channel.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, I enjoyed it. Whatever sympathy you might have for Hillary! is probably lost seeing her talk with that facial mask on. Can you envision her wearing that while talking on the "Hot Line"?

Fen said...

Cincinnatus: I don't think Israel's choice between existing and participating in the six day war was deliberated as much as you'd like.

Damn. I wish I had said that.

Cedarford: It is like you are arguing that the ONLY reasons Nazis ended up in N Africa was that Britain and France declared War on them, thus, all the carnage in N Africa was the fault of the UK and France.

Exactly. The Left behaves as if Afganistan and Iraq are two different wars, rather than two different battlefields in the same war. They just don't get it. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the way they are wired.

former law student said...

The Left behaves as if Nicaragua and Vietnam are two different wars, rather than two different battlefields in the same war. They just don't get it.

So when are we invading Saudi Arabia, home of Bush's buddies the bin Ladins and their black sheep son Osama?

Fen said...

So when are we invading Saudi Arabia, home of Bush's buddies the bin Ladins and their black sheep son Osama?

Last.

Because they have the global economy over a barrel. Better than any nuclear deterrent.

And you make my point. You are outraged about something you don't understand. You might as well protest my decision to run a TRAP mission during my Screening Op...

The anti-war left is like that guy at the bar who's always offering advice on what Bill Parcells "should have done" last season... but then gets all foggy over the term Shotgun Offense".

Fen said...
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Fen said...

BTW, I said:

The Left behaves as if Afganistan and Iraq are two different wars, rather than two different battlefields in the same war.

If you want a more proper analogy: the Left refuses to understand why FDR is sending tanks into Africa, instead of Europe. And they want to impeach him for it.

They also have some ideas on how we should deploy our snipers...

john marzan said...

the funniest anti-obama ad so far.

Michelle said...

Yeah, I thought that was a clever rhetorical two-step, as well. They play the surface-level exaggeration for yuks, but they are also subtly advancing the ideas about BHO's inexperience.

I wish SNL were cruelly neutral! Their ideological investment is really off-putting to me.