September 28, 2008

You judge the new Tina Fey skit spoofing Sarah Palin.

I clicked it off at 1:29 even though I wanted to blog about it. I thought it was too dumb and boring to watch. Waiting all those long seconds with Amy Poehler nodding while the audience got and whooped about an old joke. Presumably, the writers load up the front end of a sketch with some of the good stuff, but all they had was old crap about out-of-towners coming to New York.

You know, Palin-haters, New York's electoral votes will go to Obama. It's people in other states who will decide this thing. Portraying non-New Yorkers as rubes is not only a weak comedy idea. It's a weak political idea. And tip to you comedy writers who imagine yourselves at all sophisticated: If you have a Bush = pubic hair joke, you don't have a final draft.

But, as I said, I clicked off at 1:29. So form your own opinion.


dbp said...

Yeah, I watched some of it last night too, although I probably made it two minutes before the skit became unbearably lame.

They were clearly playing to the local (live) audience rather than the much larger one out in TV land.

Meade said...

I feel like such a non-New Yorker rube -- I watched it all the way through thinking maybe they saved the funny part for last. D'oh.

Harsh Pencil said...

Watched the whole skit, and the next several.
Didn't think any of it was funny. So either SNL isn't funny, I'm old, or both.

KCFleming said...

How dreary.
I wonder what Cobert, Stewart, Cho, Bernhardt, SNL, and the rest of the comedians currently acting as arms of the Democratic party will do in an Obama presidency over a Democratic Congress?

What happens to boring humor?
It cannot become more boring.
Do they make fun of people they've never met? Mormons, The few remaining Republicans? The evangelical Lutherans who voted Democrat this time around? The South?

Obama skits will surely revolve around his foils, not on Him.

Well, there are always fat and fart jokes. And plus, they can always make fake commercials;that idea is still fresh.

Unknown said...

You have to admit she does a good imitation of her. Much better than the one who tries to do HIllary.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TWM said...

Eh, I think more people saw the SNL skit that the real interview.

Bissage said...

I stopped watching SNL before Eddie Brian-Doyle Murphy showed up.

So I really don't know.

Are they all still coke heads who'd think it'd be hilariously funny to watch one of their coked up friends scrape the algae off a fish tank?

Donn said...

I had numerous thoughts:

I don't think Fey will be playing SP after Nov.

Unfortunately, the funny part of the bit was that Fey's words were a fairly accurate representation of the actual SP interview.

SNL really needs to slam both Dems and Reps, not primarily only one party. (Done again, for example, in the Weekend Update section)

Amy's Couric was god-awful.

I agree, the best parts were in the beginning.

Kirby Olson said...

Are there still porno theatres in the Times Square area? I think they've been gone for decades. That area is very cleaned up now.

At any rate, that puzzled me, but the rest of the sketch was pretty funny -- playing to the hatred of Palin as a goofball, but quite good, I thought. I thought the reference to the Natural History museum as "that goofy evolution museum" was pretty funny.

I would never watch SNL in real life. Just can't be bothered. Haven't seen it since probably the mid-70s. IT plays to the slightly drunk 22-year old crowd, right?

Chip Ahoy said...

Please don't be a crabapple.

The skit cracked me up all the way through. I could watch these gorgeous and funny women goofing all night long.

"I was surprised how many people at the UN are foreigners ... we're gon'na get those jobs back to Americans!"

Come on, that's funny.

"I had a lot of false alarms, thought I saw Osama Bin Laden driving cabs all over the city."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha

Cuts to meeting foreign leaders. Shakes hands vigorously. Charms.

I'm not the slightest bit offended. But then I'm a fan of satire. That's the whole point -- to project your greatest fear and apprehension then poke fun at it. These ladies do this seriously and ridiculously well, IMHO.

Icing ---> The reporter is being goofed on too. That dumb expression! That adds significantly to the funny. That Fey actually doesn't much care for Palin yet depicts her so charmingly well ... oh no, here I go, I'm in love.

rhhardin said...

I liked it okay. It made Katie out as better than she is on the air, for some reason.

There was lots of ditz material in the real on-air Katie they overlooked.

``News aimed at children'' is her profession, after all. Why not bring that out?

I liked the Sarah Benincosa Palins that Judith Warner pointed out too.

There's humor in people you like, is what the attack aspect overlooks, in imagining they're dealing a crippling blow to the right.

Donn said...

It doesn't do any good to slam the messenger (SNL). This is what conservatives yell about when liberals pull the same stunt. It's not about whether or not SNL hasn't been funny since the 70s, but about the cumulative effect of the constant Palin bashing by the media. The only way to combat that is by intelligent responses by Palin, and as I said before, the Fey sketch last night was a fairly accurate representation of the Couric/Palin interview.

ricpic said...

Us upstate New Yorkers would elect McCain by a rout.

Secession from those downstate New Yawker, sophisticates, say we!

Bissage said...

Okay, on Chip’s say-so I decided to actually watch the video.

We’re sorry, this video is no longer available.

Now THAT'S funny!

It’s like every time I bend over to pick up my hat I kick it another five feet across the stage.

Unknown said...

Intelligent comments by Palin will stop the mockery? How about using Abraham Lincoln's words and thoughts to send some of our troops off to war?

Yeah, that will get these "comics" off her back.

I could make a million as a joke writer for Stewart: "Can you believe how stupid Bush is?!?"

Donn said...


Where did I say "stop?" I said "combat," and somewhere along the way, I believe the SP issue stopped being about the media, and about SP herself. Only she can change this dynamic.

KCFleming said...

I wonder what would happen if they tried to say something funny about Rengel's bribes or Reid's bungling or Pelosi's stare?

Are contracts revoked?

Better stick to mocking soccer moms visiting the Big City.
Goll- aahhhllllaayyyy!! Looka those buildin's! Whah, Cecil's silo is t'bigges' thang inna county, an' it ain't nigh half as tall as that un'! Walll, kiss a hog!

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I watched SNL last night thinking it was Bambi's turn to be skewered. Wrong agin. Another night of repub bashing. Maybe they are saving the Obama incest sketch for after the election.

Palladian said...

Pogo, They actually did a funny mockery of Pelosi and her stare. And "San Francisco Values".

Joseph said...

I thought it was funny. If you watch the whole thing, you will recognize that at many points Fey recites the actual interview transcript word for word, which is pretty hilarious in its own right, and works as an especially humiliating kind of satire for Palin.

KCFleming said...

I stand corrected!
I wonder who got fired for that?

KCFleming said...

Current SNL Dem/GOP mocking ratio:

Seems fair.

Wince said...

The video is here, along with other skits.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Pogo asks the best question:

I wonder what Cobert, Stewart, Cho, Bernhardt, SNL, and the rest of the comedians currently acting as arms of the Democratic party will do in an Obama presidency over a Democratic Congress?

My guess is that these folks will become much less influential with the dems in complete control. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are secretly pulling for McCain.

Sprezzatura said...

Yes! This is a terrible attack on Palin. It is unwatchable. This is the worst thing to have ever been shown in the history of the world.

We must not accept this inexcusable crime against all that is good in the world.

SNL was so out of line. Everyone knows that their ridiculous skit is completely dishonest and unfair.

We folks who are really upset with this Palin hating comedy show have no doubt that Palin is the defenseless victim of unwarranted and totally dishonest attacks from irrational Palin hating comedians.

It's because of this strongly felt confidence in Plain that we are not at all bothered by this Palin hating comedy show (or other critics of Palin's capacity to be VP, P, or CIC.) These despicable hate mongers don't get under our skin because they haven't presented a truth that we can't acknowledge to ourselves. This is why we could watch them all day long without feeling uneasy, overly defensive, and easily riled; but we don't want to.

NDC said...

Oh, I don't know, the Clinton years were pretty funny, with Darrell Hammond as Clinton.

It seems to be only Obama they are really afraid to mock as they do McCain and Palin, and it's probably at least somewhat complicated by his race.

We'll see how Palin looks in the debate. I doubt it's as bad as she has looked lately in the media.

Oh, and let's make a list of exactly what's straight from the interview transcript: all I see is the I'll get back to you with those.

rcocean said...

Maybe people don't remember the Clinton Years. The "Comics" spent most of the time bashing Gingrich, Dole, Lott, etc.

They *always* spend the majority of time bashing conservatives (especially social conservatives) - and they always will -BECAUSE THEY ARE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.

Next, we discuss if the NYT will stop bashing Republicans if Obama is elected.

Finally, the sketch was lame, just recycled Qualye jokes with an Alaska twist.

Fran said...

The more play this (mildly funny) skit gets these next few days the better the reviews will be for Palin on Thursday night. The Democrats make this same mistake every election year--exaggerating the Republicans' shortcomings and tamping down expectations to the level that anyone--even Sarah Palin--can beat them.

Hard to believe that with Joe Biden giving them so much material this is the best spoof SNL could come up with. But ultimately harmless for McCain, I think.

Godot said...

It's as funny as listening to an old joke and knowing what punchline is coming.

Worse. It's like listening to a joke you've never heard before and still you know what punchline is coming.

William said...

The first Tina Fey/Palin skit was very, very funny. This one had a little too much overt malice....Here is my objection to SNL, Jon Stewart, et al franken. These people make their living making fun of other people. Sometimes they are very good at it. Their mockery has an effect on the electorate....For many years I was a small businessman. I had the interests of a small businessman--low minimum wage, no mandatory health plans, no capital gains tax when I cashed out. Many of my positions were perhaps not good for the larger American public, but those were my interests. I did not have any special skill in explaining my interests or any special access to the public in order to do so....The SNL crowd are members of the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry has its own special interests, and these are never mocked. The Demoratic Party advances those interests, and it is rarely mocked. And remember these are people whose talents consist of manipulating words and images in order to evince a response. I think the whole effect is rather like a therapist who uses the trust of his patient for purposes of seduction. There is something corrupt and wrong about this.

Lorelei Leigh said...

I thought the skit was moderately funny. It's odd because Fey is so charming as Palin that she makes Palin seem charming as well, even as they skewer her, so it's hard to get too bothered by it.

I am genuinely curious, though, because I don't watch the show. Have they done a sketch on Joe Biden. It seems like there is a wealth of material there.

Unknown said...

Four thoughts:

(1) The "liberal media" accusation just doesn't wash. Why would the media or comedy shows be biased against conservatives? There is nothing inherent about media that would tend to cause it to be biased in this way. Maybe what they are saying is just true! Have you ever thought about that?

(2) SNL skits are generally not very funny anymore. I thought this was funny, not because of any ingenuity, but because Tina Fey imitated Palin pretty well. What the Palin lovers (are there any left?) don't get is that the things Palin herself says are hilarious! Fey was just repeating them with a little extra ridiculous jibes in there. All in all, it was pretty funny.

(3) I thought about the disparity between SNL's mocking of Dems versus GOP. It's not fair to say that SNL is biased. There have been hundreds and hundreds of Bill Clinton jokes on SNL (including last night!).

(4) The GOP gives comedians a LOT to work with. Let's be fair. G.W. is a doofus. Palin is a joke. That makes for good material. So does the anachronistic and hypocritical elements that define the conservative position on many things. If you are going to believe in these things, they are fair game.

SuperDave said...

Personally, I thought this was pretty comical and I find Palin refreshing. I don't see any evidence that Tina Fey is deliberately distorting her mannerisms or speech patterns. In fact, I was surprised to see Katy Couric depicted as she was. There was no reptilian mannerisms that I noticed. Katy has had too much face-work performed

As far as New York against the rubes. I have been a rube since visiting New York in the Spring of 2002 and observed anti-war pamphlets being handed out in a park that my co-worker cut across to get to an eatery from an elevated parking garage. He, being a New Yorker, was actually surprised that I found it astonishing.

vbspurs said...

I don't see any evidence that Tina Fey is deliberately distorting her mannerisms or speech patterns.

This is where her genius is present, but also her liberalism is evident.

I read on a liberal blog: "How do you satirise a satire?".

We got the answer last night, with this skit. You use Palin's own words against her.

I can count at least two whole sentences which are verbatim from the Couric interview.

It's genius, because if a Conservative complains, then he is in reality slamming his own candidate.

But she is then free to overemphasise the narrative they've constructed of her.

I thought it was funny in spates. I laughed when I was watching it, on the phone with my boyfriend. But it dragged on too long.


Synova said...

Four thoughts:

1) There is nothing causative about media to make it liberal; that one leads to the other. They correspond. For whatever reason, people attracted to liberal ideas are also attracted to journalism. Proving a lack of causation means nothing at all.

2) Certainly there are people who still like Palin very much. Just as there are those who spewed vile idiocies long before Sarah Palin ever had an interview with Katie Couric.

3) A girl who rode the bus with me and her friend reduced another girl to tears by calling her a slut and other really horrid things. Her defense? She and her friend called each other such things all the time. In other words... there's more to bias than equal time.

4) How many feminists does it take to screw in a light-bulb? A. That's not funny!

But please, continue to view opinions you disagree with as deserving of ridicule. No one really believes that liberals respect other ideas and other people anymore anyhow.

Synova said...

As for funny... respect usually makes for more funny, not less. How does one identify the funny if they disrespect the source material? Not having watched *this* particular thing, I can say that sometimes the really, obviously, liberal comics are very funny when they're doing a joke at the expense of conservatives and sometimes they are not funny at all when they do it. It's easy to get people to laugh at cruelty... it takes actually being funny to get them to laugh at themselves.

Unknown said...


If you say the sky is yellow, I don't have to respect that opinion.

Similarly, if you say that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that markets don't need government intervention; that wealth trickles down; that abortion is murder, but capital punishment is not; that your religion is the only true religion and you understand God's word more than everyone else (even though the New Testament is written in my native language--Greek); or that the GOP actually cares about anyone but the extremely wealthy, then again, I don't have to respect your opinions. Your opinions simply aren't worthy.

Agnostic Monk said...

The whole show was crap. Start to finish. Not one funny moment.

Synova said...

You don't *have* to respect anything. Obviously. Duh! And as we know, liberals don't really respect diversity of belief or opinion. They respect opinions they approve of.

"Similarly, if you say that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq;"

There were and we found them. Just not ones that you want to count as such. Even Saddam thought he had more than he had. And he *had* used them on his own people previously and was currently engaged in genocide. There is no sane reason to think he would refrain from using any he could acquire. So, please... is it that Kurds and Marsh Arabs don't have souls that matter, or is it that your opinion isn't worth spit?

"...that markets don't need government intervention;"

Since there was no lack of intervention and the governments own intervention was a huge part of the problem, and policies to reduce the immediate and harsh realities of the market allowed the problem to exist and continue until it reached crisis... your opinion ain't worth spit.

"...that wealth trickles down;"

It's a more rational opinion to hold than the opinion that business can be punished without detriment to the economy. In liberal land the wage-bunny uses a magic check-book that doesn't actually take money *from* any place at all.

"...that abortion is murder, but capital punishment is not;"

Both take a life. One life is innocent. The other life is not. Rational beliefs about abortion would be recognizing this innocence/guilt difference, believing both were wrong, or believing both were right. The only actual irrational belief set is that it's morally wrong to kill a murderer because killing is wrong, but quite all right to kill a living being before it is born just because you want to.

"...that your religion is the only true religion and you understand God's word more than everyone else (even though the New Testament is written in my native language--Greek);"

No one really expects liberals to be tolerant of religion or tolerant of people who think it matters or who bother to try to get it right.

"...or that the GOP actually cares about anyone but the extremely wealthy,..."

Because "caring" is defined by doing things that show you care even when they result in more poverty, social disintegration, and pain? "He meant well" puts no food on the table, no tires on the car, and no pay-check in the bank.

"...then again, I don't have to respect your opinions. Your opinions simply aren't worthy."

Yes, yes. I know. My opinions aren't the correct opinions... my beliefs are not the correct beliefs.

Daniel12 said...

I'm new here, but I'd like to make three points.

First, I think Palin and the GOP spent the whole RNC bashing cities and urban residents. Maybe a little turnabout is fair play, regardless of whatever impact you perceive it to have on the election. New Yorkers (I'm one) have some pride too. If you're gonna bash us, be prepared to get some back -- and then don't whine about it.

Second, the second half of the sketch completely pivoted, with Tina Fey nearly verbatim repeating lines from the Palin Couric interview. As in, they couldn't think of anything funnier than just repeating her lines. Paraphrasing John Stewart, maybe it's the facts that have the liberal bias.

Third, just watch it. Then comment. Do you know how many infuriating state of the unions I've sat through the last eight years? Deal with it if you want to comment on it.

KCFleming said...
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KCFleming said...

"Do you know how many infuriating state of the unions I've sat through the last eight years?"

What a stupid waste of time. Why did you do that?

Shit, I ain't watched even one.
I also don't watch SNL.

Yeah, we get it.
You. Hate. Bush.

So what?

Unknown said...


It's abundantly clear that you are all about diversity of opinion. That's why your opinions don't at direclty mimic the GOP party line. That's also why you advocate homeschooling, because keeping your kids from exposure to others and their opinions is really the best way to teach them to be open-minded.

You are a parody of yourself. Like Sarah Palin. No wonder you like her so.

SimplyOrange said...

Just to clarify-the audience at Saturday Night Life are tourists from out of state-not residents of NYC.

Synova said...

Of course New Yorkers have pride, too.

I suppose the real difference is in what people do when they're insulted.

Hayseeds, hicks and hillbillies... redneck, trailer trash, shit-kickers, rube. Clinging bitterly to guns and religion. Hoochi-hoops and pick-up trucks.

Fly-over country.

A person can only be looked down upon for not getting fashion right for so long before they view the denim jumper as a symbol of defiance.

rhhardin said...

"...that wealth trickles down;"

It's a more rational opinion to hold than the opinion that business can be punished without detriment to the economy. In liberal land the wage-bunny uses a magic check-book that doesn't actually take money *from* any place at all.

You can stop with wealth trickles down. It's not about the poor picking up additional dropped coins.

It about a ditch digger having a much higher wage if he's running heavy equipment than if he's using a shovel all day. That power equipment takes capital. Capital is extra money. The more extra money, the higher the wages ditch diggers.

Unknown said...


It's the conservatives and conservative elements who have turned this into a divided country. Slowly but surely they have instilled this nation with a belief that they are the only true patriots (pushing Dems out) or that they are the only true Christians (pushing gays and others out).

Now, at the same time that you spew your one-sided, barely informed, copied-right-from-the-GOP-playlist of canned "beliefs" on me, you try to say that "liberals" don't respect diversity of opinion?

I'm in awe of your self-righteousness.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Oh, Synova, but don't these "hill-billies" (a label they use to insult each other, mind you) not also cling so religiously to their Us, People, and National Enquirers to find out what's happening in the big city with the big celebrities?

There is no defiance, my friend, they look on with admiration and buy the products these big-city folks tell them to buy in their ads.

Unknown said...


It doesn't matter what it's about. It doesn't work and it hasn't worked. It could work tehy way you suspect, but why doesn't it? Greed. The extra money might get generated, but it doesn't go to the workers, it stays in the hands of the wealthy. Oh, and then they mess everything up, and the taxpayer has to bail them, or so goes the most recent chapter.

Synova said...


The Republican party line is pretty much identical to the Democratic party line with a few, rather minor, differences in emphasis.

Republicans are only slightly less into regulation than Democrats... which makes your "free market" stereotype ignorant and silly. Republicans are only slightly less into welfare than Democrats, in that they'd prefer the programs deliver on promises. I really don't know how the Democratic party in New Mexico functions as pro-abortion when it's almost entirely made up of Catholic Hispanics, but I guess other issues balance that out. Maybe they don't care if gringos kill their babies. Republicans are only slightly more willing to see people as individuals first and interest groups second. Both parties are *for* the working-class and both are against racism. They just have slightly different ideas about how to best get the results they desire.

Your depiction of Republicans as conservative libertarians is just silly. Your prejudice against homeschooling... something that attracts people of all political persuasions, is instructive.

Anonymous said...

Synova said...Of course New Yorkers have pride, too.

Then why do they support a football team based in New Jersey?

Very weak skit. The out of towner/rube cliches about foreigners and cabbies were funny even though predictable.

But it almost sounded like they had a shill planted in the audience to encourage the laughs. I thought I heard Jackie Martling's laugh several times.

I also noticed how much more attractive Sarah Palin really is.

She makes Tina Fey look like an emaciated bird despite being 6 years older, living a much more rugged lifestyle and giving birth to 4 more children.

Godot said...

Klaughter is that sort of laughter audiences engage in simply because they recognize the reference being made.

Inferior writers depend on it because it's easy and ingratiating.

SNL has been klaughter mill for two decades now.

Synova said...

It about a ditch digger having a much higher wage if he's running heavy equipment than if he's using a shovel all day. That power equipment takes capital. Capital is extra money. The more extra money, the higher the wages ditch diggers.

Of course "trickle down" is an entirely inadequate catch phrase.

And Mix's simplistic notion that the company owner doesn't buy the power equipment but just pockets the money misses that the way for the owner to make more money is to invest in the tools to make his or her employees more effective and so be able as a *company* compete for larger, more lucrative contracts.

Also, when more people have more money they hire more things done that they would otherwise do themselves... so that "pocketed" extra capital goes to construction workers for the new deck and outdoor entertainment "room", to auto-workers for the new car, for the truckers to transport it, for the housekeeper, for the nanny, for all the extra meals out at restaurants...

Because those evil "rich" people generally don't have a money vault like Scrooge McDuck, that just holds it all and doubles as a swimming pool. They invest it, or they spend it.

Unknown said...

(Side note re abortion):

Catholics techincally can't belong to either party because they are anti-abortion and anti-death penalty.

Christians, by definition, can't support the death penalty and follow Jesus's words.

In Matthew, Jesus says (paraphrased): "You have heard 'eye for an eye' and 'tooth or a tooth', but I say turn the other cheek." Death penalty, which is eye-for-an-eye punishment is explicitly overruled.

Murder is murder. Any soul can be redeemed at any time. Any soul. Look at Paul for goodness' sake!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Palin lovers (and other people who would support McCain-Palin to a greater degree because SNL portrays Palin in a derogatory, but to be honest about it, fair manner) are going to vote for Obama at this point no matter what happens, and certainly not because of what happens on SNL or the Daily Show (the first of which gets mediocre ratings even from those who like it -- only the first 5 minutes is worth watching most times, and the second of which may drive some in the right wing crazy, but is a Comedy Central cable show not watched by many Republicans).

This line of thinking that Democrats should restrain their attacks on Palin because of a potential rebound effect are dead wrong in my opinion. There are two arguments about Palin that are legitimate avenues of attack. First, that she is unqualified to the point of being dangerously unprepared should she become President (which is less than an abstraction given Mccain's age and health), which raises serious issues about McCain's political calculation, and thus his judgment, in choosing her; and second, that she is in essence an even more dangerous version of Bush, meaning a person with very limited experience and knowledge, who is a blank slate for imprinting the most delusional ideas of the most influential GOP neo-conservatives who did the same thing with Bush, and yet who expresses absolute certainty about things she clearly does not fully understand. These are both legitimate avenues of attack that many conservatives acknowledge as such (and with which more than a few are actually in agreement).

The notion that every time so-called liberal elitists (whether they be politicians, SNL, Daily Show/Colberty, Hollywood, etc.) attack right wing cultural heroes, like Palin, it automatically means that all of middle America -- including those who may not vote Republican this year -- will circle the wagons around the GOP (thus hurting Democrats) is wishful thinking. I think it is a mistake to draw too broad an inference or conclusion about culture war "axioms" of the past 2 elections as applied to this election. The corrosive culture wars politics of Bush and Rove may have run its course, like most political doctrines do over time . . . except with the right wing, which loves the red meat Rovian politics provides. Where the opponent lends himself to the attack -- as with Gore and Kerry --culture war attacks do work. In those elections, the SNL portrayals rally were quite devastating to Gore and Kerry because they reflected a core popular perception about the candidate, i.e., the awkward robotic and somewhat condescending sound of Gore, or the awkward, convuluted, New England partrician sound of Kerry. They reinforced this notion that Gore and Kerry were politicians above all, and not men of the people and it also helped make Bush (who was a true blue blood elitist if ever here was one) seem more like the ordinary guy by comparison. It was not because Democrats are inherantly less likeable, it was because Gore and Kerry stepped right into it. Obama is not Gore or Kerry. His intellect can make him seem elitist (or at least elite) but his life story is not one of privilege or inheritance.

By contrast, the most pointed recent criticisms of Palin are entirely reality based, and not personal -- this is not about her family, or personal history -- quite the opposite. Tina Fey is capturing the half-baked and superficial answers she has given to serious questions in the few actual interviews she has given -- indeed, Fey's last answer in a comic skit was literally what Palin said, and it was funny because of how inane it was (in hte skit and in real life). For whatever reason, McCain has not let her interact with the press, which draws that much more attention to each interaction she does have, and which makes her less likely to perform well as the campoaign draws to a conclusion. I see that as a major strategic error by Schmidt and Davis, because she needs the practice of taking spontaneous questions to improve her game and make the case that her inexperience is not fatal (i.e., because she learns and adapts quickly). She must really be terrible if they won't let her go spontaneous. There's no other plausible explanation. Even I don't see a conspiracy to lower debate expectations to an all time low here. They don't have to try this hard to ahcieve that low a bar.

Right now, all we know is that Palin's last interview was nothing short of a disaster, an embarassment to the campaign (and that her most recent spontaneous statements in public contradicted one of McCain's major attacks against Obama in the debate, about not saying out loud what everybody knows anyway (a rule that McCain thinks applies only to Obama, apparently, since McCain has often been guilty of the exact same thing himself).

Anyway, as long as Palin feeds the comedy by giving answers that beg for a satirical response, these skits will be seen as fair and will eventually define her as a candidate. SNL political targeting is always very problematic for the target -- in this case, the McCain campign, previously Gore and Kerry -- because no campaign can be seen as being on the verge of becoming a running joke for legitimate reasons).

I think -- and many Amercians agree -- that McCain needs to answer for the selection of Palin. I firmly believe the Palin selection to be a gaffe of monumental proportions, which will likely cost McCain an election that he was unlikely to win to begin with. More importantly, the attacks on Palin are not only appropriate, they are absolutely necessary, and they should not be abandoned because certain women like her and may be offended. Those women -- and many of Ann's most ardent readers -- need to confront the reality of the person they are supporting. If they still support herdespite her painfully obvious inadequacies, it is doubtful that treating Sarah more deferentially would be the difference.

chickelit said...

@mixalh said:

(1) The "liberal media" accusation just doesn't wash.

A majority opinion in the country is convinced. Your opinion is irrelevant. Have you considered that?

SNL skits are generally not very funny anymore.

I have no opinion here. I don't tune in to it anymore and I don't watch these clips when Althouse posts them.

It's not fair to say that SNL is biased.

Back when I did watch SNL it was definitely biased. Was there a sea change? I missed that. [note to self-maybe I should watch SNL].

There have been hundreds and hundreds of Bill Clinton jokes on SNL (including last night!).

Bill Clinton is to the right of SNL and now appears to be for McCain-what is your point again?

The GOP gives comedians a LOT to work with. Let's be fair. G.W. is a doofus. Palin is a joke. That makes for good material...

But that's like saying adults give kids a lot to work with pointing out hypocrisy. Should I expand on that?

It's the conservatives and conservative elements who have turned this into a divided country. Slowly but surely they have instilled this nation with a belief that they are the only true patriots (pushing Dems out) or that they are the only true Christians (pushing gays and others out).

How long have you lived here? This conflict essentially started in the 60's and 70's and definitely doesn't belong to one side or the other.

Now, at the same time that you spew your one-sided, barely informed, copied-right-from-the-GOP-playlist of canned "beliefs" on me, you try to say that "liberals" don't respect diversity of opinion?

I'm in awe of your self-righteousness

You sir, are nothing but a left-wing malakas.

Synova said...

I think that among Palin's most ardent supporters here there were a few that thought this skit was legitimately funny.

And yeah, the interview with Couric sucked, bad. I didn't mind what Palin said, but she didn't say it well.

But please, mtbomber, lets continue to be calmly honest in our consideration of Sarah Palin.

Yes, I wish she had more time as governor. I was surprised when McCain picked her but, honestly, there really weren't other good choices. I'd have liked Giuliani.

Arguably she's as qualified as Barack Obama... if we go by their experience. If she's unqualified and he's not, it can only be because people like his politics and dislike hers. Or because he's pretty good at speaking without getting into details. Palin tries to be specific about the complexity of an issue and it ends up sounding disjointed. Objectively, can we agree that being good at "politician speak" doesn't automatically mean a person is right?

"By contrast, the most pointed recent criticisms of Palin are entirely reality based, and not personal -- "

But only the most recent ones.

And even those are hyperbolic.

You know... the people here are generally civil and generally not idiots. I sometimes make the mistake of taking people who comment here as representative of both sides. They aren't.

I really had my eyes opened by reading the comment thread on one of the major network websites under the video of Sarah Palin meeting the president of Pakistan.

Objectively... she did great. She seemed entirely relaxed, entirely confident, not in the *least* bit overwhelmed or out of her depth. At least on this one little thing, she presented herself very well. If she was applying for a job as official greeter of foreign dignitaries she showed she was a natural.

This, you know, was before the Couric interview aired.

The comments were rabid.

If this were about being rational about deciding if Sarah Palin can do the job or not it would be different... at least for me.

People aren't making criticisms of her poor interviews because they are considering her rationally. That they finally have something concrete to point to doesn't change that it's about hating on Sarah Palin.

It's not even about disagreeing with her political views, which are conservative for the most part where McCain is not. We can assume that whomever McCain chose would have been equally conservative and have very much the same political views as Sarah Palin.

It's not about thinking she's a "joke"... if she's so obviously ineffective what's the worry?

Frankly, I'm not impressed by the hysteria anymore. I'm not impressed by the fantasy world created out of whole cloth by the people who thought "Handmaiden's Tale" was relevant literature, where the impending theocracy is waiting to dismantle our constitution and throw all the good people into camps or prisons. I'm not impressed by those who enable border-line ill people in their delusions of persecution and frankly, I find the 20-some percent of the population who think that 9-11 is an inside job alarming. I find the fact that some politicians are willing to pander to them, obscene.

These are the people who *fear* Sarah Palin.

When in fact, her politics (quite apart from her experience or qualifications) favor strictly *upholding* the constitution if she personally likes the results or not. And she vetoed legislation in Alaska that would have denied benefits to homosexuals. Even if assuming (out of prejudice) that she thinks homosexuality is a choice... she's *proven* that she'll defend the rights of all citizens. Her politics, and actions, are for reduced and responsible government. The worst that will happen there is that the congress will spend like they always have.

Her foreign policy statements so far have been right. Not popular, but right. So she doesn't think that a smile and some lipstick and a "hug" will solve international problems she at least realizes that we have treaty obligations to defend NATO members and that we're not the boss of other countries, such as Israel, to tell them what they can do not.

I really can not see how her statements are more likely to get us into foreign difficulties than Obama, who quite frankly, has said some pretty dang stupid things. He's not the only one, I know, but the concept of protecting the other country's dignity *at least publicly* seems not to have occurred to him any more than it ever crossed Kerry's mind that publicly calling our ally a "puppet" wasn't... politic.

"This line of thinking that Democrats should restrain their attacks on Palin because of a potential rebound effect are dead wrong in my opinion."

It's not just Palin.

But when someone looks at a video of her smiling and shaking hands with the president of Pakistan and it makes them want to vomit?

I think it will rebound. It has to.

Roberto said...

You do realize that it wouldn't be funny...if Palin wasn't such a complete dolt...right??

What I find FUNNY and rather that most here, appear to believe this woman is qualified to be the Vice President of the United States.

Do YOU REALLY think Sarah Palin should be a heartbeat from the being President???

All politics aside...REALLY??

Roberto said...

Synova said..."I think that among Palin's most ardent supporters here there were a few that thought this skit was legitimately funny."

No, it was not "funny."

In any way, shape or form.

It was depressing.

C'mon, do YOU really believe this woman deserves the honor and is qualified?

Roberto said...

Do most here actually believe this woman is qualified and deserves the honor of being the Vice President of the United States??

Sarah Palin.

Synova said...

Do you honestly think Obama is qualified?

Because he agrees with your politics, or because he has, you know, experience?

Synova said...

So really... if I secretly think that Palin isn't qualified (though I think she'd actually view it as an HONOR instead of her right) I have a choice...

An unqualified person who shares at least some of my political views for Vice President... or...

An unqualified person who shares none of my political views for President.

Golly... hard choice.

Roberto said...

WASILLA, Alaska — Though Sarah Palin depicts herself as a pit bull fighting good-old-boy politics, in her years as mayor she and her friends received special benefits more typical of small-town politics as usual, an Associated Press investigation shows.

When Palin needed to sell her house during her last year as Wasilla mayor, she got the city to sign off on a special zoning exception _ and did so without keeping a promise to remove a potential fire hazard.

Palin claims she has more executive experience than her opponent and the two presidential candidates, but most of those years were spent running a city with a population of less than 7,000.

Some of her first actions after being elected mayor in 1996 raised possible ethical red flags:

She cast the tie-breaking vote to propose a tax exemption on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one, and backed the city's repeal of all taxes a year later on planes, snow machines and other personal property.

She also asked the council to consider looser rules for snow machine races. Palin and her husband, Todd, a champion racer, co-owned a snow machine store at the time.

Palin often told the City Council of her personal involvement in such issues, but that didn't stop her from pressing them, according to minutes of council meetings.

Roberto said...

Synova: "So really... if I secretly think that Palin isn't qualified..."

'nuff said.

Roberto said...

A protest rally blasting Gov. Sarah Palin's handling of the state's so-called troopergate investigation -- and calling for the attorney general to resign -- drew 1,000 or more people in Anchorage on Saturday.

Protesters chanted "Recall Palin!" as organizers told the crowd to push state legislators to keep after their investigation into the governor's firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

Roberto said...

A Freddie Mac Money Trail Catches Up With McCain

Few advisers in John McCain's inner circle inspire more loyalty from him than campaign manager Rick Davis. McCain and his wife, Cindy, credit the shrewd, and sometimes volatile, Republican insider with rescuing the campaign last year when it was out of money and on the verge of collapse. As a result, McCain has always defended him—even when faced with tough questions about the foreign lobbying clients of Davis's high-powered consulting firm. "Rick is a friend, and I trust him," McCain told NEWSWEEK last year.

Last week, though, McCain's trust in Davis was tested again amid disclosures that Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giant that was recently placed under federal conservatorship, paid his campaign manager's firm $15,000 a month between 2006 and August 2008. As the mortgage crisis has escalated, almost any association with Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae has become politically toxic. But the payments to Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, are especially problematic because he requested the consulting retainer in 2006—and then did barely any work for the fees, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement who asked not to be identified discussing Freddie Mac business. Aside from attending a few breakfasts and a political-action-committee meeting with Democratic strategist Paul Begala (another Freddie consultant), Davis did "zero" for the housing firm, one of the sources said. Freddie Mac also had no dealings with the lobbying firm beyond paying monthly invoices—but it agreed to the arrangement because of Davis's close relationship with McCain, the source said, which led top executives to conclude "you couldn't say no."

The McCain campaign told reporters the fees were irrelevant because Davis "separated from his consulting firm … in 2006," according to the campaign's Web site, and he stopped drawing a salary from it. In fact, however, when Davis joined the campaign in January 2007, he asked that his $20,000-a-month salary be paid directly to Davis Manafort, two sources who asked not to be identified discussing internal campaign business told NEWSWEEK. Federal campaign records show the McCain campaign paid Davis Manafort $90,000 through July 2007, when a cash crunch prompted Davis and other top campaign officials to forgo their salaries and work as volunteers. Separately, another entity created and partly owned by Davis—an Internet firm called 3eDC, whose address was the same office building as Davis Manafort's—received payments from the McCain campaign for Web services, collecting $971,860 through March 2008.

Synova said...

Hey, Michael... owning an airplane isn't a big deal in Alaska. Normal people own them. Every other person and her cousin can fly them. And everyone has a snow-mobile. Removing a tax on personal property that the regular person, not the rich, own would be pretty impossible if you could only remove taxes on items no one in your family has one of.

So, thank you for taking the time to tell us that she reduced taxes. That's more than Obama has ever done.

She also reduced her own salary.


Roberto said...

Synova, the fact that you think Sarah Palin deserves to be the Vice President of the United States tells me you're an idiot.


Synova said...

And shee-it. Wow, three weeks ago Palin had an 80% approval rate in Alaska and this week they're trying to recall her.

My my, how things change.

Good thing someone went up there to explain to those stupid Alaskans what an idiot they elected, eh?

Do you have any idea how pathetic you are? You can't even explain what taxes Obama has gotten rid of, what personal salary or expense of office he's reduced or done without, which anti-gay legislation he's vetoed, or which political corruption he's fought and won against.

Because he hasn't.

Palin's real world accomplishments might be on a slightly small scale but at least she's *done* something to reduce government waste and corruption. Are you going to claim that Obama simply couldn't FIND any? In CHICAGO?

Roberto said...

Ann says: "I thought it was too dumb and boring to watch."


Tina Fey and SNL...just "too dumb and boring"...for Ann?

Now THAT'S funny.

Arctor said...

The funniest part of the skit was the part that was written by Palin--when Tina Fey essentially copies Palin's rambling and incoherent response to a very easy question by Katie Couric. I find Palin hilarious, and can't wait to hear her on Thursday. Should be some pretty funny stuff.

Roberto said...

"...but at least she's *done* something to reduce government waste and corruption."

Opposed to John McCain?

You get dumber by the minute.

Roberto said...

"The funniest part of the skit was the part that was written by Palin."

You got that right.

You just can't make this stuff up...

Synova said...

Sure, Adios.

Because I know you can't give me one positive reason to vote for Obama. Not one thing he's done. Not one accomplishment. Nothing.

He's unqualified.

And if Palin isn't as qualified as I'd like, she's reduced taxes, reduced her own salary, sold the jet and fired the cook. She's actively run against corruption in her state, and worked to remove it. She's defended the constitution by vetoing anti-gay legislation.

You can go on about how unqualified she is, but the fact remains that the Republican Vice Presidential candidate has a thicker resume than the Democratic Presidential candidate.

Synova said...

"Opposed to John McCain?"

John McCain is running opposed to Obama. McCain has done some god-awful things in the name of reform, but he's done them. He's proven that he will pursue unpopular measures to combat corruption and will do so working together with Democrats.

What has Obama done? Oh... I forgot... he couldn't find any corruption in Chicago.

"You get dumber by the minute."

You don't like me pointing out that Palin has actually defended the constitutional rights of gay people with a veto instead of just saying lots of nice words to them, do you.

Or pointing out that she reduced taxes and cut her own salary. And then she went on to drastically reduce her expenses as Governor of Alaska... I've heard 80% compared to the previous Governor... though that was probably mostly a matter of selling the jet.

By all means... tell me what unnecessary expenses Obama removed from a budget and which of his own salaries he cut and which constitutional right he can be shown to have supported with something more than rhetoric.

Or, you know... Adios.

Synova said...

Obama -- Unable to find corruption in Chicago.

Qualified for President.

Roberto said...

Synova, you're masturbating.

Donn said...


Why is it necessary for you to be such an asshole most of the time?

Anonymous said...

Synova - Obama demonstrated his right to share the stage with McCain on Friday night. You can disagree with his views, but you cannot disagree with his breadth of knowledge, poise and temperament. He has been on the Senate Foreign relations committee since 2004, he has been in 22 debates, hundreds of interviews, and has written and spoken extensively on all manner of domestic an foreign policy. Sarah Palin has no record of any thought on the subject of foreign policy until three weeks ago. She does not deserve to share the stage with McCain, and not because she is lacking in all redeeming qualities. She is just not up to the task of POTUS. If McCain dies one month in, she would not be ready, and America would be at risk as a result. I see it as a DQ for McCain. She should have politely said no when he asked. Now it's too late to change the reality of the decision and its implications.

Obama is less experienced as a Washington politician than Mccain, but he is highly qualified, and his temperament, intelligence and graciousness are indeniable (in contrast to Mccain's smallness and evident anger on Friday). Those of us who like Obama do not hate America -- I own a business with 21 employees who get employer paid health insurance and 401K, etc. ed and I will likely see my personal taxes go up under Obama (thankfully, because it means I make plenty of money). But it is just irresponsible to be fighting two wars, and dealing with a financial meltdown and taxpayer bail out of the financial markets like no other since the depression, and not paying for it. You don't have the government put the future on a credit card. When did the GOP stop caring about whether the government pays its bills? Cutting earmarks is like flicking flea off of an elephant. Discretionary spending is less than 2% of the federal budget. Are tax cuts for the rich too important to give up even for the sake of a government's solvency? Don't our children deserve better?

Obama proposes a middle class tax cut -- there's the tax cut you are looking for us to point out to you. Money to middle class people means more money in the economy, which increases the potential for an economic recovery. Roosevelt got us out of a depression by increasing government investment -- spending -- in infrastructure that is now the backbone of our society. This includes rural electrification, interstate highways, sanitary water and sewer, dams, incipient telecommunications, scientific research, you name it. There is no reason not to move more in that direction now -- tax relief aimed at those who need it the most and who put the most money back into the economy, and tax breaks for the businesses that contribute to our energy independence, as a paradigm for a new approach to fiscal policy and economic resurgance.

Anyway, keep hoping for Palin to turn it around. I hope she does, because from what I have seen, I am scared to death that he might actually get elected.

KCFleming said...

"Roosevelt got us out of a depression by increasing government investment -- spending -- in infrastructure that is now the backbone of our society."

As unlearned a statement as I have ever seen written, wrong from the first word to the last. Dangerously ignorant.

More correctly:
Roosevelt got us ever deeper into the depression by haphazardly increasing government spending, increasing taxes, punishing investment, price fixing, protectionism, wage floors, and prosecuting capitalists.

World War 2 got us out.

Reading Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man would be a good start for facts to fix your erroneous beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Michael said...Do YOU REALLY think Sarah Palin should be a heartbeat from the being President???

I don't think Obama should have the heartbeat OF the President.

He has NO resume of achievement to qualify him for the job.

He managed to beat a black Republican kook named Allan Keyes for the Illinois Senate seat. No big achievement considering Keyes is a total flake with no connection to Illinois.

For 20 years Obama was a member of a radical black racist, anti American church. His "spiritual adviser" is a rabid bigot and a clown.

Obama has NO record of doing anything in the Senate. Nothing.

Obama has shown he can read a teleprompter and shown he can repeat Democrat party talking points like any local TV newscaster.

If Obama was a White man with his resume he wold never have pulled 90% of the black vote in the primary and Hillary would now be competing against McCain.

I don't want Barack Obama as the president of my country and I don't want the Democrats to control the whole show in Washington.

I don't like McCain and I don't think Sarah Palin is qualified to be PRESIDENT. But she's running for potted plant/vice president.

I will vote for McCain/Palin without expecting them to be able to do much to change the country for the better.

But I want them there to prevent Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and other Democrats from making it worse.

And I want Obama to lose because I hate the way Europeans, American blacks and the White liberal Obamadroids view my country and view Obama as my savior.

I want McCain/Palin to win and Chris Matthews/Keith Olbermann et al to die.

My hope is McCain/Palin win and Sarah invites Matthews/Olbermann to Alaska and shoots both of them.

And then McCain pardons her and replaces her with Mitt Romney.

Johnny McNulty said...

Oh man. I thought this was a good blog until I realized that no one involved in writing or reading it had a sense of humor. Although I like imagining all of the hundreds of man-minutes spent by you dreary, snarky netizens staring at your computer screens determined not even to giggle, nay, not even to crack a smile.

Dying is easy, comedy is hard, blogging is nothing and commenting is for losers.

Kill comments sections! I hate them!

Go to hell, people of the internet.