Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
September 14, 2008

SNL (With The Sound Off)

Snl-1-1For me, this was the visual highlight of last night’s sketch.

“Tina Palin’s” literal embrace of “Amy Clinton” neatly captured real Sarah’s self-serving tendency to exploit and appropriate Hillary’s stature and political circumstances.  If the physical response mostly played on Clinton’s dashed hopes and ambitions, the response also captures how much Clinton is constrained from taking Palin on.

The skit was also interesting just for surfacing Clinton (albeit comedically) at all.  Coming out of the DNC, The Times had this, then this (the latter article awkwardly trying to force-fit Hillary into the role of Palin-antidote).  But otherwise, Hillary — as well as other Dems such as Sebelius,  MaCaskill and Napolitano — have been virtually invisible. (And then, after offering a prominent and powerful presence at the DNC, what happened to Michelle? Personally, I thought it was a lost opportunity — perhaps too rigidly adhering to a one-sided promise — that Michelle wasn’t alongside Obama at Ground Zero on Thursday.)

So, what’s up?  Have the Democrats backed off in terms of putting their most prominent women out front?

It looks like Clinton and Sebelius are hitting Ohio starting today.  In a campaign in which the soft news and entertainment media — typically the lowest common denominator — is helping driving the narrative, I could actually see how something as political banal as this SNL sketch could actually give Hillary, and the Democratic women, something of a boost.

If you missed it, you can catch the video here.

(screen grab: NBC/SNL)

  • http://biobrain.blogspot.com Doctor Biobrain

    It’s sad, but I definitely think that skit will be a bit of a game changer. While the narrative on Palin is still up in the air, there was enough truth in both caricatures that I think it will help solidify things against Palin in people’s minds; particularly for women who might have been wavering on Palin. The writers totally nailed her and getting Fey sealed the deal.
    While the impression wasn’t entirely accurate, they rarely are. And rather than giving us a true portrait of either lady, they gave us a “what they’d like to say” take on the situation. Overall, I think this will inform people far better than if these two had done this in real life. I just wish the rest of the show had been as funny as that skit.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    This sketch is utterly brilliant and a wicked statement on the ragged state of our news media — comedy writers show us the truth, journalists and pundits are a standing joke. Come to think of it that’s not really such a surprise. Will Rogers and S Clemens simply told the simplest truth they could. Jon Stewart should be sitting in Cronkite’s chair, a legacy of trust the networks squandered for a bit of access and the freshest bullshit KKKarl could conjure.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/john_bannion/ harrier

    Bits of this sketch were the only saving grace on ABC’s “This Week with Corporate Shills posing as Pundits,” in which the panel agreed that the Repubs were ahead because they were keeping the lights on Palin. The highlight for me was G. Will, who moments after telling us how Alleghany miners felt about things, defended McCain’s technophobia with: “I’m not good at email; that’s why God created Georgetown interns.” Somehow, a custard pie in his face at that moment would have been perfect.

  • Some Guy

    The SNL skit was yet straight forward yet subtle, the moment you point to being a clear case in point. I agree that it is a literalized metaphor. For me the best part was the way Poehler played Clinton. She conveyed how much she disliked it but was not willing to throw the hand off of her. So both Palin and Clinton’s approaches to this situation were literalized.
    Despite data indicating there is no special movement of women toward McCain (any different from men moving his direction in terms of his bounce), the meme that Palin has brought women to McCain seems unstoppable.

  • clf

    I don’t know where the dem women are. But I have to say the SNL skit just wasn’t funny. (Nor was it brilliant. Amy Pohler doesn’t even bother trying to get Hillary Clinton right. She simply puts on a bad wig and we have to guess that she’s Hillary with the help of the dialogue.) Again, SNL was a total disappointment. (Michael Phelps? The guy is as dull as a doorknob.) They should have done a skit of the Church Lady taking on Sarah Palin.
    There’s some great political satire being made these days but it’s not coming from the SNL corner. I much prefer Gina Gershon’s Sarah Palin.

  • Amy

    Amy’s impression of Hillary being so “off” kinda rubbed me the wrong way, too, at first – but the “offness” has kinda become funny it’s own way. And Tina Fey is just sublime in anything she does.
    As for it being a game-changer, perhaps not “the” game changer – but it certainly is a nice addition to the pile. It feels as if a few things shifted this weekend. The View coming down hard on McCain on Friday, which caused (and is still causing) so much chatter about McCain running a dishonest campaign; the news that Barack Obama took in $66 million & 500,000 new campaign contributors in August; the mockery that Sarah Palin’s interview has generated. And then that amazing rally in Alaska of 1,500 people with some of the cleverest protest signs I have seen in my life gathering together to tell the world that Sarah Palin is not quite so beloved as the oft-repeated 80% approval-rate suggests.
    It’s been a good Sunday.

  • http://www.doves2day.blogspot.com g

    G. Will… defended McCain’s technophobia with: “I’m not good at email; that’s why God created Georgetown interns.”
    Umm….excuse me? What the heck? I’m 54 years old. It’s pretty simple – you open the program, you doubleclick on the thing, you hit reply and you write what you want to say, and then you hit send. My 82 year old Mom can do it.
    If George Will can’t figure out email, it’s like saying he can’t figure out grocery store scanners. What else can’t he figure out? And why the heckck are we paying attention to him, then?

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    The game changer is tomorrow’s financial news. After that, the story is all economy, all the time.

  • GeorgeF

    @ donna: You are right. Here Germany’s stock exchange index (“DAX”) already lost over 4% since this morning – and it is still falling! (at 2:00 p.m.)

  • Sunshine

    Tina Fey was dead on! Was it a game changer? YES!!! This skit was profound and funny – awesome political satire. I only hope Palin watched it.

  • http://www.cafepress.com/barackclock LizDexic

    Although Tina’s portrayal was spot-on, I think she should have added a few gratuitous “Charlee”s to her bit.
    Also, I think that Hillary NEEDS to get out there and tell her “low information” supporters that Sarah Palin is NOTHING like her and tell them what a McCain /Palin supreme court would be like.
    (I thought she was going to campaign for Barack!) I heard that 20% of her supporters are turning to the McCain/Palin ticket. Can that many women be that stupid??

Refresh Archives

Random Notes