SNL strikes again, helping Clinton push the argument of a biased media

A week after Saturday Night Live parodied the CNN debate -- with hosts trembling to ask questions to the Illinois Senator, mimicking orgasms after his answer, and asking Obama Girl to ask a "question" from the crowd -- they struck again with a parody of MSNBC's debate. The video is available here, but hurry to watch it as YouTube bans SNL videos because of copyright.

The overall theme was the same as last week, with Tim Russert lobbing softballs at Obama and grilling Hillary Clinton. And, to be fair, the way in which the moderators handled the debate this past Tuesday did often seem like a SNL caricature, as I explained in my wrap-up. Much more in any case, than the previous week's CNN debate, which looked to be very balanced.

The sketch's highlight came towards the end, when Tim Russert aksed Hillary Clinton whether she knew the name of Russia's next President, of Nigeria's foreign affairs minister and Sri Lanka's UN Ambassador. Each time, Russert provided an answer and then turned to Obama to ask him the same question.

And at the end of the debate, Hillary Clinton -- the real one, not Amy Poehler -- was on the set to offer an "editorial response." Clinton had disappeared from the campaign trail earlier in the day (she did not board the plane taking her staff and reporters to Texas) with no one knowing where she was going, leading to reporters alerting their editors that Clinton should be tracked. It soon became clear that she was heading to SNL. Last week, Hukabee had made an appearance on Weekend Update. And in the fall, it was Barack Obama who had participated in the show's opening sketch, one that was making fun of Clinton's inevitability -- and of her reputation as a witch.

The Clinton campaign is really pushing this storyline of the media's treatment of the respective candidates. The candidate alluded to it at Tuesday's debate, and several of her aides have blasted the media recently. Trouble is, this sort of argument rarely changes voters' mind. It might do so if a candidate looks to be harassed too much, which is what happened in New Hampshire when women rallied around Clinton after the debate and the media's obsession over her tears. The Clinton campaign might be hoping to rally the female vote again, as women are less solidly behind her now than they were a few weeks ago.

Also noteworthy is Clinton's effort to diversify her campaigning. Besides SNL yesterday, she is also scheduled on the Daily Show on Monday. At a time where her campaign is spiraling out of control, with aides venting their frustration in the press, these are clearly efforts to keep herself in the news in a positive light and combat stories of a depressed and demoralized campaign, while also reaching to an audience -- particularly young voters -- that does not look to be very favorable towards her.

In another note about the media, the NYT is publishing a series of eight op-eds today from former presidential candidates who are explaining what important issue is being ignored by the remaining candidates. None of the highest profile former candidates (Edwards, Fred Thompson, Romney) participated but it is worth looking at some of the others (Brownback went with the family, Biden with Afghanistan/Pakistan, Dodd with infrastructures).


  • Quotes from your article about Hillary on SNL:

    "Trouble is, this sort of argument rarely changes voters' mind"

    "At a time where her campaign is spiraling out of control"

    First, The media bias against Clinton and in favor of Obama has changed ALOT of voter's minds....watch Tuesday night.

    Second, her campaign IS NOT out of control because she has very loyal supporters who will be with her until the end.

    Lastly, until recently, Clinton's campaign wasn't even allowed to confront Obama on alot of issues due to them being beat up by the media non-stop.

    Clinton wasn't even allowed to be proud of running as a woman....the media made an issue of it and planted in the minds of voters that this was weak idea.

    The above was very frustrating to Clinton supporters and her campaign managers. The campaign didn't know how to take Obama on concerning important issues due to media bias in favor of him...which this article is part of the nonobjective problem in the bias against Clinton.

    Media...be careful what you ask for.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 12:39  

  • So when Obama is the nominee will the media still fawn all over him? Or will they fawn all over McCain? They cannot fawn over both.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 14:16  

  • Tralhead Article:

    A Number You Probably Haven't Seen:

    It’s well-known that Barack Obama’s success has depended largely on independent and Republican voters. The corollary to that, however, has been less thoroughly reported: Obama is losing among Democrats.

    Over at the Perfect World, Cal Lanier crunches the numbers and finds that Obama, despite being ahead among pledged delegates, has fewer total votes among people who identify themselves as Democrats. (He has 7,392,809 votes; Clinton has 8,229,063.) That gives Clinton as lead with 52% of Democrats.

    Lanier also breaks the numbers down by race and points out that Obama has won white Democrats in only two states: New Mexico and Illinois. It helps you understand why the party gives so much power to its 796 superdelegates. If they didn’t, independents and Republicans could essentially hijack their election.

    Even if Obama leads in the popular vote and among pledged delegates, it might disturb party gray beards to learn that the nominee has essentially been chosen by outsiders.

    Published Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:34 PM by Christopher Beam

    Anyone wanting to come over to Hillary’s fired up camp…we would love to have you! Right now this country needs Hillary’s Comprehension not Obama’s Charisma! Go Hillary 2008 & 2012! God bless all the newcomers to Hillary’s campaign!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 17:08  

  • I'm a liberal Democrat, and I didn't really want either Clinton or Obama.
    They are nearly the same on all issues. Neither wants to get insurance companies out of healthcare, which means we'll not be able to get costs down or get everyone covered.
    They both will eventually get American troops out of Iraq.
    They are both historic firsts - way too late. However, I'm a little concerned that neither may be able to beat McCain and, especially if he choses a popular running mate.
    On Obama - it's easy to say you were against something if you weren't able to vote at the time, because you weren't in office.
    On Clinton - you keep alluding to 35 years --- doing what? You haven't been a public servant that long, and you supported Bush in his quest for permission to invade Iraq, and you supported him with the same vote on Iran - after learning your lesson on Iraq. In the years you've been a US Senator, how have you fought to control the damage done by the Bush administration?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 18:00  

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