'SNL' Attacks Benghazi Hearings

Monday, 13 May 2013 09:59 AM

By James Hirsen

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“Saturday Night Live” sunk to a new low in the content of its most recent opening sketch.
 
The Lorne Michaels-created late-night television show was once recognized for its fresh, brash sketches that combined comedy with commentary.
 
That was then, this is now. Apparently, SNL producers and writers prefer to be politically correct in their commentary and aggressive in the expression of their liberal biases rather than just plain funny.
 
With the acquisition of further Benghazi information, which was recently revealed during congressional hearings and involved serious inaction, falsehoods, fabrications, and stonewalling following the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks, SNL could have used its media platform to comically nudge the Obama administration to be more forthcoming.
 
Instead the opening skit’s primary targets were GOP representatives on the House Oversight Committee, a lazy and possibly complicit demonstration from writers who are employed by a left-of-center network and are part of a largely liberal industry.
 
The SNL comedy writers took great pains to depict the Republicans as engaging in purely partisan theatrics. The sick sketch had the chairman of the congressional committee calling convicted murderer Jodi Arias to testify. Also waiting in the wings to be sworn under oath as the next witness was suspected Ohio kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro.
 
Although the opening of the bit implicitly acknowledged that the media had failed to properly cover the Benghazi hearings, the humor that was incorporated into the piece came in the form of mockery of GOP committee members, with negligible pokes at the media and zero ribbing of the Obama administration.
 
SNL’s Bill Hader portrayed Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Kenan Thompson, who played Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, telegraphed the SNL writers’ mindset, when in character he declared, “Everyone knows that this [the hearings] is just a partisan witch hunt and a chance to attack the president and Secretary of State Clinton.”
 
Hader as Issa then set up the parody by saying, “My Democratic colleague is welcome to his opinion, but I’d like to see him and his friends in the media ignore these hearing after they hear from our first witness.”
 
It was then that the Issa character called Arias (portrayed by Nasim Pedrad) as his first witness. The real-life Arias was convicted of first-degree murder just days before the show aired.
 
After the Cummings character asked what “possible insights or expertise that she [Arias] could bring to the events in Benghazi,” the Issa character revealed his fictional motive.
 
“Do you realize how hard it was to book her, especially this week?” Hader as Issa asked.
 
The Arias character then voiced what seemed to be the central objective of the SNL writers, suggesting that the hearings were unnecessary.
 
The fictional Issa was asked, “If you know who did it, then why are you holding these hearings?” The Republicans in the sketch were portrayed as dumbfounded by the query.
 
SNL’s version of the congressional hearings grew darker still. The show’s twisted opening aired only days after Castro was arrested and accused of unspeakable crimes.
 
“What about me? When do I get to testify?” SNL’s Bobby Moynihan as Castro asked.
 
Not content with merely characterizing Republicans as using the deaths in Benghazi for political purposes, the SNL writers added a line designed to make the Issa character look even more foolish. The fake Issa called the kidnapper the wrong name, invoking yet another name in the Castro news story.
 
“Don't you worry there, Mr. Ramsey, you're on next week,” he reassured.
 
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
 
 

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