Breaking News! SNL Spoofs the President

What Women Really Think
Oct. 8 2009 12:23 PM

Breaking News! SNL Spoofs the President

Like a riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in mystery, this CNN segment-in which correspondent Kareen Wynter "fact-checks" the Saturday Night Live skit in which Fred Armisen, as Obama, explains that he’s done "jack" and "squat" during his first year in office-has me scratching my head.

Is it serious? Is it earnest but lighthearted? Is it self-parody? Hard to say. On Monday, Politifact.com posted their fact-check of the sketch . The article says "Just for fun, we thought we'd go through Saturday Night Live's checklist and match it up with the promises we've rated on the Obameter." Cool. Fine. Not a bad way to promote their "Obameter," which is tracking Obama’s campaign promises. But Wolf Blitzer and Kareen Wynter, using the Politifact.com piece as a launching pad for their segment, take it to another level. While the screen flashes a banner headed "New Developments" (as if they were tracking an actual news story), Blitzer asks, "Did the show accurately capture a mood, or did it go off track for comedic effect?" Wynter states, "While some observers say, 'sure, we are just talking comedy here,’ on many points, SNL could not have been more off the mark."

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As Seth Meyers might say , "Really, CNN? You need to treat a comedy sketch as if it’s a sincere critique of our president? Really?"

While we’re on the subject of CNN and Obama, can we all agree it’s time to stop airing video of children singing about him? However harmless it might be, it’s just creepy.

Rachael Larimore is a Slate senior editor.

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