'Saturday Night Live' Struggles With Pro-Hillary Perception

Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night LiveAfter getting a huge amount of publicity for accusing the media elite of being "in the tank for Obama," the popular NBC show "Saturday Night Live" is trying now to combat allegations that it is biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Executive producer Lorne Michaels has long maintained that the show risks its comedy credentials if it appears partisan. So he is troubled by the recent chatter that the venerable late-night program has exhibited a pro- Hillary Clinton bent.

"That's a major concern," Michaels said. "I can assure you that there's no agenda, that there's only a reaction to what's going in the world."

Since returning to the air in late February after a hiatus forced by the writers strike, the NBC comedy showcase has zoomed back into the political zeitgeist.

When media toughened its coverage of Sen. Barack Obama after a "SNL" sketch portrayed the press as fawning over him, analysts credited the show in part for the shift. (Obama even joked that he was going to call Michaels to complain.)

A series of other bits in recent weeks have contributed to the perception that the program is trying to sway public opinion toward Clinton. Guest host Tina Fey gave a shout-out to the New York senator, saying women like her "get stuff done." The candidate herself made a lighthearted appearance the following week, appearing in a matching brown tweed suit with cast member Amy Poehler, who plays Clinton on the show.

Two days later, Clinton performed strongly in the Ohio and Texas primaries.

Seth Meyers, one of show's three head writers, said he was amused by suggestions that "Saturday Night Live" changed the momentum of the race.

"We don't quite feel we've affected it as much as people want to give us credit for," he said.

There's a lot more interesting stuff in the article so I highly recommend reading it. This is yet another case of Gold getting an interesting angle that her colleagues missed.

The last part of the excerpt above is interesting. It dovetails nicely with something that Ace said earlier today about the power left-wing media criticism has on "non-biased" elite media:

When the left makes an issue of media failings, the MSM falls over itself to either 1) correct those alleged failings or 2) defend themselves and claim they're doing their jobs just fine.

Steven Colbert poked fun at the media for being (hah!) lapdogs for Bush. They all vowed to be tougher and stop giving him the free pass he'd enjoyed for five years. SNL, which is basically just Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom Watch with recurring characters, knocked the media for fawning over Barack Obama. Suddenly they decided they had to start actually covering Obama like a political candidate rather than the Risen Christ.

On the right, we've been knocking the "Obamessiah" goofery for a frigging year. Did anyone notice? Nope. It took the left-wing crew at SNL to get the media's attention.

They don't even bother responding to us on the right, even in a clear-cut and provable systemic and deliberate case of a bias such as this. They don't even bother defending themselves. They just ignore us. Because they're not even reading us and even if they did, what we think just doesn't matter.

When various leftist bloggers attack MSM figures, the response is usually fairly immediate. Joe Klein spent weeks defending himself from lefty attacks; Paul Krugman just posted a blog entry defending himself against the charge he had dared to deny the divinity of Barack Obama.

This argument is pretty much on the money. See our earlier study about how Time magazine routinely overquotes lefty bloggers versus conservative/libertarian ones.

As far as "SNL" goes, I would definitely agree that it is much more politically fair than a lot of the other television comedy shows. Unlike the "Colbert Report" and the "Daily Show," Democrats get made fun of routinely, more now that committed lefty Tina Fey isn't tilting things. The show still lists leftward but far less than its cable competitors.

Any "MADtv" viewers care to comment on that show? I rarely catch it so don't want to venture an opinion on it.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013