UPDATE: YouTube link to deleted video at end of post.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in its most recent installment did an extraordinary skit which amongst other things accurately blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis.
Early Sunday morning, as is customary for NBC, the video of this sketch was posted at its website. Some time Monday, it was taken down without any explanation.
One possibility is that two of the targets in the skit, the founders of Golden West Financial who were mocked by "SNL" as having made billions selling subprime mortgages to unqualified borrowers, aren't happy with how they were portrayed. As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added):
Once hailed for running their savings-and-loan company like an endearing mom-and-pop shop, Herb and Marion Sandler are now being vilified as ruthless home lenders who helped destroy Wachovia Corp. and contributed to the financial decay that led to the U.S. government's $700 billion rescue plan to buy rotten mortgages. [...]
Sandler, 77, spoke to The Associated Press in the San Francisco office of his family's charitable foundation the morning after NBC's "Saturday Night Live" broadcast a skit deriding the Sandlers as predatory lenders who had duped unsophisticated borrowers and Wachovia, too. A caption shown during the sketch skewered the Sandlers as "people who should be shot."
Although the timing of the interview was coincidental, Sandler was seething after watching a replay of the skit on the Internet.
"I have been listening to this crap for two years," Sandler said. "We are being unfairly tarred. People have been telling us to speak out for some time, but we didn't think it was appropriate. That was clearly a mistake."
Frankly, just the caption "People who should be shot" could give the Sandlers justifiable cause for a complaint. After all, no matter what you think about these folks, advocating their execution is clearly over the line unless they're Republicans and you post at Daily Kos.
On the other hand, this sketch was equally unflattering to George Soros who was categorized as the owner of the Democratic Party who absconded with the $700 billion Congress just approved for the bailout. As such, maybe he's the "injured" party that put pressure on NBC to pull this video.
Although that makes a great deal of sense, the media analyst and diehard cynic in me most prefers our friend Terry Ann Rendon's take:
Why pull a skit on the bailout? Because it was semi-critical of Democrats? Please note that all their other videos work just fine. Also, they never posted the skit making fun of the New York Times from from a few weeks back. SNL had Al Franken, Democrat running for the Senate, co-write a skit. So I'm not paranoid to think this has to do with politics. Our media is so in the tank, it's not even funny. Years and years of comedy jokes about hearing how Bush is an idiot, every night, and NBC pulls ONE skit that shows that both Republicans and Democrats were responsible for the credit crisis mess from their Web site.
What's the real reason for this video suddenly being removed from NBC.com? At this point, that remains a mystery.
However, all of the other videos from Saturday's installment remain available at the Obama-loving network's website including the one making fun of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Rest assured that's likely just a coincidence and has nothing to do with the political proclivities of NBC's upper management.
*****Update: I don't know how long this is going to last, but here's a recently posted YouTube video of the verboten sketch.
*****Update II: Pat Dollard has the video here (h/t NBer kg).