SNL's Violent Opening Skit: Impossible to Imagine If Parties Switched

One of the first rules of genuine comedy is that to be funny, a joke or skit needs to have some basis in truth.

On that primary measurement, the cold open on "Saturday Night Live" last night failed miserably on so many fronts, it's hard to know where to begin. Its most offensive aspect is its portrayal of a Democrat inflicting violence on three Republicans to the audience's pleausre. It is impossible to imagine the program putting on a skit showing Ronald Reagan doing to the same thing to Ted Kennedy — who, in an objectively treasonous act, sought the Soviet Union's help in the 1984 presidential election for the purpose of defeating Reagan.

Of course, the Republican characters in the skit are laughably misportrayed:

  • Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a decorated Iraq War veteran, is a 90-pound weaking.
  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz is the person who "shut down the government." Anyone with a lick of sense understands that Harry Reid, the Senate's Majority Leader, refused to consider any legislation which would keep the government open. Harry Reid, from the then-minority party, caused the government to shut down.
  • Arguably most crucially and absolutely falsely, the skit has President Obama telling House Speaker John Boehner that he (Boehner) invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress "without consulting with me."

Now, for those who can stand it, here is the skit:

Here is a rundown of the skit via the UK Daily Mail (HT American Thinker):

President Obama throws John Boehner out a window and crushes Ted Cruz's head while Michelle Obama attacks the Secret Service in Saturday Night Live cold open

  • The Saturday Night Live cold open this week had President Obama speaking with John Boehner, Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz
  • Obama criticized the men for their actions against him, but the men were unapologetic, angering President Obama
  • President Obama then turned into The Rock Obama, played by this week's host Dwayne Johnson
  • Obama threw Boehner out a window, ripped off Cotton's hand and tried to crush Cruz's head
  • Michelle Obama got involved too, turning into She Rock Obama and ripping off the arm of a Secret Service agent

The claim that Boehner didn't consult Obama about Netanyahu's speech was busted almost two months ago, but the hard news and now entertainment media won't let it go.

I explained this (again) on March 18, starting with the original late-January explanation by American Thinker's Thomas Lifson:

Step One: Manufacture outrage against PM Netanyahu, Israel, Speaker Boehner, and Republicans with an agit-prop exercise, falsely claiming that President Obama was not consulted before an invitation was issued and accepted for the Israeli leader to address Congress.

Step two: Quietly issue a correction that nobody but a few people notice. Leave the impression of the false story in the minds of most.

Step three: Use that false impression as an excuse to cut Israel out of the “peace plan” put forward by the administration.

... Step four (forthcoming): Pillory Israel for balking on a “peace plan” it had nothing to do with creating, and which almost certainly will prove prejudicial to its survival.

Despicable, but effective.

Either the SNL writers didn't know about the Times's correction, or didn't care. Here it is:

Correction: January 30, 2015  An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.

I'll give SNL's writers credit for having hit on a bit of truth, perhaps inadvertently, in one instance: Obama didn't go over the edge and turn into "The Rock Obama" until Cotton reminded him that his NCAA Basketball Final Four bracket is busted.

That this remark is what would "fundamentally transform" Obama would seems to accurately reflect his true priorities.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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