It was certainly no surprise that NBC's "Saturday Night Live," in its most recent installment, lampooned Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

However, despite doing a nice job of mocking Biden and host Gwen Ifill -- masterfully played by guest Queen Latifah -- the butt of most of the jokes was cleary Palin who was once again portrayed by Tina Fey (video embedded below the fold, photo courtesy Huffington Post):

The wording may be a tad nuanced, the referenced two-bit dictator from a different country, but the idea behind the following jokes involving Barack Obama and the race card seems too similar for mere happenstance.

Judge for yourself.

On September 19, conservative blogger Jim Treacher wrote the following fictious exchange between "President" Obama and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that seems eerily similar to the one presented on the most recent installment of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (video embedded right, relevant section at 3:30):

On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Andrea Mitchell loved Tina Fey's parodying of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," so much that she played a clip the "30 Rock" star mocking Palin's inexperience, while simultaneously airing an actual clip of Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric, as Mitchell charged: "the reviews have been withering for her interview with Katie Couric, only her third since nominated."

However Mitchell didn't bother to air clips from "SNL" that mocked the Democratic side, most notably one that made fun of Barack Obama's relationship with Tony Rezko.

When the latest installment of Saturday Night Live parodied Friday’s presidential debate, the NBC comedy program gave attention to Barack Obama’s connections to convicted criminal Tony Rezko, corrupt Chicago politics, and Obama’s recent attempts at "playing the race card," which notably are all matters that the mainstream news media have given little attention to. While the show also took a number of shots at John McCain, several times having him propose a bizarre gimmick like challenging Obama to a pie-eating contest for example, the Illinois Senator also received several noteworthy jabs. One line involved McCain’s character, played by Darrell Hammond, referring to Obama, played by Fred Armisen, as making an earmark request titled "Tony Rezko Hush Money." Obama’s character also bragged that his tax cut plan would benefit Chicago politicians and city employees "because my plan would not tax income from bribes, kickbacks, shakedowns, embezzlement of government funds, or extortion."

The Obama character later promised that he would "play the race card" against dictators like North Korean President Kim Jong Il if necessary to guilt-trip them into dismantling their nuclear programs, as he would accuse Kim of refusing to cooperate with him because "I’m not like the other guys on the $5 and $10 bills."

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" opened its most recent installment with a John McCain-bashing skit believed to be the idea of Senate Democrat candidate Al Franken.

In the segment, McCain, played by Darrell Hammond, approved numerous campaign ads making absolutely absurd claims about Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.

One accused the junior senator from Illinois of wanting to provide health insurance for everyone in the universe including Osama bin Laden, while another said Obama approved tax cuts for pedophiles (video embedded below the fold).

Yet, according to Politico, this was all the brainchild of Franken:

On PBS's Web site today, ombudsman Michael Getler writes of complaints over an incident during last Sunday's pledge drive.  He describes the cheap shot taken by actor Mike Farrell against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

According to Joseph Campbell, vice president of fundraising programs, here's what happened:

On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?

Decimate: 1. to destroy a great number or proportion of: the population was decimated by a plague. 2. to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.

Is that the definition of the post-partisan politics Barack Obama claims to be preaching?  You know, the kind where there's no blue-state America or red-state America: just the United States of America?  Maybe Chevy Chase didn't get the email.  Appearing on Morning Joe today, Chase expressed his disappointment that Tina Fey didn't go after Sarah Palin harder in her SNL impersonation.  Chase wanted to see Fey "decimate" the Republican VP candidate.

Chase was appearing to tout a charity auction he and wife Jayni are conducting to fund environmental education in the schools.  See Bonus Coverage for a disturbing factoid Jayni let slip. Chase's call for blood came in response to Willie Geist's very first question.

View video here.

 On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia.  Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:

CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.

MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.

Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann began to poignantly patch things up two nights ago.  But there's clearly still mucho trabajo to be done to heal the rift between Joe Scarborough and the temperamental Countdown host.  Readers will recall that during the Dem convention, Olbermann was caught [accidentally on purpose?] on an open mic suggesting Scarborough "get a shovel" for his failure to toe a sufficiently pro-Obama line.  

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took a thinly-veiled shot at Olbermann for the way he tried to keep Republican analyst Mike Murphy off the air, and then tried to pull the plug ["let's wrap him up, alright?"] when Murphy eventually made it into an interview with Chris Matthews.

Pat Buchanan was the sole voice on today's opening-hour panel to opine that Fred Thompson had done a good job with his speech last night.  In contrast, Scarborough suggested Thompson had been flat. Pat expressed his feelings of alienation as the show was going to a break. It was then that Joe and Mika let Buchanan know that—in contrast with other MSNBC venues—dissident voices were welcome on Morning Joe.

There's nothing into which Saturday Night Live can't work its liberal politics--even a conventional game-show sketch. NBC aired a re-run of the February 24th SNL last night, and watching it this morning I spotted what you might call a "subliminable" anti-Ann Coulter product placement.

In "What's That Bitch Talking About?" two contestants viewing a succession of women offering bare snippets of dialogue have to guess what they're talking about. The male contestant is consistently clueless. But Tina Fey's character gets it uncannily right every time, down to details that would in reality be impossible to guess. Sample: a woman murmuring "okay" into a phone is indeed getting directions to a margarita party to celebrate her graduation from DeVry, etc.

The male loser is sent packing, but not before he receives a lovely parting gift in the form of the home edition of "What's That Bitch Talking About?" Cut to a quick close-up of the package featuring four women: Whitney Houston, Queen Elizabeth, a beauty queen who's presumably Miss South Carolina of "US Americans" fame, and, most prominently featured . . . Ann Coulter. See screencap.

View video here.

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" continued its political activism disguised as satire on March 15, this time choosing to make the case for Barack Obama while doing an entire sketch about John McCain being "crazy old."

During Saturday's "Weekend Update," former SNLer, and current "30 Rock" co-star Tracy Morgan, stumped for Obama, and did so quite comically (embedded right).

In the defining moment, Morgan concluded by marvelously countering Tina Fey's Hillary stump speech three weeks ago: