Sensible people took Sarah Palin’s amusing SNL appearance for what it was. imjustsayin77, for instance, twittered, “Sarah Palin actually has a little rhythm. No wonder she’s got five kids. Shorty can work it!”
But rightbloggers, who are not like you and me, saw in Palin’s cameo portents, prejudice, and political angles.
Movie reviewer Kyle Smith suspected sabotage. “Baldwin is normally funny on the show,” he reasoned. “And he can, presumably, memorize a couple of minutes of dialogue. But why bother to do well?” (Cue sinister music.) “If he had been funny in a pro-Palin sketch (obviously she’s not going to do a sketch at her expense), people would have watched the clip millions of times. Easier to just do as badly as possible.” And wasn’t there a second camera behind the grassy knoll?
Sundries thought Tina Fey also allowed politics to get in the way of her acting. “Here is the screencapture of the exact moment in the intro skit,” he* breathlessly informed us, “where Palin and Fey cross each other… Governor Palin stares her down, and Fey walks stiff-lipped without so much as a glance… Hmm, maybe the tension is just good acting on Palin’s part (I think Fey genuinely dislikes her).” To further demonstrate his critical credentials, Sundries opined that Fey’s Palin impersonations are “canned, lacking in imagination.” (* The author of Sundries writes to inform us that she is female and that we are sexist for not noticing.)
In other cast notes, The Anchoress said the SNL players “seemed a bit uncomfortable and stiff” next to Palin, then started yelling about Bush (“Everyone bashes Bush; Bush doesn’t bash back, he doesn’t demand your suspension, he doesn’t go after your livelihood…”) until she was carted away. Gateway Pundit and Ann Althouse agreed that Palin is much better looking than Tina Fey.
Hutch Report agreed that Saturday Night Live is a liberal plot. “I believe it is impossible for liberal broadcasters in New York to even treat a politician that has given them great ratings a fair shake,” HR sniffed, “if that politician happens to be a conservative Republican.”
Even before the performance, some chin-strokers announced its failure. “The Saturday Night Live people are Democrats,” said Power Line. “That’s all there is to it…” and so they would destroy Palin just like they destroyed President Ford, who was “undoubtedly the most athletic President of modern times” despite Chevy Chase’s klutzy portrayal, “but reality won’t intrude when your enemy is the editor.”
Even a few who actually saw it disapproved. National Review‘s Kathryn J. Lopez had “mixed feelings” until she heard a (Palin-unrelated) gag about Clarence Thomas’ porno habit; then she huffed, “being on that show was below her.” Sister Toldja couldn’t believe Palin allowed comedians to do comedy all over her: “The second [skit] did nothing but make fun of her, her family, and McCain, while she sat there and pretended to be amused. This is completely beneath her.”
But others enjoyed the appearance — at least, they enjoyed the positive electoral effect they imagined it would have. “A good performance could not only help McCain,” theorized TownHall, “it could also help Palin’s political career, going forward, should McCain lose.” (In another TH thread, they said guest host Josh Brolin’s performance “is likely to drive down the box-office for Oliver Stone’s new movie.”)
“Among the 86ers, I think this might really mean something,” offered Darke Blog.
The Freepers, as always, offered a lively mix of slurs and boo-yahs:
“I think this was a big score electorally.”
“This hatred from the left is way over the top.”
“I hate these people. There is humor and there is disrespect.”
“The only part that bothered me was when Baldwin took her arm. It made me nauseous.”
“Tina Fey looks like a skinny idiot.”
In summation: rightbloggers generally agreed that Tina Fey is ugly, liberals are evil, and laughter is a dangerous weapon.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 19, 2008