Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:39 PM
Chathamization (1,635 posts)
Saturday Night Live Propaganda
While we remember those responsible for cheerleading us into the disaster that has been the Iraq war, I want to point out the role of the media went beyond just that of the news media. In particular, I remember several propaganda pieces that Saturday Night Live did around that time, including this hit piece on Phil Donahue:
Phil Donahue: Alright, then, let me show you a very disturbing statistic. These are the three lowest rated shows on prime-time cable. Do we have that? And, sadly, here we are, this show, the second lowest rated, with slightly more viewers than "Eye Surgery with Dr. Elliot Ladell", but still less than "The Black Israelites".
The transcript isn't perfect, but if you have Netflix you can watch the whole sketch there - season 28 episode 6, and starts at the 19 minute mark. The full skit includes a prolonged section talking about how Michael Moore doesn't bathe or wash his clothes.
There's also this skit, which shows Osama bin Laden working with Saddam Hussain, makes fun of Islam, and throws in a punch against Sean Penn at the end for good measure:
Or this one, where the anti-war protester can't get anyone on his side (and includes a joke about gay people being sexual deviants):
There's a lot more to dredge up from that dark period (the news blackout on March 23, 2003; Democrats talking about how we can't criticize the president during a time of war). We mustn't forget just how pervasive the propaganda was.
5 replies, 1799 views
Saturday Night Live Propaganda (Original post)
|Arctic Dave||Feb 2013||#5|
Response to Chathamization (Original post)
Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:50 PM
UTUSN (44,259 posts)
2. DONAHUE was one of the FEW/nearly-only voices against the phony war
And Tweety, who was supposedly anti-war in his newspaper column, was right up there cheerleading for ShrubCo and "fired" Phil on Phil's own show:
Etymology of "Tweety". During Campaign 2000 the media noise machine was swooning over the nicknames Shrub was giving some of them. Media Whores Online ran a contest to nickname Chris MATTHEWS. In the first three or so weeks, there was no clear, catchy front runner, with "The Screamer" sort of leading. Then one of MATTHEWS's own Hardball staff leaked to MWO that they themselves called him "Tweety" because of the Clairol shade of hair coloring he favored. This was immediately declared the winner. But in some quarters, it wasn't entirely satisfactory. For one thing, by the time the name was declared, the shade had changed to platinum, leading to a suggestion he be called "Carole LOMBARD".
Plus, "Tweety" sounded too affectionate.
Then M-TV held its 20th or 25th or whatever anniversary, and all the cable echo chambers were doing segments of Britney shedding her duds down to almost nothing. Not to be left behind, Tweety followed suit, with a guest "culture" commentator from Time Mag, the young humor columnist, Joel STEIN. The staff kept re-running the Britney clip, and Tweety was clearly DROOLING disgustingly. STEIN said, "You're beginning to creep me out." Tweety responded, "Yeah, well, wait till YOU're 50." This led to the suggestion that "Tweety" be modified to "Tweezer" to retain the hair reference while canceling out the affection factor and also adding the (dirty old) "geezer" angle.
Darrell HAMMOND "Doing" Tweety on SNL. Tweety's ego was massively stroked after the debut of HAMMOND's impersonation of him, either in 2001 or 2002. He said, "I am now an ICON: I have been 'done' on Saturday Night Live'." The funniest line in the debut was HAMMOND as Tweety, cracking himself up with, "For the ... FIFTY ... people who watch this show...” (Hardball, not SNL). In the first few times HAMMOND featured him, the target was Tweety himself -- manically interrupting, spitting, and drooling. However, the characterization evolved, not true to the original, where Tweety became the "rational" character surrounded by oddball, extremist "guests", with HAMMOND-Tweety shaking his head in disbelief at their partisan spin.
"Turning" from Being a Democrat. He (like G.E.RUSSERT and Pat CADDELL) still trades on having been a Democrat in the CARTER/O'NEILL era. In the hothouse of big time political flunkydom, STATUS and POWER come from the SUCCESS of your boss. RAYGUN kicked Tweety's bosses' rears, and Tweety gravitated to admiring that "success". When he started up his media career he was mentored by G.E. RUSSERT, who had himself already started "turning" by "reaching out" to LIMBOsevic and expending his formerly-Lib-bleeding-heart on those poor wingnuts who had been maligned and marginalized by the Liberal Elite, lo those many years. Tweety started doing video valentines to RAYGUN, promenading arm in arm with Nancy. He might have tapped into the frenzy of the FAKE impeachment, but "hatred of the CLINTONs" isn't what made him turn. The last time he was identifiably a Democrat was sometime around 1988 when Hardball (the book) was published. Throughout the year of Campaign 2000 he savaged the Dem candidate daily and went on to years of bromance over Shrub, renouncing any Democratic heritage. He said his parents were “cloth coat" (Rethugs), and that basically what first drew him to the Dem side was Irish-Catholic pride over JFK. Not ideology, not idealism. He said the reason he joined the Peace Corps was specifically to avoid going to Vietnam.
How Tweety "Executed" DONAHUE on MSNBC. Tweety was on his book tour for another one of his "books" (large type, wide spaces between lines, blank half-pages). It was in the jingoistic hysteria in the run-up to the illegal Iraq attack. The book was about supposed "Americanism" -- an American Civ 101 ripoff about books and movies and cultural stuff that are essentially American (think, "The Great Gatsby"). So Phil welcomed him as a colleague and peer on Phil's show for the full hour to plug the book. From the moment he appeared, there was a strange, deadly snake look in Tweety's snake eyes. Phil was walking around the audience, apparently not sensing anything, while Tweety was motionless, following him only with his eyes. Phil brought up something or other questioning blind, kneejerk jingoism, and Tweety STRUCK! He started out with venom dripping, "You see, THIS is EXACTLY what's wrong with YOU Liberals: You are NEGATIVE about this country, you find NOTHING good about it," and on and on. It took awhile before Phil figured out what was happening. Later, Phil, devastated and spent, was sitting at the table with Tweety and, weaker and weaker, did some of his trademark shoulder shrugging and arm waving. Tweety delivered the coup de grace, "What's THIS (mimicking the movements)??!! What's with the --APE-- movements???!" Days or a week or two later, Phil's cancellation was announced and took effect.
How Tweety "Triggered" a Gun Incident (re: Kathleen WILLEY). At the height of the FAKE impeachment, Ms WILLEY claimed that a mystery jogger had threatened her or her cat or somebody, with the insinuation that there was a CLINTON connection. Several months later, there was gossip that the jogger had been identified. Tweety hosted her and it appeared they had discussed the identity off camera. He tried mightily to get her to say the name on the air, which she wouldn't do. Finally, he himself blurted it out, "Was it (Name/Surname)?" She wouldn’t confirm it. Within days there was a bizarre incident, with the mentally disabled brother of Pat and Bay BUCHANAN going with a gun to the house of the supposed jogger named by Tweety, where there were only some foreign exchange students present. Later it was determined that the person Tweety named on the air had NOTHING to do with the supposed jogger incident.
"Heroes" Tweety and Tom DeLAY. In the aftermath of the 07-24-98 shooting of two Capitol police officers when the slain officers were duly eulogized and called heroes, Tweety latched on to this, the way we have seen him attempt to glorify himself in other instances: Like saying he was assigned to Africa in the Peace Corps and "WALKED THE SAME GROUND" THAT CHURCHILL had passed through. Or when he said, "I am an ICON! I have been 'done' by SNL!". So now that the Capitol policemen were being called heroes, Tweety came forward to say that HE had been a Capitol policemen, TOO, JUST LIKE THEM, when he was starting out. It turns out that he had worked a (temporary?) job for three months as that. In all the years before the officers were shot and eulogized, he probably NEVER referred to that job, most likely thinking of it as a rent-a-cop turn, until he could see in retrospect the glory that he had been DESTINED to from the beginning.
But he is not the only glory hog. When that incident was happening, the news of the moment reported that Tom DELAY had hopped a plane out of town and immediately turned around in Houston when the incident was over. This show of courage is why he has been dubbed, "Tom-DePLANE!-DePLANE!-DELAY".
But searches of countless news reports of that time show no mention of the hopping-the-plane. Only this is left:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm /... "...House members, many rushing out of town, did not have to remain behind. DeLay slipped out the main door of the Capitol less than 15 minutes after the shooting. He looked stricken. Asked if he'd seen anything, he said, "Did I ever. I don't want to talk about it." Aides rushed him into his waiting car. ...."
Response to HappyMe (Reply #3)
Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:08 PM
Chathamization (1,635 posts)
4. Hence "went beyond just that of the news media"
Donahue was the highest rated show on MSNBC, but a large part of the sketch on NBC was about how no one watched the show. This was shortly before MSNBC fired him.
I don't buy the idea that their shouldn't be accountability just because something is entertainment. If anything, I think history has shown us that entertainment can affect people's thinking just as much as hard news.
Response to Chathamization (Original post)
Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:17 PM
Arctic Dave (13,812 posts)
5. That's because Loren Michaels is rightwing nut.
SNL stopped being "edgy" in the mid Eighties.
Occasionally they might do something political but it is so rare that it stands out from the rest of their Comedy for Dummies.