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MEDIA COMMENTARY:

Sarah Palin on SNL? Just Say No!

by Mark Crispin Miller
Can you think of any other Rapture-ready theocrat, or radical anti-environmentalist, or male supremacist, or stealth secessonist, who would be welcome on that show?
The New York Post reports that Sarah Palin has been scheduled to host NBC's "SaturdayNight Live" on 10/25:

The New York Post is reporting that Palin's appearance on Oct. 25 is signed, sealed, and delivered.

Soccer moms and Joe Sixpacks, listen up. Get your beer, mooseburgers and caribou dips ready. Sarah Palin is doing "Saturday Night Live." Not Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin doing "Saturday Night Live." But the Sarah Herself.

She has already OK'd it. She's booked. It's confirmed. Done deal. Sketches are being sketched as we speak. She - eyeglasses, haircomb, designer jacket and trunkful of gosh-darns, golly-gees and gol-dangs - will be on "SNL" Saturday night, Oct. 25. Sarah's rehearsal time has already been penciled in for Friday the 24th. And it's because she wants to do it.

Now, if Joe Biden is guest-hosting on the Saturday before or after, then it's fair enough that Palin get to do it, too. (By rights, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr should also have their turns.) But if the network has been pressured to have Palin on—whether by GE or by the GOP, or both—to "balance" Tina Fey's satiric thrusts, then it is not okay.

SNL should not have any major candidates, or mainstream politicans, on as hosts, because the ties between the media and the political establishment are too tight and too many as it is. But having Palin on is indefensible on several other grounds as well.

First of all, there's her extremism. Can you think of any other Rapture-ready theocrat, or radical anti-environmentalist, or male supremacist, or stealth secessonist, who would be welcome on that show? The fact that most Americans have not yet heard that those are her positions makes it all the worse that she would guest-host SNL, which shouldn't be a part of her campaign's attempt to cast her as your average "hockey mom." (Those of you who've seen "Bob Roberts" no doubt feel a certain chill right now.)

And then there's Palin's on-the-stump behavior—which most of us have heard about. Stoked by her infuriating lies and homicidal innuendo (the woman's very good at that), the crowds around her whoop it up like lynch mobs, calling for Obama's death (the Secret Service is investigating one such outburst) and otherwise exulting in their hatred:

(PHILADELPHIA) As the crowd cheered at a Sarah Palin rally this morning in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a man in the audience grinned as he held up a stuffed monkey doll with a Barack Obama bumper sticker wrapped across its forehead.

(See the video—wait through the ad—click here.)

What is NBC's excuse, and/or Lorne Michaels', for giving her an opportunity, ten days before Election Day, to wink and grin and say "Doggone it!" and "You betcha!" (and also, winningly, to mock herself  for doing so)?

So why would SNL help "humanize" this vicious character? What is NBC's excuse, and/or Lorne Michaels', for giving her an opportunity, ten days before Election Day, to wink and grin and say "Doggone it!" and "You betcha!" (and also, winningly, to mock herself for doing so)? And how can all the show's hip regulars, including Tina Fey, put up with this?

The fact is that they shouldn't have to: Sarah Palin has no place on SNL, and you should let them know:

NBC: 212-664-4444
General Electric: 212-575-6000, or 1-800-626-2000

NBC and GE are both headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, NY, 10112.

You may also make your views known on NBC's FAQ online or google "NBC contact" and there will be a drop-down menu of programs—just click onto "Saturday Night Live" and write your message.


Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media studies at New York University and the author of The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder and other books.



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This story was published on October 13, 2008.