Sunday, September 21, 2008

Franken involved in SNL's McCain ridicule

Politico reports today - - -

Al Franken, the former "Saturday Night Live" star now running in a high-profile Senate race in Minnesota, helped craft the opening sketch mocking John McCain that kicked off the NBC comedy show Saturday, according to two well-placed sources inside the network.

Franken, who hasn’t been a staff writer on the show for 13 years, “phoned in” a spoof of McCain recording campaign ads in an edit booth, said an NBC source. Seth Meyers, the show’s current head writer, wrote it, but the sketch was hatched by Franken, a longtime liberal satirist and comedian.

An SNL insider said that, as of the Wednesday script read-through, Franken was the “credited writer with Meyers” on the opening sketch. Show veteran Darrell Hammond is to play McCain.

Franken’s input to the show blindsided his campaign staff, who have been forced to explain away some of the more crass and profane parts of his past writing and acting that have been used as fodder against him in a state known for its polite manners. …

A Franken campaign aide said the candidate had been taping an ad earlier in the week and had wondered out loud how McCain could include the disclaimer candidates are required to include in their commercials — “I’m John McCain, and I approved this message” — when his spots were so “over the top.” …

But word that the network’s signature comedy show has allowed a liberal Democrat Senate candidate to shape content mocking the Republican presidential nominee may fuel sentiment that the network is sympathetic to the left.

Told of Franken’s role in Saturday's show, a spokesman for Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign said it was ironic that the Democrat had a hand in spoofing negative campaigning.

“Angry Al has run one of the nastiest, most negative attack campaigns in Minnesota history,” said Coleman spokesman Luke Friedrich. “Angry Al complaining about someone else’s campaign ads is about as funny as 'Saturday Night Live' will get this year.”

Franken's campaign was damaged earlier this summer when Republicans unearthed a racy Playboy article and even more when it was revealed that in 1995, his last year on the program, Franken had joked about rape while crafting one of the show’s skits.

Faced with a groundswell of criticism, Franken distanced himself from his past work as a comedian. In June, he apologized for some of his more controversial comedy routines when he accepted his party’s endorsement. …

Aside from exposing Franken's campaign to further questions about the seriousness of his commitment to public office, his role in the skit also leaves the NBC network vulnerable to criticism about the propriety of allowing a partisan candidate for high federal office to craft a segment mocking a presidential candidate of the opposing party.

Franken and his wife, Frances, have both maxed out as donors to the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

If nothing else, the timing of Franken's involvement is inopportune for the broadcast network, coming just weeks after delegates at the Republican National Convention chanted "NBC" in response to a line in GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's acceptance speech criticizing the media.

Conservatives have come to view NBC in the way they did CNN — once derided as the “Clinton News Network” — for many years.

Republican enmity has been mostly aimed at the network’s politically oriented cable station, MSNBC, and particularly liberal-leaning hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.

But word that the network’s signature comedy show has allowed a liberal Democrat Senate candidate to shape content mocking the Republican presidential nominee may fuel sentiment that the network is sympathetic to the left, even if the treatment of McCain is relatively gentle. …

Representatives for Obama declined to comment on Franken’s hand in mocking their rival. The McCain campaign also declined to comment.

The entire Politico story’s here.



You can view the SNL skit below.

A few months back Sen. McCain cancelled a fund-raiser at the home of a man when it was disclosed that about 20 years ago he’d told a “rape joke” for doing which he subsequently apologized.

Al Frankein tells a “rape joke” and he gets a Democratic Party U. S. Senate nomination.

Who says there isn’t a difference between the two parties?

Politico talks about how Republicans and Conservatives have come to view NBC as biased against McCain. Polls show they have.

Polls also show that Independents, by percentages almost as large as Republican and Conservative respondents, view the mainstream media, including all three TV networks, as biased as biased against Sen. McCain.

Politico should have mentioned that.

Hat tip: AC


Anonymous said...

I recall Rick nelson threatening to walk off when he hosted the early SNL,because Angry Al wanted him to do a skit entitled,"Ozzie's

Chus said...

This is what I think: SNL McCain

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a clever skit.

Anonymous said...

Troll Alert!!!