SNL Censoring Skit

I watched this skit live and it was (in fact the whole episode) one of the funniest things SNL has done in a long time. (Tina Fey is great as Palin but I have never found her writing very funny. SNL has a long way to go to return to their heyday, but they are getting better.) But now it turns out that NBC took the video down! It lampooned Soros and other leading Democratic supporters. Could that be the reason? Follow the links in the blog cited below for the original video.

Update: ‘Saturday Night Live’ says bailout skit ‘didn’t meet our standards’

Update: A “Saturday Night Live” skit that skewered President Bush, Democrats, homebuyers and subprime lenders for their roles in the mortgage meltdown was removed from the program’s website because it “didn’t meet out standards,” a spokesman for the show said Tuesday. An edited version of the skit will be re-posted online soon, the spokesman said.

The skit, a parody of a C-SPAN news conference, ridiculed subprime borrowers, housing speculators and Herb and Marion Sandler, the real-life couple who built Golden West Financial into a subprime lending powerhouse and sold it to Wachovia before the subprime collapse. At one point in the skit, the Herb Sandler character says he made $24 billion off the subprime boom. Graphics then appear labeling the Sandlers as “People who should be shot.”

“Upon review, we caught certain elements in the sketch that didn’t meet our standards,” a spokesman for the program said in an e-mail message today. “We took it down and made some minor changes, and it will be back online soon.”

Conservative blogger Michele Malkin, who called the skit “hilarious, dead-on, and surprisingly honest,” reports that the Sandlers, prominent donors to liberal causes, were “seething over the skit” before it was removed from the “SNL” website.

The blog Hot Air is also chasing the disappearing video, and readers on that blog found the video last night on You Tube — although by Tuesday morning the You Tube video had been removed “due to a copywright claim by NBC Universal.” The video was still available, however, on the site, which also links to media coverage of the skit and its disappearance.

The new version is up and according to “Deadline Hollywood Daily” it was edited due to possible legal action from a couple lampooned in the skit.

But anyone who actually saw that video could see this might be a lawsuit waiting to happen. Because SNL labeled Herb Sandler and his wife Marion, the real-life former owners of Oakland’s Golden West Financial (aka World Savings), as “people who should be shot” and accused them of predatory lending that brought down Wachovia Bank even though no charges have been filed. NBC told me just now they never received any legal threat from the Sandlers. [Though the couple did give an angry interview to The Associated Press about the SNL sketch.]

Instead, the network claimed: “Upon review, we caught certain elements in the sketch that didn’t meet our standards. We took it down and made some minor changes and it will be back online soon.” Specifically, NBC said it has edited out the chyron on-screen text, “People who should be shot” that appeared beneath the Sandler’ lookalikes, as well as the “allegations of corruption” made against the couple.

Still, a funny skit. I was particularly amused by Soros being identified as “Owner” of the Democratic party.

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