Did SNL Blow It By Not Running the Hagel Hearing Skit?
During Saturday Evening’s Saturday Night Live dress rehearsal, the cast tried this sketch, which parodies the obsequiousness shown by U.S. Senators toward Israel last week, during the confirmation hearing for former Senator Chuck Hagel, to head the Department of Defense:
In comments and articles on the sketch, many are saying that the sketch wasn’t run because it wasn’t funny. I didn’t watch SNL this week, but my wife did, and she says it would have been one of the funniest sketches this week, which isn’t saying much these days. I think the audience may have at times been uncomfortable watching the sketch unfold before them.
Surprisingly, the funniest headline on it, even beating out Wonkette, was the Times of Israel, which put this in the headline:
Andrew Sullivan featuring the clip this morning in a piece titled A Cultural Breakthrough, wrote:
After being banished from earnest Washington discussion for decades by various press gate-keepers, the absurdly overblown power of the Greater Israel lobby is now seeping into the popular culture. SNL captures the lunacy.
This does appear to be the case. As Philip Weiss noted today:
Even friends of mine who don’t know the issue are fulminating about the Hagel hearing. And remember that those gatekeepers and lobby pooh-poohers included the Atlantic Magazine, David Remnick, Leon Wieseltier, Leslie Gelb, Walter Russell Mead, Jeffrey Goldberg, among other eminent journalists.
Weiss and others have noted within the past week, that the failure of Alan Dershowitz and his ilk to stop the Brooklyn College Global BDS talk last Thursday; the Academy Award-nominated films Five Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers getting major interviews, articles and reviews in media that too often in the past ignored important Palestinian and pro-Palestinian art; and attention being drawn to how much more interested Senators on the Armed Forces Committee are in Israel than the welfare of our soldiers and veterans, together mean more than a cultural breakthrough is at play here.
2013 is shaping up to be the year during which people will no longer have to carefully and guardedly talk about Israeli apartheid, but will finally be listened to, when they openly draw attention to Israeli Apartheid.
Watching the Breitbart-inspired campaign against Hagel’s “Hamas PAC” unfold, the SNL scriptwriters might consider keeping their pencils handy.