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SNL’ Palin-Incest Joke Falls Flat In Sketch Lampooning New York Times
Monday, September 22, 2008
In Saturday Night Live’s second attempt to mock this year’s vice presidential race, a sketch lampooning The New York Times as out of touch has instead touched off a firestorm by throwing out a much more insidious inference — incest — between Todd Palin and his pregnant, teenage daughter, Bristol.
While SNL fans had widely anticipated the return of Tina Fey in an edgy yet endearing role as Sarah Palin, Saturday’s sketch has managed to reignite the furor sparked by claims early this month that the Republican vice presidential candidate is not the mother of her 5-month-old son, Trig.
The sketch, say supporters, was supposed to accentuate how disconnected The New York Times is from anything west of the Hudson River, particularly Alaska. But critics say that the sketch backfired by suggesting that Todd Palin committed incest.
In the sketch, New York Times reporters are sitting around an assignment meeting discussing what about Palin to investigate next.
One reporter asks: “What about the husband? You know he’s doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It’s Alaska.”
Guest host James Franco, who played the assignment editor, sets up the joke of proving a negative, saying, “He very well could be. Admittedly, there is no evidence of that, but on the other hand, there is no convincing evidence to the contrary. And these are just some of the lingering questions about Governor Palin.”
After three of the reporters agree to go to Alaska, one sues for sexual discrimination after being called “sweetie” by a school board member, one is killed by a polar bear and a final reporter wins a Pulitzer for “unproven, yet un-disproven incest in the Palin family” and then is killed by a polar bear driving a “snow machine.”
The final shot in the rambling joke is an image of a New York Times page, featuring headlines: “While No Direct Evidence of Incest in Palin Family Emerges, Counter Evidence Remains Agonizingly Elusive” and “In a Small Alaska Town, Doubts Still Linger.”
Conservative bloggers are infuriated over the incest joke, most particularly because it plays off claims earlier this month that 17-year-old Bristol Palin is the mother of Trig Palin.
Bristol Palin is five months pregnant and therefore could not be Trig’s mother, John McCain’s campaign noted earlier this month in efforts to diffuse widespread and unfounded gossip that surrounded Trig’s maternity.
Still, left-wing conspirators dissatisfied with that response, have argued that Trig Palin, who was born with Down syndrome, a much more frequent occurrence in women over 40, could have been the outcome of incest, which also increases the odds of the disability.
Now, some bloggers are urging protests of the show be sent to producer Lorne Michaels. The video was not posted on the SNL Web site.