This is a complete shock to everybody except for Republicans:
Q: Are there any basic rules for what works and what doesn’t politically?
A: Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny.
I’m not confident that this is true of Democrats generally, but I believe it is true of more partisan Democrats, which describes most Democrat politicians. I doubt Michaels would make it up. It’s not like he or his fellow travelers are conservatives, after all.
Speaking of which, here is another part of Michael’s interview that I do think he is making up:
[W]e’ve never been agenda people. Our job—and it sounds too grand to say and none of us ever say it—is speaking truth to power. I’m registered as an Independent, not because everything that we do would be undermined if we were partisan—Jon Stewart has that role. Us? Theoretically, whoever it is in power, we’re against them.
Oh yeah? Then — FLASHBACK WARNING — how do you explain this?
This article has a more complete quote from this Chevy Chase interview, for readers who don’t watch videos — or who just want more context for the eye-opening quotes in the video:
CNN: Let’s go back to ’76.
Chevy Chase: It was Gerald Ford that was president but hadn’t been elected and was running again and I just …
CNN: Some people say he was an accidental president and you made him accident prone.
Chase: Actually, he was accident prone and he was a sweet man, a terrific man, became good friends later, and a relatively good athlete in college too … but he just tripped over things a lot. … You know, after a while, you just start writing the jokes and start doing it.
So it’s not that I can imitate him so much that I can do a lot of physical comedy, and I just made it, I just went after him. And I certainly, obviously my leanings were Democratic and they wanted Carter in and I wanted [Ford] out and I figured look, we’re reaching millions of people every weekend, why not do it.
CNN: You mean to tell me in the back of your mind you were thinking, hey I want Carter …
Chase: Oh, yeah.
CNN: And I’m going to make him look bad.
Chase: Oh yeah.
Chase: What do you think they’re doing now, you think they’re just doing this because Sarah’s funny? No, I think that the show is very much more Democratic and liberal-oriented, that they are obviously more for Barack Obama. [In the '70s], out of the Nixon era, and it was not unlikely that I might go that direction.*
Sure, Ford was in power, but Chase makes it clear: he didn’t attack Ford because Ford was in power. He attacked Ford because Chase and the rest of the SNL writers leaned Democrat and he (and they) wanted the Democrat to win. It’s that simple.
And they still do.
Lorne is lying because he can’t tell the truth while he’s still there. There is, by contrast, no reason Chevy Chase would be lying about this. He’s not.
Michaels’s declaration against interest (Republicans have a better sense of humor) is the truth. His self-serving claim that the show doesn’t play political favorites is bull.
Of course, SNL barely matters these days, although it may have hurt Sarah Palin. The Jon Stewarts and Stephen Colberts have the pull that SNL had in the 70′s when it didn’t suck all the time. But until conservatives can come up with the conservative alternative to the Jon Stewarts and Stephen Colberts, we’re going to keep losing young people.
Thanks to Larry Elder.
*I altered the quoted transcript in two places where I could hear a difference between the video above and the quote given: 1) Chase says “they” (not “I”) wanted Carter in, and 2) the reporter says “Wow” after he clarifies that he felt the same way. The quote above reflects the accurate transcript in these places instead of the article’s inaccurate one.