Alaska Gov, Sarah Palin and family in 2007
A week after a high-profile send-up of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," the NBC comedy show returned to making fun of the Alaskan governor in a skit where New York Times reporters sought to probe the possibility Palin's husband, Todd, was having sex with the couple's own daughters.
"What about the husband?" asked a Times reporter during a mock assignment meeting for the paper. "You know he's doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It's Alaska."
The assignment editor for the Times, portrayed by actor James Franco, responded: "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."
The skit featured a photo of one reporter and an on-screen message that stated, "In 2009 [reporter] Howland Gwathmey Moss, V was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his Times series on unproven, yet un-disproven incest in the Palin family. Sadly, he was to die 3 months later, run over by a snow machine, driven by a polar bear."
The final shot showed an image of a New York Times page, with headlines that included:
"While No Direct Evidence of Incest in Palin Family Emerges, Counter Evidence Remains Agonizingly Elusive" and "In a Small Alaska Town, Doubts Still Linger."
The sketch seemed to be designed to mock how out of touch journalists from the Big Apple are when it comes to their knowledge of Alaska, with left-leaning, Manhattan-dwelling reporters mistaking a snowmobile for a "baptizing machine," a crucifix and a NordicTrack exerciser in photographs held up for them.
Some viewers expressed outrage.
"It is time the Palin family brought out the big guns. They need to sue General Electric, NBC, 'Saturday Night Live,'" said Al Barrs of Bascom, Fla. "This is clearly criminal and defamation of character of an entire family and state. All the above needs to be taken to their knees big time once and for all."
"What if somebody did one with this kind of humor on Obama and his daughters?" asked Jim Cash of Chattanooga, Tenn. "What an uproar there would be. This line of humor is tasteless and moronic and about as low as they could go. There simply must be an uproar over this. We cannot let this just pass."
But others, such as Ana Jimenez, believe the episode was all in good fun, since the program is a comedy show.
"Anyone that watched Saturday's show and believed the skit in which it was suggested that there was incest in the Palin household needs to have [his] head examined," said Jimenez. "The purpose of the joke (tacky and crude as it was, I did not care for it at all by the way) was to show how out of touch journalists are – not an attack on the Palin household. Sheesh, get a grip!"
NBC's website for "Saturday Night Live" normally contains video clips of the show's comedy routines, but, interestingly, the clip of the incest sketch was never posted online.
The show opened with a brief skit making fun of truth-enhanced TV ads John McCain was approving for his campaign. One ad claimed that since Barack Obama was in favor of universal health care, that meant coverage for everyone in the entire universe, including terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
The Politico reported the opening scene was crafted with the help of former castmember Al Franken, a Democrat currently running for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota.
The season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" last week featured comedic actress Tina Fey returning to the show to portray Gov. Palin in a joint appearance with Hillary Clinton, played by Amy Poehler.
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