Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Did NBC Bow to Pressure from the Left? Changes Made to Saturday Night Live Skit About Subprime Mortgage Meltdown

The Show Tracker blog of the Los Angeles Times reports that NBC removed and then edited the long, satirical CSPAN spoof about the Washington financial bailout bill which included actors playing President Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Barney Frank and several alleged victims of the crash of the subprime mortgage market.

It was one of the funniest political skits I have seen on Saturday Night Live. While the bit mocked President Bush it also skewered several Democrats for their role in the subprime mess and included a parade of "victims" who turned out to be completely lacking in personal responsibility or motivated by nothing more than pure greed. I loved the skit because it was so true and exposed things about the current crisis that people aren't yet talking about.

I posted the video on my blog only to find a day or so later that the video was no longer available. Until now I wasn't sure why.

In the skit, an elderly couple identified as Herb and Marion Sander, are introduced as victims of the subprime mess. Upon questioning by Pelosi it is revealed that the Sandlers sold their portfolio of business, now worth almost nothing, to Wachovia for $24 billion before the crash. It turns out the Sandlers are real people who built Golden West Financial into a subprime behemoth before it was was sold for $24 billion to Wachovia before the crash. According to the Show Tracker blog, the Sandlers are supporters of liberal causes such as the Center for American Progress and the American Civil Liberties Union.

NBC explains why it took down the video and made changes: "Upon review we caught certain elements in the sketch that didn't meet our standards. We took it down and made some minor changes."

Those "minor changes" involved removing any mention of the involvement of Massachusetts' Rep. Frank, powerful chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and an ardent political protector of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in protecting the "corrupt activities" of the Sandlers.

The LA Times blog "Top of the Ticket" has more information on the story.

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