There has been a rule for over twenty years at Saturday Night Live, attack Republicans and protect Democrats. And that especially goes for presidents. They hammered Bush the Younger as a warmonger, protected Obama as a saint, and got so childish and clumsy about Trump they became unwatchable. But now, the rule has changed. They are going after Joe Biden, but are protecting Kamala Harris. They can smell the transition in the wind.
Recently SNL made jokes at Biden’s expense centering on his falling incident on the steps of Air Force One and on other topics portraying Biden as confused and out of touch on issues. With Maya Rudolph playing a composed confident Harris, the message was unmistakable. As are other signs of a substitution plan being unfolded.
When any liberal or leftist is mocked by the entertainment industry that person is in trouble, as leftist pop culture mavens know the first steps of any political message or mass spin are always cultural. There have been liberal shows like the now defunct, or it might as well be, Daily Show which occasionally hilariously made fun of Democrats. But it was always in a gentle way and it focused on their befuddlement, never on their policies or motives. Those were considered pure.
It started in SNL’s first season in 1975 when Republican President Gerald Ford was labeled fair game. Ford, a college athlete and former male model, was tagged as clumsy and thus inept in office by a constant replaying of one or two of his pratfalls. Chevy Chase made his comic reputation portraying an oafish Ford, when Ford actually had the natural instincts of an athlete. But mocking the one or two moments cemented the doofus image in the country’s mind and in voter’s minds. Ford lost his presidential race in 1976.
In those days SNL still had more of a sense of humor than commitment to leftist ideology. So Jimmy Carter got it good from Dan Ackroyd. But when Reagan took over that changed.
The show went after Reagan almost as badly as they went after Trump. He was allegedly a warmonger racist senile hater of the poor. It visibly bothered SNL when he won in landslides. But then strangely, though they made fun of him, they had a soft spot for the next administration of Bush the Elder.
From there they also lightly made fun of Bill Clinton at first, but had a field day over the Lewinsky case. However, when Bush the Younger came into office in 2001, the show changed forever. Republicans were always to be villains and Democrats heroes. It loved Obama and Hillary and hated Trump. One problem. Lockstep ideology of any sort isn’t funny. There’s a temporary hiatus of it now. It will be back with a vengeance when Harris takes over for Biden.