Monday, October 06, 2008

NBC Censors ... Itself? Saturday Night Live Skit Removed From Website

Update: The video is back on NBC but has been edited. Details here.)

I'm always hesitant to post on stories such as this. I get weird vibes of the the X-Files and the Lone Gunmen and tin foil hats. But in this case, I have a point to make at the end, so here we go.

With Tina Fey returning to Saturday Night Live to mock Sarah Palin, the show has seen a resurgence in popularity--at least when it comes to the internet and people linking videos. NBC has no problems with this. Many of the SNL skits are available from the official show website.

While most of the skits have hammered the Republicans in general and Sarah Palin in particular hard, there was one skit about Congress' reaction to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac debacle and the bailout that hit the Democrats pretty hard. You can watch the video on NBC's site right here...

...or maybe you can't. It seems the video has been removed. Michelle Malking suspects it is because the video referred to a real-life couple who happens to be powerful and well-connected. Perhaps a threatened lawsuit has scared NBC? Another blog has noted the skit is gone from Hulu and questions about it on NBC message boards are being quietly erased.

My comment is this: How naive are these people? SNL skewers everybody. Do they misrepresent? Of course. So does South Park. That's the whole point of these shows. There might have been a slight prayer of stopping this skit before it got aired. It's too late now; the genie is out of the bottle. Do these "offended people" really think they can stop the video now?

Here it is on YouTube (link working as of midnight 10/07/2008):
And if that gets taken down, here it is on YouTube again.

If they apply pressure on YouTube, here it is hosted in .wmv format:

http://msunderestimated.com/SNLBailoutSkit.wmv

And I've saved it locally. How many other bloggers do you think have also saved it? Again the thought that comes to mind is naivety. The attitude reminds me of ultra-conservative parents that suggest "If we don't talk about sex, the teenagers won't figure it out on their own." The more you try to ban something like this, the more people are going to watch it.

Update: NBC has announced it will repost the video with some minor edits. Read about the details of that development here.

3 comments:

blueguitarbob said...

NBC will be aggressively chasing this video from the standard video sharing sites for the next few weeks, I'm sure. However, you can download (and share) the SNL C-SPAN Bailout sketch via bit torrent here: http://www.mininova.org/tor/1885620

Bit torrent isn't for everyone, but it is a lot easier than you think. You'll need a good client link uTorrent or Azureus, but it is real easy to set up. The torrent has a very healthy swarm of seeders right now, ready to distribute the file. Once widely distributed, it isn't coming down.

Also, the file is small enough to fit throught most email gateways. I'm not suggesting you spam everyone in your address book with it (please, don't do that)... but you can email it to your parents and a few close friends, probably.

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