Berman does what mustn't be done!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020

SNL delivered no laughs, misfiring cable host says: CNN's Erica Hill was working directly from script. Also, from decades-old tradition.

At the end of this morning's 6 o'clock hour on CNN's New Day program, she told us we were going to enjoy some solid laughs, courtesy of this past weekend's Saturday Night Live:

HILL (10/19/20): All right, Sara Sidner, thank you for that reporting. 

We're going to take a little shift here, take a turn.  Saturday Night Live, taking on the Trump and Biden dueling town halls. Here's a look at your late night laughs.

Viewers were going to enjoy some good solid ate night laughs! Producers then played videotape of SNL's hilarious spoof of last Wednesday night's dueling town halls.

It's been an established norm for decades. On cable, anchors are supposed to pretend they think that leaden clips from Saturday Night Live are actually funny.

This morning, to his vast credit, John Berman wasn't buying. 

In the past few years, we've come to regard Berman as a cut above the average cable news host. This morning, he joined the pantheon of the gods. 

His co-host had promised some late night laughs. After sitting through the video clip, Berman responded as shown:

BERMAN: So it happened. I mean, I think we have definitive proof that Saturday Night Live was on TV.

HILL: Yes. Where you going with this?

Already, Hill was concerned. Metaphorically, she sensed that one of the androids at Westworld had started to think on its own.

She sensed that Berman was misfiring. Instantly, it became clear that her instinct was right:

BERMAN (continuing directly): Yes, that's it! I mean, I think that's the most we can say about it.

HILL: O.K.

BERMAN: We called it "late night laughs." That may be a misnomer in this case. It was on late night.

HILL: It was on late. There were some—some funny lines.

BERMAN: There were laughs?

HILL: Yes.

BERMAN: I'll have to take your word for it. We'll take that under advisement.

The lusty cheers of our youthful analysts rocked our sprawling campus. "Meantime, New Day continues right now," the badly shaken Hill said, and the 7 o'clock hour started.

Berman had broken  one of the longest-standing rules in the cable handbook. 

No matter what, cable hosts are supposed to act like they think SNL is  funny. Similarly, they're expected to say, "The American people are pretty sharp," every time it becomes clear that we actually aren't.

It takes a tremendous act of will to perform such tasks. Cable hosts are willing to do it.

This morning, one of the cable hosts briefly broke free. Berman had seemed to be a cut above. Just like that, he proved it!

CNN gets it right: To its credit, CNN still provides transcripts for all its shows.

Presumably for the obvious reason, MSNBC has stopped producing any transcripts at all. Amazingly, it has also taken down the years of transcripts it created in the past for its prime-time shows.

Why would a channel decide to eliminate years of transcripts? We American liberals, famously sharp, can possibly figure that out.

(Rachel could make them return to transcribing. In your heart, you know she won't.)


35 comments:

  1. "On cable, anchors are supposed to pretend they think that leaden clips from Saturday Night Live are actually funny."

    We haven't watched the crappy show for decades, dear Bob, and you sound like you don't enjoy it either.

    I guess you're not an exemplary liberal zombie, then. But, trust us, you're close. You will learn to watch it and laugh, dear Bob. Soon.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. Somerby thinks that interplay between hosts was not scripted. He is not just naive, he is an idiot. CNN is about as relevant as SNL, which is close to zero in both cases. At least Madtv had an occasional vibrant moment. Comedy is dead. Corporate news is dead. Capitalism is dying and trying to take us all out along with it. Yet Somerby plods along with his Daily Nonsense; he is a fucking coward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you feel you have properly collated all your thoughts on the matter though? Things have slipped through the cracks here today a little bit. Is there une lichette de terra firma anywhere ahead? I would consider changing your inner thought patterns and setting a course for paradise.

      Delete
    2. No offense but you are also an idiot and a fucking coward. Did you ever have a point? Full of beans, as usual.

      Delete
    3. 10:29 The point is that you are being Darwinian in you fulminations and no amount of chatty familiarity will let you off the hook once they are all aggregated.

      Delete
  3. "No matter what, cable hosts are supposed to act like they think SNL is funny. Similarly, they're expected to say, "The American people are pretty sharp," every time it becomes clear that we actually aren't."

    SNL wasn't funny enough for Somerby so that makes the American people not sharp? I don't see any logic in that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are two orthogonal examples. Sommerby is just pointing out how the cable discourse is run, i.e. things that must be said. It's sort of a version of Noam Chomsky's manufacturing consent.

      Delete
    2. He proves that things must be said, by showing an example of them not being said? That makes no sense at all.

      Delete
  4. It is Kevin Drum's birthday today and he posted this:

    "Ratfucking operations are hardly new to American politics, but the Trump/Giuliani campaign against Hunter Biden is truly without precedent in the annals of repellent personal attacks. Partly this is because it’s so obviously a ratfuck, and yet Republicans are mostly just whistling into the wind and letting it play out. But mostly it’s because of what Trump is doing. He’s a man with a chilling instinct for what will hurt someone the most and a conscience that never gets in the way of carrying it out. In the case of Joe Biden, he knows that what will hurt him the most is an attack on his family, so that’s what he directed Giuliani to come up with. He doesn’t care if there’s any truth to it. He doesn’t care who’s behind it. He doesn’t care what damage it does. Win or lose, he wants revenge on Joe Biden, and this is his way of getting it. This is what it’s like having a sociopath for president, and the fact that he has even a chance of being reelected is profoundly depressing."

    Let's cheer Kevin up by voting for Biden! I'll say it, even if Somerby won't. Trump is evil and he needs to be voted out of office so that our nation can begin the healing process.

    Maybe then indirect attacks on black people via specious criticism of the 1619 Project will recede into the shadows and we can embrace even the dark parts of our history as we bring racial minorities into the mainstream.

    Join me now in chanting: "Lock Trump up, lock Trump up!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May I suggest "Lock it up"; or, perhaps, "cleanse the orange stain".

      Delete
    2. Throw the Republican bath water out with the baby!

      Delete
    3. Hillary and the corporate Dems ratfucked Bernie hard. Hillary and the corporate Dems are some of the biggest ratfuckers of the last 100 years. They were losing so they cheated.

      Delete
    4. 9:14,
      At least they let the citizens vote.
      Have you seen the voter suppression tactics the Right is using? It's worse this year than normal.
      Since Bob likes to pretend this is a media criticism blog, would you like to open a thread about how the Right-wing, corporate-owned, mainstream media (AKA the media) is letting the Right get away with voter suppression, by not reporting that the problem is voter suppression and not voter fraud?
      I figure you aren't a Right-winger, since you intimate here you don't like cheating.
      Let me know.

      Delete
    5. @9:14 is an example of Russian interference in this election, trying to divide elements of Biden's support by raising old Bernie vs Clinton arguments. That itself is ratfucking. This is trolling. Don't be manipulated by it.

      Delete
    6. I am just saying in discussions of ratfucking, don't forget Hillary is a world class ratfucker. That's all. Sure open a thread about whatever you want. It doesn't change the fact Hillary and corporate Dems are world class ratfuckers. I'm not Russian. I am from Iowa. There's nothing to be manipulated by, it's pure and simple truth based on verifiable facts.

      Delete
    7. "it's pure and simple truth based on verifiable facts."

      Let's hear 'em.

      Delete
    8. 10:23,
      It's systemic.
      The solution is publicly-funded-only elections.
      The government gives each candidate a set sum of money to spend on promoting themselves and their ideas. There is no giving your favorite candidate $50, or a fatcat dinner at $50,000 a plate. In this scenario, the candidate owes no one but their constituents, not corporate donors.

      Let me give you two other great benefits of this system.
      One, once in office, the incumbent doesn't have to waste time creating a "warchest" for their next campaign. Instead, they can meet with constituents and address their concerns.

      Two, elections stop funding the propaganda arm of global corporations.

      Delete
  5. I happened to be watching CNN at this time. I, like Berman, found no laughs in the clips. To me, Saturday Night Live has not been funny for decades. However, Erica Hill did not appear to be "badly shaken." She simply offered a slight smile and went to the next topic. Again, Somerby found a way to insult the woman in the picture.

    ReplyDelete
  6. “anchors are supposed to pretend they think that leaden clips from Saturday Night Live are actually funny.”

    But, back in the ancient times (2018), “David Sims didn't like last weekend's Saturday Night Live”, (http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2018/03/breaking-atlantic-didnt-like-snl.html), but that’s because he, like so many liberals, “missed the point of the sketch”, which was self-evidently a “a parody of modern feckless liberalism, which doesn't know how to win elections, then hopes and prays that it can get its opponents thrown into jail and/or removed from office” and therefore “it was actually funny”.

    You see, “SNL has long contained internal elements which aren't conventionally liberal.” It must have once had mojo, although it has now largely lost it.

    Bob Somerby even had a “streetfight with the program's good-natured strongman, Jim Downey,” decades ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SNL has always thought that it had to mock both sides during an election year.

      Delete
  7. Pontificating on what’s funny when you have had a marginal career as a comic? Go for it, Bob.

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    Having been made aware of Trump’s comments, the company said the call “never happened.”

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