CNN is receiving criticism, of many different kinds from many different places, for a segment Monday on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” The segment “fact-checked” a Saturday Night Live sketch.
The sketch, which has been deemed the show’s first viral hit of the season, cataloged Pres. Obama’s supposed lack of accomplishments.
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto called the idea “a bizarre exercise.” The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik wrote, “Fact checking a comedy sketch — I will say no more.” FNC’s Greg Gutfeld showed the clip on Red Eye and joked, “Seriously, reviewing an ‘SNL’ skit for accuracy is like reviewing McDonald’s for their wine list.”
But NYMag’s Daily Intel points out, “political satire isn’t legitimate if it’s not based in truth.” CNN’s own GOP strategist Ed Rollins writes, “Humor with some truth in it is always dangerous. Make no mistake, a drumbeat of belittlement can damage a president.”
Though CNN entertainment correspondent Kareen Wynter anchored the piece, “The SitRoom” was using it as part of a political conversation. When TVNewser asked CNN for a comment about the backlash, a spokesperson reiterated what the segment was about: “The piece was used to set up a panel discussion which included representation from both parties — a liberal and a conservative.”
In any case, the segment has now taken-off as its own Web-meme, according to an Examiner post. “Twitter users have played up CNN’s silliness by creating a hashtag — Twitter-speak for search term category — called #CNNFactCheck, used for tweeting pompous corrections of SNL sketches, well-known hyperbolic metaphors, and other absurdities usually not taken literally.” The post compiled a “small sampling” of tweets using the hashtag. Here are a few favorites:
@DefiantKembro ‘El Nino’ is not Spanish for “the Nino” #CNNFactCheck
@discerning_con CNN Breaking News: Stepping on a crack will not actually break your mother’s back #CNNFactCheck
@thecomeback After checking every river in America, we have not been able to find a motivational speaker living in a van. #CNNfactcheck
@RobbieCooperATX CNN Breaking: Church Lady not particularly pious. Might not actually even be a lady. #CNNFactCheck
@jimmiebjr CNN has obtained a statement from the CDC advising that “more cowbell” is never an appropriate cure for a fever. #CNNFactCheck
@teh_Dede: Warning from the FDA: Cadbury Creme Eggs are not actually eggs. #CNNFactCheck
@pow127 #CNNFactCheck finds that Dr Dre is not licensed to practice medicine of any kind. #psa
@andylevy That wasn’t really Obama – it was actor Fred Armisen! #CNNFactCheck
Both the fact check and the original sketch are after the jump: