Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

SNL’s Town Hall Debate and Missing “Binders of Women”

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An anticipated skit for last Tuesday’s presidential town hall debate opened Saturday Night Live last night. Not only were the candidates mocked, but the undecided voters that asked the question within the town hall also were poked fun at. 

The tensions between President Obama and Romney were exaggerated by then constantly bickering back and forth about physically fighting each other. Obama, played by Jay Pharoah, constantly rebutted Romney’s, played by Jason Sudeikis, attacks by saying “that’s simply not true.” Moderator Candy Crowley was played by Aidy Bryant.

One of the highlights of the night was the question regarding Libya. In SNL’s skit, after Romney accused Obama of never actually using the term “terrorist act,” Crowley and Obama told him about the transcript showing that he did. After Obama made his point, he dropped his microphone to show that he had won that question.

But the candidates were not the only ones to be the highlight of SNL, the voters who asked the questions during the debate were made fun of as well. The audience members continuously couldn’t remember the questions that were “their own” and were mocked for muffling their folded papers into the microphone. Many of the people who asked questions came off as not knowing what they were talking about, such as Jason, the student whose family and professors continue to tell him that he will never get a job. SNL tags this however, not due to the economy but his incompetence.

Interestingly, Romney’s comment of the “binders of women” that has received so much press after the debate was not mentioned in SNL’s skit. I’m sure many were looking forward to SNL’s take on this comment, perhaps they had too much to work with that they chose to ignore the comment.

These skits are intended to be exaggerations of the events that happened and poke fun at America’s politics. The public sphere, a theory stating that it is the public’s job to remain informed so they can make educated decisions, is at stake here. Many Americans are using “soft news” sources such as Saturday Night Live as their only political source. Yes, these sources are based on actual events, but it is not as educating as watching the debates themselves.

Watch the SNL Town Hall Debate here


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