Election Interviews

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Election Interviews


Actual Interviews vs. Their Parodies

One-on-one Interviews With the Candidates




     Over 4 million YouTube viewers have tuned in to Saturday Night Live’s parody of Republican Vice President Candidate Sarah Palin. Tina Fey thoroughly mocks Palin’s interview with Katie Couric below. In addition, SNL has released a satirical review of the Vice Presidential debate between Biden and Palin. Ironically, the skit performed by Tina Fey so closely resembles Palin’s actually interview, that some comments have been completely skewed in the mind of the public. For instance, when you hear people referencing the notion that Palin “can see Russia from her house,” they are not correctly referring to an actual comment made by Palin, but one made in a parody. When Palin mentioned that from some points in Alaska, one can see Russian territory, in no way mentioning foreign policy. After watching both the real interview with Katie Couric and the parody of the interview, the potential voter can infer that Fey has exaggerated some of Palin’s answers in order to entice the medias interest and portray Palin in an even worst light. 



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Political Satire is one of the most widely used tools in a presidential election. In this case, as in many others, the parody version is meant to highlight the obvious errors made by Sarah Palin, and furthermore, looks to exploit these errors. Often times, phrases and statements are taken out of context, yet remarkably, this Saturday Night Live sketch emulates the real interview, and at times, provides the answers verbatim.   


               -Stephen Roth 10/15/08




Bill O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone"


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Obama Steps Into O'Reilly's 'No Spin Zone' -Alessandra Stanley (2008, September 5). Obama Steps Into O'Reilly's 'No Spin Zone' :[National Desk]. New York Times 


I cited this article (along with others) to look specifically at the wording used by the media to describe the situation. Phrases such as, "the ultimate smack-down" and "wonk vs. wacko match" were used to rename Bill O'Reilly's and Barack Obama's interview. The concept of specific wording is particularly important is particularly important, seeing as how the media is the main vehicle of knowledge and information transportation. These phrases heavily influence the reader/viewer. Obama did everything in his power to protect his image; reaffirming his platform with confidence. O'Reilly stepped over the line just once; later apologizing for his faux-pas discussion of Michelle Obama. As with the playing of the race card (Race Card Article and Commentary), I ask, where is the line? And furthermore, who defines it, and should it be redefined for the entire nation?


                    -Stephen Roth 10/29


 Two Heads are Better than one....?



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McCain and Palin's Interview With Couric-Katharine Q. Seelye (2008, September 29). McCaina and Palin's Interview With Couric. The New York Times


McCain is sticking with his decision of picking Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential candidate.



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A parody of the highlights from the third 2008 Presidential Debate with Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. 

Very funny. 





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Comments (1)

Sarah Dombroski said

at 8:37 pm on Oct 17, 2008

I agree with Stephen. As outrageous as these SNL skits are, the show is really only guilty of exaggeration, not necessarily of twisting the words of each candidate. The candidates write the material for them with ridiculous phrases such as "Joe six-pack/Joe the Plumber," and absurd reactions to when the other is speaking. With such threatening shows such as SNL, the candidates really have to look out for themselves and act with poise and maturity, as a President should. They should prepare for interviews and have a solid repertoire of precedents for different laws or examples of different court cases to avoid spoofs such as these. In a way, sketches on debates and interviews should act as a kind of motivation for our candidates to do the best they can and avoid over-reacting or sounding ridiculous to help protect their reputations. Ultimately, these types of things will always be a presence, but they arn't nearly as damaging if the writers add in some of their own stuff as opposed to taking lines verbatim from the candidates' mouths.

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