Give “Saturday Night Live’s” disastrous Ivy League presidents sketch a little credit.
The show indirectly acknowledged the anti-Jewish sentiment flooding the country following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.
Yes, the Dec. 9 cold open slammed the wrong target and lacked a single laugh. It still marked the first palpable effort by the show’s Not Ready for Primetime Players to address an issue that has decent Americans up in arms.
Sadly, the sketch minimized the real-world horrors facing Jews despite the issue hitting close to home.
The Big Apple has been an epicenter for anti-semitism in recent weeks. Jewish students hid in an attic after pro-Palestinian protesters stalked them on the Cooper Union campus. Others have lawyered up to defend themselves when their New York campuses wouldn’t.
Three Jewish students are suing New York University over its alleged failure to enforce its anti-discrimination policies in the face of harassment against Jewish students, in violation of federal law.
Even the far-Left New York Times admitted the obvious.
Total hate crimes in New York City in October were more than double the levels for the previous October, and anti-Jewish incidents more than tripled.
“SNL” has called New York City home for its entire 49-year run, so there’s no excuse for not realizing the scope of the problem.
“SNL’s” satirical swing and miss drew plenty of unwanted attention, including some misguided calls for an apology. It’s still better, albeit barely, than the virtual silence heard from Team Late Night.
How many times have Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver or Seth Meyers mocked progressives tearing down hostage posters of innocent Israelis or violent pro-Hamas protests?
What about the rotating guest hosts at “The Daily Show?”
Have any skewered the Ivy League leaders for the moral rot they shared on Dec. 5?
Bill Maher’s HBO showcase remains an exception. The “Real Time with Bill Maher” host has been vocal on the subject. Here, he taunts both the Ivy League presidents and their free speech hypocrisy.
Bill Maher on Harvard's anti-semitism controversy:
"The presidents of Harvard, U Penn, and MIT were hauled before congress for good reason. For refusing to call the genocide of Jews on campus bullying or harrassment. Misgender a Jew? Get thrown out for that in a minute" pic.twitter.com/6JKKi8Dq1w
— Eric Abbenante (@EricAbbenante) December 9, 2023
“The trio got in trouble for “refusing to call the genocide of Jews on campus bullying or harassment. Misgendering a Jew? You get thrown off for that in a minute.”
Meanwhile, a rebellious comedy site is leading the way when it comes to mocking the anti-Semitic Left. The God-fearing Babylon Bee is unequaled in skewering Jew hatred.
Here’s just a sample of its faux news stories from the past few days.
Harvard President Claudine Gay In Hot Water For Plagiarizing Large Sections Of ‘Mein Kampf’
UPenn President Lights Special ‘Please Don’t Pull That $100 Million Donation’ Menorah
Hamas Says All The AK-47s Found In Gaza Hospital Were Strictly For Medicinal Use
Comedian Ryan Long quickly launched a hilarious attack on virtue-signaling actors following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas. His actor seemed stumped by what to post on social media to advance his career.
“It’s been a few days now, and I still haven’t weighed in on Israel Palestine… I honestly don’t know who to post.”
Long wouldn’t be invited onto “SNL,” of course, to riff like that. Nor will any late-night show open up their couch to him. He’s still more willing to embrace tough issues, the kind that demand sobering satire, than mainstream comics.
Let’s be clear. Mocking presidents like Donald Trump or Joe Biden is easy (even if comedians rarely touch Biden or trot out stale, old-age barbs). Eviscerating Jew hatred requires a deft touch.
The wrong phrasing could spark worries that the comedian is downplaying the consequences of bigotry at a moment when Jewish citizens are being harassed and attacked.
It’s still necessary given the tenor of the times.
It speaks volumes that many of our comedy institutions would rather let sites like The Babylon Bee do the heavy lifting.