Fact-Check Confirms Flimsiness of SNL’s Scathing Obama Sketch

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As we wrote about yesterday, SNL opened its show this weekend with a sketch slamming President Obama for so far accomplishing "nothing" that he promised during the campaign. We pointed out that at least a couple of their criticisms were pretty dubious — Obama never said forces would be out of Iraq by now, and Congress has begun to work on global-warming legislation. So strike those two. But Politifact has pinpointed further inaccuracies.

For one, Obama never promised torture prosecutions, so those shouldn't have been expected in the first place. On the issue of rolling back executive power, Obama has actually limited the way he's used signing statements. As for Afghanistan, Politifact writes that so far Obama has done what he's promised, which is to send two additional brigades of troops (although clearly the situation there is pretty dire).

Look, we know SNL isn't the Times, and that some people might consider it ridiculous to fact-check one of their skits. But political satire isn't legitimate if it's not based in truth. It's not that SNL's disenchantment with Obama is unsupportable; they just picked some faulty evidence to support it. If you're going to skewer Obama for all the things he hasn't done, it might be better to make sure that, you know, he hasn't done them. Especially since, after witnessing the lasting impact of its Sarah Palin caricature last year, we can probably stop pretending that SNL is "just a comedy show" with no real influence.

Hey SNL! We've rated Obama's promises! [Politifact]