It wouldn’t be Monday if the morning shows weren’t abuzz with whatever political satire was produced on Saturday Night Live the weekend before. And this particular Monday, the Comedic Clip du Jour has been the show’s cold open: a video of Fred Armisen’s ‘Barack Obama’ declaring that, over the months of his presidency, he has under his belt “two big accomplishments: jack and squat.”
The skit is notable for: its sharper-than-ever criticism of a president whom SNL used to, in its way, “support”; its employment, in “jack and squat,” of a buzz phrase worthy not only of cable, but of a Luntz or a Lakoff; its reliance on a Colbert-style split screen to drive home its points; its general emphasis on satire rather than comedy; and, perhaps relatedly, its wholesale lack of funniness.
This morning, however, brought one more characteristic to the SNL skit: It has now been officially fact-checked. Albeit “just for fun.” Make of that what you will.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.