Bill Hader as Senator Lindsey Graham(Screengrab)
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Is This Video Worthy of an ADL Condemnation?

An unaired ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit caused a stir

Adam Chandler
February 12, 2013
Bill Hader as Senator Lindsey Graham(Screengrab)

An unaired skit by the sometimes-funny cast of Saturday Night Live is getting the “Abe Foxman Bump” following its condemnation by the Anti-Defamation League. In the video, which was released on NBC’s website, the SNL crew lampoons the Chuck Hagel/Secretary of Defense hearings by exaggerating the intense fealty toward Israel as expressed by Republican senators.

Yesterday, ADL Chief Abe Foxman responded thusly:

On the one hand, in taking this public controversy and skewering it to a degree that is absurd, this is a form of legitimate satire that serves to erode the hard edge of those who falsely claim that America is a tool of the Israelis. On the other hand, there inevitably will be those who say, “Yeah, it’s funny, but there is some truth to all of this.” And for a smaller minority among those individuals, elements of the skit could play into the worst kind of ideas, even reinforcing pernicious notions of Jewish control of government in the vein of those routinely espoused by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites by suggesting that U.S. officials would even engage in public sex acts if asked to do so by Israel.

While I’m glad this skit did not make the final cut on SNL, we wish that someone had exercised better judgment by keeping this piece from going up on the Internet, where it is now taking on a life of its own.

Do you think the skit reinforces the idea that Jews control the government?

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.