“Saturday Night Live’s” cold opening this week was about the congressional testimony from college presidents of Harvard, UPenn and MIT. However, it was considered a flop due to its perceived focus on a GOP lawmaker instead of the controversial testimony of the college presidents.
In the NBC variety show’s parody of the hearing, the primary target appeared to be Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., over her aggressive questioning and politics.
“I am here today because hate speech has no place on college campuses. Hate speech belongs in Congress, on Elon Musk’s Twitter, in private dinners with my donors and in public speeches by my work husband Donald Trump,” cast member Chloe Troast’s Stefanik said in the skit.
Many took issue with how the sketch appeared to focus more on making fun of Stefanik rather than the university presidents for their comments.
“There is a 400% increase in antisemitic hate crimes since October 7th and SNL thinks it’s hilarious….This is vile. Vile,” former “The View” co-host Meghan McCain blasted.
Digital strategist Greg Price wrote, “After three university presidents were universally panned for their testimony about anti-Semitism on campus, SNL decided that @EliseStefanik was the one who embarrassed herself.”
“@EliseStefanik handled the pro g*noc*de University Presidents beautifully. So of course SNL mocks her. This is so difficult to watch. Isn’t SNL supposed to be funny?” Libs of TikTok posted.
“Unwatchable,” the Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller said.
Fox News contributor Guy Benson posted, “If you’re gonna rush to protect the tribe with comedy at least be even a tiny bit funny.”
“The fake laughter is as painful as the skit,” journalist Ian Miles Cheong commented.
“Its actually pretty incredible how this skit featured liberals being unwilling to call genocide bad – and they WEREN’T the punchline of the joke. Just shows how unfunny you can get if you’re unwilling to make fun of people on your side,” The Babylon Bee editor-in-chief Kyle Mann explained.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Harvard president Claudine Gay, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and MIT president Sally Kornbluth gave testimony on rising incidents of antisemitism in their schools. They were later wildly condemned online for not answering whether calls for the genocide of Jews, “intifada,” or “from the river to the sea” violated campus policies.
“At Harvard, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment?” Stefanik asked.
“It can be, depending on the context,” Gay responded.
Following the hearing, Gay issued an apology insisting that she “failed to convey what is my truth” when discussing antisemitism on campus. Magill has since resigned from her position on Saturday after facing backlash for her own answer on whether calls for the genocide of Jews violated campus code of conduct.
“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment, yes,” Magill responded, later adding, “It is a context-dependent decision.”