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Dead Tree Alert: Hillary's SNL Strategy

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My column in the print TIME this week is pretty much a polished-up version of this earlier post on Hillary and SNL, more or less. (Less, actually: it’s 50% shorter and, therefore, 50% better.) But if you haven’t read it yet—then it’s new to you!

You always risk sounding a little ridiculous writing about things like Tina Fey’s sketch or the Yes We Can video as if they matter. And, yeah, OK, they don’t matter matter, in the sense that health care or deciding to bomb a Third World country does. And yet they do—the thing about the swirl of viral videos and other creations that have sprung up around Barack Obama, for instance, is that whatever their substantive message, they are themselves the message: like them or not, their existence embodies an argument that someone has been moved enough by the candidate to make them. So far this campaign cycle, I haven’t seen a traditional TV commercial that’s been nearly as influential as what’s come out of TV comedy and the Internet.

Meanwhile, SNL promises a new Hillary-and-Barack skit tomorrow night. The fate of a nation hangs in the balance.