Immediately after Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the cable networks will use pundits and flash polls to try to tell you who won. Don’t believe them. On Tuesday they will parade out campaign surrogates and online polls to tell you who won. Don’t believe them. On Wednesday and Thursday they will use newspaper editorials and major national polls to tell you who won. And you may think by then you know how it all played out.
But you still won’t.
Don’t score the first presidential debate until Saturday Night Live lampoons it when the show returns for its 42nd season on October 1, and the news media reacts to that event. Only then will you know who really came out on top.
Though it’s only a comedy show, SNL has set the national perception for presidential debates going back four decades. Political pundits can analyze and deconstruct the real matchup, but well-written satire almost always creates the more lasting – and damaging – impression. Read More