"The job of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted & afflict the comfortable."
I learned this when I was a 14-year-old Scribe, on the staff of my high school newspaper in Dallas, Tejas. I'm teaching that lesson today to my own journalistas at Our Humble High School in the DC 'Burbs.
Of course, the medium & the message have evolved over the years. Americans get their "news" from so many more places these days.
Some in the blogosphere & even in the so-called "mainstream" media have taken Saturday Night Live to task for last week's Tiger Woods skit, especially since the musical guest that nite was Rihanna, herself a victim of domestic violence.
In my English classes, I'm about to embark on a unit on Mark Twain & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain's American classic made folks uncomfortable. That's the point of satire...to upset the apple cart, to flaunt accepted conventions, to make us think.
"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."
Twain said that about his own work, Huck. I believe that satire should be taken for what it is: humor that makes one think. And last week's SNL skit clearly falls into that category. You'll have to wait a sec or 2 while the dumb ad boots up, but after that I think you'll get a good giggle. Please let me know if you don't, OK?