Live from PBS, Tina Fey is censored

Ethel C. Fenig
Actions have consequences. So is PBS, the partially taxpayer funded Public Broadcasting System, suffering the consequences of National Public Radio's (NPR) action when they unceremoniously dumped Juan Williams?  That action prompted many to call for a halt to tax dollars going to public broadcasting putting PBS and NPR on the defensive.

With that controversy still fresh, some are accusing PBS of censoring - or editing out -  Tina Fey's politically nasty Sarah Palin cracks as Fey accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from Washington DC's Kennedy Center. Fey, former head writer of Saturday Night Live and now at NBC's 30 Rock, a program she created and stars in, gained widespread fame/notoriety during the 2008 election for her satiric take on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.


After listening to a mildly humorous tribute to her talents, Fey, attired in a cute dress but with a strange un Palin hairdo, closed the program thanking everyone:


"I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that ever happened to me. All kidding aside, I'm so proud to represent American humor, I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the ‘not real' America. And I am most proud that during trying times, like an orange [terror] alert, a bad economy or a contentious election that we as a nation retain our sense of humor."

However the ceremony broadcast on PBS a few days later did not include Fey's additional cracks about Palin that the adoring crowd in the Kennedy Center was privileged to hear.

"And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women - except, of course --those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape 'kit 'n' stuff, But for everybody else, it's a win-win. Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know - actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster."

Well, yes, those remarks were a disaster. And mostly wrong. The rape kit apparently referred to an incorrect rumor that Alaskan women who claimed they were raped had to pay for their own tests, Palin's opposition to same sex marriage and Palin's religious beliefs. At most they ate up 45 seconds of air time for a show that was supposedly 19 minutes too long for broadcast. But the executive producer insisted:


"We had zero problems with anything she said. We snipped from everyone."

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, live from the great unwashed middle of the country, ( in the words of Katie Couric and/or her executive producer) continues to attract crowds and backers. And detractors. But all agree with Fey's beliefs


I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the ‘not real' America. And I am most proud that during trying times, ...we as a nation retain our sense of humor.




Actions have consequences. So is PBS, the partially taxpayer funded Public Broadcasting System, suffering the consequences of National Public Radio's (NPR) action when they unceremoniously dumped Juan Williams?  That action prompted many to call for a halt to tax dollars going to public broadcasting putting PBS and NPR on the defensive.

With that controversy still fresh, some are accusing PBS of censoring - or editing out -  Tina Fey's politically nasty Sarah Palin cracks as Fey accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from Washington DC's Kennedy Center. Fey, former head writer of Saturday Night Live and now at NBC's 30 Rock, a program she created and stars in, gained widespread fame/notoriety during the 2008 election for her satiric take on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.


After listening to a mildly humorous tribute to her talents, Fey, attired in a cute dress but with a strange un Palin hairdo, closed the program thanking everyone:


"I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that ever happened to me. All kidding aside, I'm so proud to represent American humor, I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the ‘not real' America. And I am most proud that during trying times, like an orange [terror] alert, a bad economy or a contentious election that we as a nation retain our sense of humor."

However the ceremony broadcast on PBS a few days later did not include Fey's additional cracks about Palin that the adoring crowd in the Kennedy Center was privileged to hear.

"And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women - except, of course --those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape 'kit 'n' stuff, But for everybody else, it's a win-win. Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know - actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster."

Well, yes, those remarks were a disaster. And mostly wrong. The rape kit apparently referred to an incorrect rumor that Alaskan women who claimed they were raped had to pay for their own tests, Palin's opposition to same sex marriage and Palin's religious beliefs. At most they ate up 45 seconds of air time for a show that was supposedly 19 minutes too long for broadcast. But the executive producer insisted:


"We had zero problems with anything she said. We snipped from everyone."

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, live from the great unwashed middle of the country, ( in the words of Katie Couric and/or her executive producer) continues to attract crowds and backers. And detractors. But all agree with Fey's beliefs


I am proud to be an American, and I am proud to make my home in the ‘not real' America. And I am most proud that during trying times, ...we as a nation retain our sense of humor.