In the skit, a parody of a C-SPAN news conference replay, the Sandlers express puzzlement over why Pelosi invited them as victims because they’re really delighted with their fortune and laughingly see Wachovia Bank as the victim. A graphic beneath the Sandlers says, “People who should be shot.”
Monday NBC mysteriously yanked the skit’s video from the network’s website, fueling online rumors the show was caving to pressures from well-connected Democrats.
The video was later reposted and a spokesman explained “upon review we caught certain elements in the sketch that didn’t meet our standards. We took it down and made some minor changes.”
In an interview with Gold, the show’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels, said the Sandlers were distraught but had not demanded the changes. He noted the “People who should be shot” line was deleted as was a reference to their “corrupt activities.”
But a comparison of the two versions shows that actually a little more than that was cut. What also was excised was any mention of the involvement of Massachusetts’ Rep. Frank in the Sandler subprime mess.
Frank is the influential chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and an ardent political protector of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which participated in the subprime problem.
In the original skit Sandler addresses Frank, saying, “And thank you Congressman Frank as well as many Republicans for helping block Congressional oversight of our corrupt activities.”
To which Frank replies enthusiastically, “Not at all!”