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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE POKED FUN AT ONE-SIDED PRO-GORE QUESTIONS

LEHRER'S TOWN HALL DEBATE SO BIASED IT INSPIRED A SKIT

- NBC's Saturday Night Live satirized all three presidential debates. This weekend, in poking fun at last Tuesday's town hall-style debate in St. Louis, the SNL writers noticed the obvious: that the "uncommitted" questioners selected by PBS anchor and moderator Jim Lehrer leaned to the left, and often echoed Al Gore talking points.

- Up first in the SNL skit: a woman identified as "Lesley Doss." She asked: "Governor Bush, I've been following the campaign very closely but I need to know more about where the candidates stand on the issues I really care about: protecting a woman's right to choose, dealing with global warming, and fighting the big oil companies and HMOs. Do you and the Vice President have any differences on these issues that would help me to decide which of you to support? Right now I have no idea."

- Next, a guy named "Dan McGrath" satirized the cluelessness of still-undecided voters: "Mr. Vice President, I've been following this campaign, I've seen the first two debates, but I still haven't made up my mind. To be frank, if you or Governor Bush want my vote I have some questions that have to be answered. Have either you or Governor Bush ever held elected office? Have you reached the age of 35 years as required by the Constitution? And are you an American citizen?"

- Finally, "Roger Clyman" posed the most loaded question of all three: "Mr. Vice President, as an undecided neutral voter not committed to either candidate, trying to make up my mind, I'm wondering about Governor Bush's risky tax scheme to steal the trillion dollar surplus from Social Security and Medicare, waste it on a tax cut for the rich, and take us back to those awful times when his father nearly brought our economy to its knees and caused AIDS and homelessness. Tell me how would your plan differ so I can decide which of you to vote for?"

- "Saturday Night Live's satire is right on," said MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham. "Jim Lehrer's idea of a balanced menu of questioners is a joke."