Santorum Says ‘Bullied’ by SNL

Rick Santorum says Saturday Night Live is bullying" him  for "standing up for the traditional family."


Rick Santorum says Saturday Night Live is bullying” him  for “standing up for the traditional family.”

The Hill (“Santorum calls SNL sketch ‘bullying’“):

SNL, in a send-up of last week’s Bloomberg/Washington Post debate that set candidate’s seating order based on poll numbers, said seating for the skit was based “on the likelihood of the candidate winning the nomination.”

Actors playing contenders Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were seated at the table, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry was placed in the corner of the set, Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) was banished to a parking garage, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) were put a broom closet, and Santorum in “a crowded gay bar in the Castro district of San Francisco.”

Although Santorum, played by Andy Samberg, had only a limited roll [sic] in the sketch, he was portrayed as upset and uncomfortable.

This is actually a brilliant comic premise. And it’s well executed:

New Hampshire radio station WGIR asked Santorum on Sunday about the sketch — the former Pennsylvania senator said that while he hadn’t yet seen it, he had been “hammered” for his support of conservative principles.

“We’ve been hammered by the left for my standing up for the traditional family and I will continue to do so,” Santorum said. “The left, unfortunately, participates in bullying more than the right does. They say that they’re tolerant, and they’re anything but tolerant of people who disagree with them and support traditional values.”

Santorum has been a frequent target of gay-advocacy groups, who have denounced his stances on gay marriage and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Last month, the candidate said that the gay community had “gone out on a jihad” against him for his stance against gay marriage.
“I welcome the criticism, go ahead. I’m going to stand up for the values that made this country great,” Santorum said.

Santorum clearly doesn’t understand what “bullying” means, much less what it means to be a public figure.

His stances on homosexuality are indeed traditional and still supported by large swaths of America. But the culture is changing rapidly on this issue and it’s hardly surprising that gay groups are “hammering” him or that liberal comics are making jokes at his expense. We can argue about the propriety of individual attacks–I think the SNL bit is clever and not particularly mean-spirited while the infamous Google bomb is tasteless and crude–but public figures speaking out on controversial issues should expect to receive return fire. That’s especially true of politicians, let alone those running for president.

Frankly, Santorum should be grateful SNL is paying him any attention at all. He’s within the margin of error of my dog Molly in the polls and hasn’t been a factor in national politics in five years.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Humor, Popular Culture, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mark says:

    “while the infamous Google bomb is tasteless and crude” but also perfect….

  2. If anyone should be complaining, it’s Ron Paul, who is clearly beating Bachmann right now (and in some cases is within the MoE of Perry), yet never gets taken seriously by the press.

  3. James H says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I thought Ron Paul got a relatively positive depiction here. In the next SNL debate skit, look for him to hit Newt Gingrich with a folding chair and do his best Hulk Hogan impersonation.

  4. James says:

    So in other words, Rick Santorum continues to be a humorless bigot?

  5. Franklin says:

    Ahhh, Rick’s trying to turn it around, make his weakness his strength or something like that. It used to be that gay people were bullied, you see. But now *they* are the bullies. Poor old Rick!

  6. mantis says:

    I think the SNL bit is clever and not particularly mean-spirited while the infamous Google bomb is tasteless and crude

    It’s not a Google bomb. This has been explained to you quite thoroughly.

  7. Gustopher says:

    Is former-Senator Frothy Santorum saying that he would be comfortable in a gay bar?

  8. legion says:

    Well, if Little Ricky feels bullied, I have some heartening advice for him…

  9. James Joyner says:

    @mantis: “Google bomb” is a perfectly reasonable shorthand for artificial attempts to rank a page high by massive links to it.

  10. @James H:

    I wasn’t talking about this skit in particular which I liked (I even thought the burning puppies bit in the earlier debate parody oddly made Paul look good), but more the media coverage of him in general.

    The media tends to categorize candidates as serious or unserious at the beginning of the election process, and once assigned to a particular category, they remain there for the rest of the election, regardless of what happens in the polling data. Thus Bachman is treated as serious and Ron Paul is treated as unserious, even if Bachman has been reduced to a rouding error and Paul is now tied for third.

  11. mantis says:

    “Google bomb” is a perfectly reasonable shorthand for artificial attempts to rank a page high by massive links to it.

    That’s not what this is, and this has been explained to you. It’s not artificial. It’s organic. Deal with it.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    …while the infamous Google bomb is tasteless and crude…

    About as tasteless and crude as Santorum’s views on homosexuality…

    Thus Bachman is treated as serious and Ron Paul is treated as unserious, even if Bachman has been reduced to a rouding error and Paul is now tied for third.

    The correct way to treat them is to view both of them as unserious…after all, neither one is going to get anywhere near the GOP nomination, no matter what the media does or doesn’t do…