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Sarah Palin vs. Tina Fey
Did Palin's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" do her any good?
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arah Palin "made her point by going on 'Saturday Night Live,'" said Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times. "She proved she has a sense of humor at a time when the country is still debating whether to take her seriously as a potential commander-in-chief." By bravely confronting the show, which has seen its ratings soar thanks to Tina Fey's "dead-on" Palin impersonation, the Alaska governor may just have charmed some of her critics.

You might want to take another look at the video (click here for an NBC clip), said Michael Shaw in The Huffington Post. Palin's role was so limited that she was little more than a prop for entertainers who lined up to make jokes at her expense. Actor Alec Baldwin "reduced SP to a sex object," and Fey "not only parodied Palin again, but did so to Palin's face," making the appearance an "unmitigated disaster" for the Republican vice presidential candidate.

What viewers will remember is that Palin exuded self-confidence in enemy territory, said John Hinderaker in the Power Line blog. The appearance introduced Palin skeptics to her easy confidence (click for more NBC video), which is one of the qualities that make her "the most popular governor in America." Some politicians let themselves get steamrolled when SNL's celebrities get their hands on them, but Palin was obviously "not much impressed, let alone intimidated."

The real winner was "Saturday Night Live," said Mark Silva in the Chicago Tribune online. The one-two punch of "the real and fake Palins" helped the comedy show reach its highest ratings in 14 years. Palin won points for showing she had a sense of humor, but did nothing to change an image that has largely been defined by late-night comics. And with 52 percent of people polled recently by Pew Research calling her unqualified to serve as president, she needs to do more than show she can take a joke.

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