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‘Saturday Night Live’ derides Benghazi hearings as a “partisan witch hunt”

Bill Hader as Darrell Issa on SNLThe latest round of Congressional hearings on the terrorist attack in Benghazi are a “partisan witch hunt” by Republicans that serve no real purpose and are solely meant to make the Obama administration look bad. That was the gist of a “Saturday Night Live” skit this weekend that attempted to humiliate House Oversight and Government Reform Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), as well as undermine the importance of the Benghazi whistleblowers’ testimonies last week.

In the skit, Issa, played by Bill Hader, brings in convicted killer Jodi Arias and accused Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro to testify before the Oversight Committee as a ploy to attract more media attention to the Benghazi investigation. Issa laments that no one in the mainstream media other FOX News has been covering the hearings, which he says in a “shame and a disgrace.”

“Mr. Chariman, if I may, I think the reason that the media hasn’t covered these hearings is that everyone knows that this is just a partisan witch hunt and a chance to attack the President and Secretary of State Clinton,” Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), played by Kenan Thompson, tells Issa.

Hastings goes on to challenge Arias expertise on the issue and query what she could possibly bring to the table on Benghazi, to which Issa says he thinks Hastings will be “pleasantly surprised” by the murderess and refers to her as a “poised and intelligent young lady.”

Instead of allowing the committee to question her, Arias,  played by Nasim Pedrad, turns the tables during her testimony and questions Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), played by Taran Killam. She inquires why the committee is even holding these hearings if they already know who committed the the terrorist attack. Gowdy is speechless, so Issa jumps in and ends the testimony, calling Arias “courageous” for appearing before the committee.

Of course, the real Benghazi hearings last week went nothing like the fictional Saturday Night Live version and did bring forth new information about what happened on the night that the U.S. consulate in Libya was attacked last year.

In the real hearing, Congress learned that the State Department was aware from the start that the attack was neither the result of a protest nor an offensive YouTube video, and the Obama administration misled the American people in saying so.

On “Meet the Press” Sunday morning Rep. Issa reiterated that the committee merely wants to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and that he is not playing partisan politics.

“Hillary Clinton’s not a target. President Obama’s not a target. The target is how did we fail three different ways,” Issa said. “Fail to heed the warnings of an impending terrorist attack, fail to respond properly during the attack – at least we certainly could have done better, and I think everyone knows that – and then fail to get the truth to the American people in a timely fashion.”

This post has been updated to reflect that Republican Rep. Doc Hastings represents Washington state, and not Maryland.

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