Opinion

I can see the end of Tina Fey’s career from the Kennedy Center

Photo of David Almasi
David Almasi
Executive Director, NCPPR

After the thumpin’ liberals took in this week’s midterm elections, at least they can relive the glory days of 2008 next week. On November 8, the Washington and Hollywood elite will gather at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to give comedian Tina Fey the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor for her 2008 smear of Sarah Palin.

At 40, Fey is by far the youngest and likely the least-qualified recipient of the Twain Prize. That doesn’t concern Mark Krantz, the executive producer of the award program. He said he sees the Twain Award as a “prize” rather than a “lifetime achievement award,” and that Fey is “at her apex.”

At her apex? So it’s all downhill from here? That’s a shame for Fey.

Fey, for what it’s worth, gets “groundbreaking” credit for being the first female head writer for “Saturday Night Live.” Whether that is such a big deal is questionable considering “SNL” is long past its prime. Neither movie in which she had a lead role (“Baby Mama” and “Date Night”) were hits, and the one she wrote (“Mean Girls”) is memorable only for helping make Lindsay Lohan the celebrity she is today. Her “30 Rock” television show is more of a hit with critics than viewers.

It’s hardly a resume fit to stand with past Twain Award recipients such as Bill Cosby, Neil Simon, Carl Reiner and Bob Newhart.

But Tina Fey does have one standout performance. She was quite proficient in making fun of Sarah Palin at a time when Palin was just being introduced to most Americans. On regular appearances on “SNL” during the 2008 general election campaign, Fey portrayed the vice presidential nominee as a simpleton. The clips went viral, and were regularly played on newscasts as part of the establishment media’s obsession with putting Palin down.

This mocking image of Palin became so ubiquitous that it undoubtedly defined the Republican ticket to many voters. As proof of this, a survey of Obama voters by pollster John Zogby conducted just after the 2008 election found that 87 percent identified Palin as saying that she could “see Russia from her house.” In reality, it was a line from one of Fey’s skits.

Fey, who already won an Emmy for slamming Palin, is now being feted by the establishment, allegedly for her vast body of work. But her career pales next to Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and possibly even Betty White — who all have yet to be honored with the Twain Award.

It’s obvious Fey’s Kennedy Center “prize” is nothing more than payback for poking fun at Sarah Palin when it counted.

Fey should enjoy her award. She should bask in the adulation of the beautiful people — and perhaps even revel in personal thanks for her help from the man who now sits in the Kennedy Center president’s box. Celebrity is fleeting, and — if Krantz is right — it’s never gonna get better for her than it is right now.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, emerged from Fey’s character assassination attempt stronger than ever. She’s not vice president, but she is more politically relevant now than ever before.

Palin’s support put many tea party candidates over the top during this year’s primary season, and Governor-elect Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Congressman-elect Sean Duffy of Wisconsin and Senator-elect Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania may be able to pin their wins on Palin’s endorsement of them.

Palin’s first book was a bestseller, and her second book will be released later this month. She has a show premiering on TLC and is a Fox New contributor. She is also regarded as a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination to presumably challenge Barack Obama.

Sarah Palin hasn’t yet reached her apex.

Sorry, Tina — you lose.

David W. Almasi is the executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington-based think tank.

  • kaziklibey

    Who the heck is Tina Fey

  • bozsbusiness

    Everytime I read about one of these award shows at the Kennedy Center, it makes me want to puke!! All these events are is a chance for liberal hob-nobbing with Hussein.
    Close the Kennedy Center, get government out of the entertainment business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Smith/100000793020486 Adam Smith

    Pure mediocrity.

  • sunnyr

    Tina Fey is waay overrated. She does a pretty fair SARAH, except for those big, floppy ears of hers. The woman can hold a candle to Sarah Palin’s natural beauty. Eat your heart out, Tina.

    • sunnyr

      Tina Fey CAN NOT hold a candle to Sarah Palin’s natural beauty. There! Fixed it!

  • DillonS

    Really? This is the best piece of dribble you could spew up? Do you not need some basic ability to think to be part of a think tank, David? You do realize how laughable you are to the majority of people who have sadly wasted their time reading this article. Sure, you may find a few supporters from the likes of ‘politicsisdirty’ but as you can tell by his/her comment they may be even more ‘challenged’ than you in their ability to make a thoughtful comment. Typical. Sad, but typical.

  • Newly Minted

    You’re all missing one big point. Leftists love awards. They love credentials. They worship only what’s been pre-approved by a committee.

    Read the MSM sometime. You’ll see the phrase “award winning” so-and-so pop up over and over. Leftists give awards to other leftists in the hopes of getting their award down the line. Pulitzer prizes, Academy awards, McArthur grants, Nobel prizes. Leftists fawn over credentials. It matters not if what any of them says makes one bit of sense. If you point out that what they say makes no sense, the likely answer you’ll get will be a citation of their Ivy League resume and the awards they’ve garnered. It’s well known that Joe Kennedy bought JFK the awards that made him appear presidential. So this Tina Fey thing is no surprise. Didn’t they give the sleazy Katie Couric an award for smearing Sarah Palin too?

    Once I was debating with someone over a religious point. He was basing his argument on some book. I was reasoning it out on my own. When I pulled out my bible and quoted the passage in question and noted that the passage did not say what he claimed it said, he replied, “But the author is an award winning professor at Berkely. Do you think you know more than him?” Well, yes. This story sums of liberals. They fawn over credentials, rely on them rather than their own eyes and ears, and when challenged fall back on such things as awards and citations. Conservatives rely on our own initiative.

    By the way, don’t we have an award winning president now?

  • dmn

    David – that seemed overly vitriolic for a harmless comedy award. And while the Palin impression certainly factored into the award, I wouldn’t say this lowers the bar for the award. I would, though, suggest doing about 30 seconds of research before calling Fey the least qualified winner. The 2001 honoree was Whoppi Goldberg. She’s certainly more qualified for this award than Barack Obama was for the Nobel (or the Presidency).

    Maybe a couple of deep breaths next time? Remember, we’re the happy ones, while our friends on the left are the angry bitter people.

    • rektruax

      David also seems a bit too obsessed with box office and popularity. Are these the only award giving criteria in his world?

      No wonder the US is turning into Dogpatch.

  • GonePostal

    Well, considering that SNL always makes fun of political figures, did you expect them NOT to have some imitate Palin on the show after she was nominated in 2008? Why should Palin have been exempt? You can like Palin and still fin Political satire funny, you know. Well, maybe you can’t Mr. Almasi, but most people can.

    Most SNL political mockery comes from caricature. Bush 41 thought Dana Carvey’s imitation was so funny that he invited him to the White House. Fey was a big Hillary Clinton supporter. That did not stop her from being on a show that has mocked Hillary Clinton since 1992 and was especially hard on her in 2008.

    Fey was a success before Palin came around, and will hopefully keep people with a sense of humor laughing for a long time to come. Maybe she can keep imitating Palin, too.

    • AmericanBelle

      The point wasn’t about SNL’s political satires, but rather, does Tina Fey deserve a Twain award. The answer is a resounding NO! This is on par with the awarding of a Nobel Prize to Obama for doing nothing, but rather, on the premise that he WOULD do something. He didn’t deserve the Nobel. Another Nobel Prize given that wasn’t merited was to Al Gore for the greatest hoax on the world. Although the award was not given for perpetrating the greatest hoax, it should have been, as it was another Nobel given out that wasn’t deserved.

      Palin was a successful businesswoman, city councilwoman, and mayor before Fey started mocking her. Perhaps if Fey stuck to satire she’d be recognized along with other great satirists like Dana Carvey. Now she shares the spotlight with such underperforming misfits as Obama and Gore who received prizes they don’t deserve.

  • politicsisdirty

    Scarface….sorry Tina, I couldn’t stop myself. Liberals are used to throwing mean words, maybe you can also take it, right?

    • DillonS

      This is the best line you could come up with? Really? If you are going to try to make a clever point you might want to add a touch of, well, clever.

  • gooners

    Washington-based think tank? Is that another name for “comedy troupe”?