Censored Video from 1998 Saturday Night Live
The 1998 Robert Smigel animated short film “Conspiracy Theory Rock”, part of a March 1998 Saturday Night Live “TV Funhouse” segment, has been removed from all subsequent airings of the SNL episode where it originally appeared.
SNL producer Lorne Michaels claimed the edit was done because it “wasn’t funny”. The film is a scathing critique of corporate media ownership, including NBC’s ownership by General Electric/Westinghouse.
We are reminded of Tim Robbins’ prophetic 1992 political mockumentary Bob Roberts, in which Michels’/NBC’s censorial practices were uncannily dramatized years before the axing of “Conspiracy Theory Rock.”
The consolidation of media ownership illustrated in Smigel’s animation was of course well-underway by the late 1990s. The dangers of such concentrated power are now routinely on display. For example, this media monopoly acted in concert on its reportage of the events of September 11, 2001, and now coordinates in its wide scale public relations-style “coverage” of certain terror and mass shooting events.