SNL Cold Open Mocks Russian Disinformation, Features Bogus CDC Advice For Invading Ukraine

Saturday Night Live’s latest cold start poked fun at Russia’s disinformation efforts about the crisis brewing in Ukraine.

In the skit, President Joe Biden, played by James Austin Johnson, is briefed on Russia’s increasingly ridiculous propaganda efforts over the standoff.

Attempts range from fake news to cheesy public service announcements to an odd riff on the “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” commercials, which features Pete Davidson as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers trapped in Ukraine.

Some of the false headlines in the sketch include “Ukrainian border encroaching Russian troops”; “Russian forces surround Ukraine just to give it a big hug”; “Ukrainian president horny for drama, wants war: ‘Slap me harder, daddy’”; and a bogus warning from the CDC that Russia should invade Ukraine to stop the coronavirus.

In response to this attack, the White House decides to work with a teenage girl from a “vicious girls’ high school” who will cyber bully Russia into eliminating its huge troop buildup outside Ukraine.

“I think your generation can learn a lot from mine,” the high school propagandist, played by Chloe Fineman, tells the president.

“Like, we don’t believe in drone strikes. We believe in psychologically taking down our enemies. That’s why I go to DM Putin and say, ‘My God, I loved your outfit the other day. Was that the old Navy? She is already spiraling. It’s all like, ‘Do they think I’m poor?’ In three weeks, she will have completely lost her mind.”

Russia may not be falsely advertising State Farm, but it has stepped up their propaganda efforts while the Ukraine crisis persists, according to officials.

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Social media accounts linked to Russia’s military have accused Ukraine of plotting genocide against ethnic Russians, siding with Nazi ideology and planning a chemical attack with the help of US proxies.

The messages have intensified since December, as Moscow increased pressure on Ukraine, which has sought to prevent it from joining NATO and drawing closer to the European Union.

In response, the US has adopted a “rebuttal” strategy that attempts to affirmatively declassify intelligence on Russian military positions and discredit propaganda talking points, hopefully before they take effect on the ground, according to the officials. .

“We are much more aware of the Russian disinformation machine than we were in 2014,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, referring to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. “We need to be very clear with the global community and the American public about what they are trying to do and why.”

The State Department and Russian officials, somewhat like the SNL sketch, have back and forth onlineeach claiming to be debunking the false facts of the other.

The State Department says Russian efforts “include the dissemination of disinformation and propaganda that attempt to paint Ukraine and Ukrainian government officials as the aggressor in the Russia-Ukraine relationship,” as it says. wrote in a fact sheet about Russian propaganda around Ukraine, published last week.

“Such measures are intended to influence Western countries to believe that Ukraine’s behavior could provoke a global conflict and convince Russian citizens of the need for Russian military action in Ukraine.”

So far diplomatic efforts have failed to resolve the stalemate, as more than 100,000 Russian troops remain stationed in a ring around Ukraine.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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