The consistently opaque answers offered by three academic leaders in their testimony at a House hearing on antisemitism this week saw them mercilessly mocked on the Saturday Night Live cold open.
The segment came just hours after Liz Magill resigned as president of the University of Pennsylvania in the wake of intense backlash over her failure during the congressional hearing on Capitol Hill to say whether advocating for the genocide of Jews is permissible on campus, as Breitbart News reported.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) also drew criticism on the SNL segment, even though she was the one actively challenging antisemitism, which featured Claudine Gay, Sally Kornbluth, and Liz Magill—the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively—who testified in front of Congress on Tuesday about the alarming rise in antisemitic incidents on college campuses across America (including their own) since the Hamas-Israel war began on Oct. 7.
In clips that went viral this week, Stefanik asked whether someone calling “for the genocide of Jews” would violate the schools’ code of conduct. The university presidents did not answer “yes” or “no” and instead gave mixed and often confusing responses.
In the SNL skit, staged as C-SPAN coverage, the three gave even more indirect answers couched with qualifying obfuscation – including pleading for time to submit written answers and offering “it all depends on the context.”
Then, surprised, Stefanik says, “Am I winning this hearing? Somebody pinch me!”
Watch as college presidents answer questions from members of Congress about antisemitism on their campuses
The three university presidents express relief when Stefanik’s time is up, but then another member of the committee yields his time back to her and off they go again.
The segment ends as a frustrated Stefanik asks, “Can you take a moral stance on anything? Can anyone here say yes to a single question?”
The president of the University of Phoenix online (Kenan Thompson), who also is at the hearing, offers in the affirmative and insists that “I am willing to say yes to anything.”