Stories Chosen For You
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" tackled the show's high turnover and the latest on Donald Trump in the premier of the show's 48th season.
The opening skit featured Peyton Manning and brother Eli Manning analyzing the show's "cold open" as if it were a football game.
After an appearance by Kristi Noem discussing abortion, Eli Manning asked, "What the hell was that."
"The governor of South Dakota, a political cast impression that no one asked for," Peyton Manning said. "What about a fun impression like Anthony Fauci or Lindsey Graham or Rudy Giuliani?"
"Those were all Kate McKinnon," his brother noted.
McKinnon was one of many cast members who left after the show's 47th season.
After more jokes flopped, the brothers broke down the numbers.
"The show is in a rebuilding year for sure," Peyton Manning said. "Let's take a look at the stats so far. Fourteen attempted jokes this episode, only one mild laugh and three chuckles."
For expert analysis, the two interviewed Jon Hamm, who has hosted the show three times.
"Jon, what have you seen so far tonight?" Peyton Manning asked.
"I don't know, but it's not comedy," Hamm replied. "They haven't even used Kenan [Thompson] yet. that's like putting a whole team of Elis on the field, and you've got the Peyton sitting on the sidelines. No offense, Eli."
"Oh no, I agreed," Eli Manning replied.
The show suffered historic turnover between seasons.
"The day before May's finale, USA TODAY confirmed four cast members planned to exit: Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney," the newspaper reported. "September saw the additional (and involuntary) departures of Aristotle Athari – after one season – Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor, who both started in 2016. Last week. Chris Redd confirmed he was also exiting after five seasons. This marks the show's biggest cast turnover since at least 1995."
In autumn, that mournful season that stifles the lighthearted sounds of summer and, against the green of Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine, light up the Seeley-Swan Valley like a votive-filled cathedral in Rome.
It’s something to behold as you stand in awe of the magic wand of nature, whose invisible hand has crafted an infrastructure that rapacious men and women want to market and sell to a public hungry for natural experiences touted on Instagram and by Hollywood.
In the Seeley-Swan, at Holland Lake, we’re seeing a docudrama (like that TV show “Yellowstone”) play out with the U.S. Forest Service and Utah-based ski giant POWDR proposing to triple the size of the quaint Holland Lake Lodge – on public land – and turn it into a “soulful” experience for visitors to an area that’s the crown jewel of the largely undeveloped valley.
To stand at Holland Falls is to imagine what this landscape once was: Wild, undeveloped and nestled in between the Swan Mountains and Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and the craggy peaks of the Mission Mountains to the west. For those in the valley, it’s where the sun crests one mountain range and sets behind another. It includes a wildlife corridor that’s largely untrammeled by humans and allows visitors to drive between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks.
It’s also the land of the Pend d’Oreille, Salish, Kootenai and Blackfeet, who lived here before interlopers swooped in.
But what’s occurring here is emblematic of what’s happening these days to Montana, where hucksters see a raw diamond like Holland Lake and want to cut facets in it to sell to visitors who crave a real natural experience.
Yes, Montana’s being discovered – again. But in this instance the Forest Service’s Flathead representatives stumbled out of the gate in announcing this huge development, which needs a special-use permit to operate on public land. The Forest Service lost the public’s trust because of an obscure and confusing public scoping process and a failure to be transparent when this project was hatched.
After mulling POWDR’s proposal since April, forest officials released project details September 1, quoted the developers, and said they’d accept comments until Sept. 21. Forest officials held a meeting September 8 in Condon, where attendees panned the process.
Thousands of howls of protest from people across the country prompted Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele to extend the comment period to Oct. 7 and schedule a meeting in Seeley Lake on Oct. 4. In a press release, Steele took no responsibility for a “lot of confusion” about his intention to use a “categorical exclusion” (CEs are used for minor projects), condescendingly insinuating, to some, at least, that we don’t understand the arcana of Forest Service bureaucracy.
All that Montanans and Americans, who own the public land, are asking is that the Service be transparent so we know the rules and can comment on substantive issues, such as what a large project and extensive human impact will have on the area’s character, threatened and endangered species, water and air quality, and traffic.
It’s not difficult.
I’ll leave substantive issues to experts, who’ll point out the flaws with this proposal for a lake that doesn’t need a ski developer – an “adventure lifestyle company that inspires every human being with cool experiences in awesome places” – to create a “soulful experience.”
If I want such an experience, I’ll hike to Holland Falls or walk among the grove of giant larch that soar like cathedral spires near Seeley Lake. Those places are free, open to all and shared by us.
This vanishing Montana – it’s worth fighting for.
Bill Lombardi lives in Seeley Lake, Montana.
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Following a 103-minute rally speech in Michigan on Saturday evening, Donald Trump turned his attention to politics in Brazil ahead of Sunday's presidential election.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported, "For half a decade, we have drawn comparisons between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former president Donald Trump. In many ways, the two right-wing ultranationalists are birds of a feather: They both surged to power on a tide of anti-establishment anger; they counted on the enduring support of evangelical voters and certain business elites; they gained politically by the spread of misinformation on social media; they stymied collective global action on climate change; they raged at the strictures imposed by (and the science behind) pandemic-era lockdowns; they waged a relentless culture war against supposed enemies in media, state institutions and schools."
Bolsonaro is being challenged by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
"Bolsonaro has been casting doubt on the security of Brazil’s electronic voting system for months, claiming without evidence that it is vulnerable to fraud and that Mr. da Silva’s supporters are planning to rig the vote. Mr. Bolsonaro has, in effect, said that the only way he would lose is if the election were stolen from him," The New York Times reported.
Trump urged Brazilians to vote for Bolsonaro on his Truth Social website.
"There is a very big election taking place tomorrow, one of worldwide importance," Trump posted. "A great and highly respected man, Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, is up for re-election, and based on all that he has done, and all that he is doing for the wonderful people of his beloved country, everyone should enthusiastically go out and vote for him."
"Jair Bolsonaro has my Complete and Total Endorsement. He will never let you down!" Trump promised.