It was Tina Fey's biting tongue that earned her the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Though, oddly enough, it was also what cost her a little screen time over the weekend.
It took a couple days to notice, but turns out that Fey's acceptance speech, which aired during the PBS extravaganza over the weekend, got quite the hatchet job, with her most cutting remarks about—guess who?—Sarah Palin excised from the television broadcast.
Was there a conservative conspiracy at work? Depends on whom you ask…
If you ask the executive producer of the PBS broadcast, Peter Kaminsky, the answer is no.
"It was not a political decision," he told the Washington Post. "We had zero problems with anything she said."
Guess it was just a coincidence that they chose to edit out the most controversial two minutes of her speech. Hopefully not to avoid the avalanche of headlines that might have ensued. Because that sure backfired.
So what exactly did they cut?
Well, they saw fit to include this gem:
"I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that have ever happened to me."
However, instead of opting to pare down the broadcast—which ran 19 minutes over its 90-minute allotted time—by cutting out the myriad career clips that ran between each celebrity speaker, or cutting out a speaker entirely, they decided instead to cut out Fey's subsequent comments about Palin:
"Politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women—except, of course, those who will end up paying for their own rape kit and stuff. But for everybody else, it's a win-win. Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years. Whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know—actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster."
As, it seems, was PBS' editing choice. However, the public broadcaster did know enough to leave well enough alone in the online version of the night, where Fey's comments can be heard in their entirety.
Like, say, around the 12 minute mark.
Still, it's not as though Fey didn't have an idea that cuts might be coming. Though she certainly wasn't expecting it from that portion of her speech.
"I want to thank the great Robert Carlock, my friend and partner at 30 Rock," she said earlier in the night. "You work tirelessly and you are never acknowledged and I hope you really take my gratitude to heart in this moment…because we are probably gonna cut this part for the broadcast."
While that definitely would've sucked for Robert, it might've been a better move by PBS.