Michael Stinson is not a Sarah Palin fan. The lefty activist and founder of takebackthemedia.com expressed his distaste for the Thrilla from Wasilla with a parody of Palin's ghostwritten autobiography called "Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book."
But Stinson has two aces up his sleeve. He's been working with sound engineering for three decades, including a stint operating master reel-to-reel tapes at EMS Music in Seattle in the 80's. And he was actually at the Palin taping.
Writing at Daily Kos, Stinson says he and his wife flew six thousand miles round trip in part to see Palin in person and in part to hype their book. And when they watched the show on tape, he says they heard evidence that NBC added a laugh track to the broadcast.
They added laughter where there was none during uncomfortable portions. Well, there was some laughter. Mine, of derision. During those pregnant pauses in her performance I was laughing long and loud, couldn't help myself as much of what she was saying was utterly surreal, ridiculous, hypocritical - nonsense, spewed platitudes, pushed buttons. I was seriously thinking of leaving as it was getting hysterically unfunny.
After sitting through the taping of the show in the studio I can recount many portions where there was little or no laughter or response, but at the later broadcast they are smoothed over with applause and laughter that WERE NOT THERE at the taping. Groans, hoots, grumbling, or just dead silence - all missing.
Of course, Stinson also claims that Leno's musical guest that night, "American Idol" castaway Adam Lambert, is the "latest and future incarnation of David Bowie." So again, huge grain of salt.