“Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally"
...and I assume that Lorne Michaels wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of the Dinesh D'Souza special. But he's being a little disingenuous at best.
Saturday Night Live doesn't just avoid making fun of Democrats while attacking Republicans because it's part of a culture war. It lands a few love taps on the Dems and then moves on to its real targets. This is part cultural bias. It is filmed in New York and it's playing for two audiences, the one in the theater and the water cooler audience of media types that elevated Jon Stewart, and both of those audiences are extremely liberal.
“Republicans are easier for us than Democrats. Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny. But we’re not sitting here every week going, ‘We’ve really got to do the First Family.’ This week, our cold open is about three big stories. We have Piers Morgan interviewing A-Rod, Chris Christie, and Justin Bieber. We’re doing more of that kind of thing than stuff about Benghazi or the new budget agreement. The country has lost interest in it. I can’t tell you why. It’s no less important, but in some way you can’t do health care more than twice, at which point there’s just nothing left. But Jay Pharoah does a really good Obama.”
Jay Pharaoh is mediocre. He's just better than the white guy in blackface they had before who played Obama as slightly awkward. Jay Pharaoh occasionally gets close to the real joke that Obama's routine is fake. But he doesn't dig too deep into it.
There was a time when Saturday Night Live could do a much more biting take on Democrats (and no, the Obama Paxil ad is nowhere close to that no matter how much conservatives pass it around). Here's an example.
It's interesting to note how many cast members from back then either ended up on the right or as more libertarian provocateurs.