On March 12, 1983, in a parody of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live comedian Eddie Murphy killed off his most popular character, the adult persona of the child character, Buckwheat. Murphy was tired of being identified with the character and used the attempted assassination of Reagan as a template to kill off Buckwheat.
The parody was not just of the character but of the media’s robotic coverage of the Reagan assassination attempt. The tape of Reagan being shot was run again and again and again. So too was that of Buckwheat being assassinated. The message should not have been lost on anyone who had even a cursory exposure to the news back then.
In decades since, the media has still not gotten the joke. The second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has been run on the news almost endlessly and dissected more times than the pitiful frog in sophomore biology.
The focus has been on Donald Trump’s crass sexual banter with celebrity Billy Bush as they rode on a bus on the way to a taping for Access Hollywood. The bus scene has been re-looped so many times that it is in ostensible competition with Eddie Murphy’s Buckwheat assassination for some sort of Guinness World Record.