Unlike Sarah Palin, my mother does not have a degree in journalism. The only time Mom formally studied journalism was in high school, where she took a short elective course in it.
The best piece of advice that Mom remembers from her journalism course, and which she has passed down to me, is "If you want to make someone look bad, quote 'em directly." Don't clean up their grammar or graciously leave out the times they say "um" and "y'know." Let them dig their own hole.
And a comparison of this SNL sketch to a transcript of the real-life Palin's interview with Katie Couric, reveals that Tina Fey also knows that the most damning thing you can do is to just quote someone directly. Thank you Tina!