Monday, November 19, 2007

Untitled*

Like most people my age, I am sad every time 11pm rolls around and The Daily Show is in reruns. I am forced to watch my local news and fall behind in my daily dose of political commentary. However I do not mourn as “another show falls victim to the screen writers’ strike,” as one Central Cost news anchor described it. It saddens me that the story is so often about the loss in programming, the lament of reruns, and how to cope in the meantime. (Reality TV to the rescue? Nope – they have writers too.) Where is the story about the huge difference between how much media companies are making and what they’re paying their writers? Barely any time has been paid to actors who are picketing alongside the writers, especially the comedians who remember from whence they came. I’d even appreciate another story about how new media is changing the face of entertainment and how the industries must adapt to this new environment. (Or have I been overexposed because I majored in Communication?)

Here, with the other side of the story—completely free of bias, of course—is a writer from The Daily Show, reporting from the picket line. What I love most about this clip, is that the writers posted it on YouTube, which is currently being sued by Viacom for copyright infringement, including hosting clips of The Daily Show. In fighting the distribution of its material on YouTube, Viacom has posted every episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on its own website, so that no one else can profit from them.





Saturday Night Live also took on the then upcoming writers strike in their Weekend Update. A YouTube clip of the segment "is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC Universal."



*In Solidarity

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bill Maher proves himself sexist

Bill Maher claimed he wasn’t sexist after his “New Rules” segment on breast feeding caught the attention of feminist bloggers, but last Friday he proved himself wrong. Though I don’t agree with absolutely everything he says I usually like Bill Maher and love his show, but after watching his comments Friday about Ellen DeGeneres’ dog adoption drama, I was irate. In drawing out the excess of media attention on her on-air breakdown, Maher says, “At this moment when half of America is saying to itself, ‘can we really have a woman president? Maybe they’re too emotional.’ I don’t think this is helping. … If I was a woman, straight or gay, I would be embarrassed right now.”

Hmm. Isn’t taking one woman’s behavior and applying it to all women not only spreading a stereotype, but the definition of sexism? Isn’t saying that Ellen’s behavior isn’t helping spreading sexist thought? It infuriates me that Ellen is being called weak and “too emotional” for crying on-air when women have been socialized to express emotion, and that women are criticized essentially for playing the role society gave us.

Most importantly, how does Ellen’s breakdown have anything to do with Hillary running for president??? Making that connection is entirely sexist. Yes, Hillary is a woman running for president, but why can’t we see her as a person running for president? Why must her every move be tied to her gender? I really hope one day women running for president, or applying for jobs won’t have to worry about looking too feminine, or having the stereotypical “weaknesses” of their gender count against them.


Here’s the Bill Maher clip. The Ellen discussion starts at 1:00: http://youtube.com/watch?v=MQ1tMMAg7TA