Saturday, September 12, 2015

Why is The Atlantic so Anti-Semitic? And Why is Stephen Colbert Running a Comedy Show, and Not a Re-Education Camp?!

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Originally, my title was going to be, pace Steve Sailer, “The Atlantic’s Fearless Campaign Against the Funny White Guy Menace,” but a couple of not-yet-banned Atlantic commenters convinced me to change it.

The anti-Semitic aspect is because a commenter pointed out that getting rid of white writers would entail getting rid of Jews.

watchwinder to ChuSez • 3 hours ago

Hear, hear! Colbert is really missing out. Eskimos are so funny, they have 50 words for "punchline."

David • 10 hours ago

Number of female or non-white editors the Atlantic has had in its 158-year history: zero.
Number of women among six most senior editorial staff listed on your masthead page: zero.
Number of non-white people among those six: one.
You might not want to be so quick in accusing others of diversity problems

guest • 12 hours ago
20 Things that I trust more than Democrats gender-baiting, class-baiting, and race-baiting:
1. Hillary Clinton not standing by her man like Tammy Wynette
2. Obama telling us not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS Targeting Scandal
3. Prayers for peace from Al Sharpton
4. A pleasant midnight moonlit stroll through the streets of Detroit
5. Joaquín Chapo Guzman offering me a hot bowl of his homemade stew
6. Gas station sushi
7. Black Lives Matter movement telling us they believe all lives matter
8. MeCHA, La Raza, and LULAC claiming that they're not racists
9. A Jeffery Dahmer dinner invitation
10. Obama paying respects to Kate Steinle’s family, SF woman murdered by illegal
11. Jeb Bush and RINOs having nothing in common
12. Univision’s Jorge Ramos sending his kids to public schools full of illegals
13. Michael Moore planning to receive all his first-rate medical care in Cuba
14. Obama supporting law enforcement, and not inciting a War on Police
15. A business proposition from the Nigerian Minister of Finance
16. Sanctuary Cities benefit US citizens
17. Community organizers from Chicago make great US presidents
18. Pumping gas at a gas station while wearing a police uniform
19. Janet Napolitano telling us our Southern border safe and secure
20. The decline of Western Civilization is still many centuries away

Stephen Colbert's Writing Staff: 17 Men, 2 Women
And all 19 of the Late Show’s writers are white. So.
By Megan Garber
September 11, 2015
The Atlantic

Well, this is sad. [No, it isn’t. You’re not sad, you’re mad.] Splitsider reports that Stephen Colbert's new show—the one that premiered delightfully earlier this week, the one that seems to be trying to bring a new kind of intellectualism to late-night network comedy—has a writing staff that includes 17 men. And only two women.

And: All 19 of those writers are white.

Feel free to use this space to react with a loud groan or maybe a silent scream or maybe a dismissive “¯\_()_/¯” or whatever else suits you.

And, you know: I get it. Sort of. To take just one side of this, the gender question: Comedy writing skews male, famously and/or notoriously, and it’s to some extent easy to over-essentialize these things—the 17 men Colbert selected to write his material might be total feminists, and the two women might be raging misogynists, and they will all, regardless, bring a whole host of hidden and highly individualized experiences to their roles as the creators of a show that will ostensibly have a huge audience, and thus a huge platform, and thus a huge influence. There is, overall, an important difference between category and identity, and we should not be glib about any of that.

[“Over-essentialize”? Category vs. identity? This girl took her feminist studies classes in college, alright.]

But then.

A writing staff is, in many ways, the soul of a show. The 19 people Colbert selected for The Late Show will decide much about how his influential platform will do its influencing.

And Colbert himself, furthermore, is someone who—based on interviews he’s given as himself rather than the characters he has played on The Colbert Report and, now, The Late Show—seems to think deeply about the structures and systems that make the world what it is.

He seems to understand, in a way many comedians don’t, that even the most innocuous kinds of “entertainment” play a role in defining culture.

You’d think Colbert would know better than most of his peers that “diversity” is not just some aspirational tautology, but the best proxy we have for ensuring that cultural products that aspire to some kind of mass-ness represent, as best they can, the actual mass.

[What on earth is an “aspirational tautology”? Does anyone know what she’s talking about with the big words? Also, she talks as if a TV show were an election, but even then she’s completely wrong, because she’s assuming, say, that only blacks can represent blacks, only women can represent women, etc. We actually have a much better proxy for TV shows: Ratings. Then again, some popular shows are garbage, but Megan Garber has no interest in matters of excellence. She also doesn’t care about “representing” as a principle; otherwise, she’d be complaining on behalf of whites about institutions like professional sports.

And yet, she clearly fancies herself some sort of intellectual.]

That diversity is—even when it’s kept behind the scenes, even when it’s rumply and sarcastic and sleep-deprived—a signal of the value his show places on differing opinions, and differing experiences, and differing modes of understanding and processing and representing the world.

You’d think Colbert would know better than most of his peers that “diversity” is not just some aspirational tautology.So. Colbert can pay all the lip service he wants to the cheeky idea that “women should be in charge of everything.” He can tell people, during the development phases of late-night comedy’s newest entry, that “I’m going to do my best to create a Late Show that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices.” He can make a point of having female guests on his show (more, even, than the two who appeared in the first four episodes), and of talking with them about more than their clothes and their boyfriends. (Stephen, if you’re reading: Please definitely do that!) He can reassure himself with all the familiar data about comedy writing skewing male and about late-night comedy writing skewing especially so. (Though it’s worth noting that Amy Schumer, one of Colbert’s two female guests this week, has a writing staff on her show of six women and four men. So.) He can maybe even tell himself that—once he’s proven himself to Les Moonves and Jimmy Fallon and “the nation” and all the other people who are pressure-cooking The Late Show in its early days—he can bring on more writers, or new writers, and make sure that a decent portion of them are ladies. And not-white!

He can, for sure, do all of those things. But if he’s made the decision, at the outset, to have such a wildly skewed ratio of men to women, and of white writers to writers of color—then nuance has already been pre-empted. The benefit of the doubt has already been taken.

Colbert has been asked before about the lack of diversity on his writing staff. His responses tend to involve making a joke of the question itself. When asked about his staff’s makeup during this year's Television Critics Association convention, Splitsider notes, Colbert responded, “Lot of Leos. A couple Tauruses. But we make it work. Obviously those people shouldn’t be left alone.”

During his acceptance speech when The Colbert Report won an Emmy last year, Colbert noted, “Our writers won last week for Writing a Variety Series! I’m so proud of those guys and one woman! And I’m sorry for that, for some reason.”

For some reason. If it’s 2015, and you’re not sure why you should be sorry about something like that, then—I hate to say it, but—you actually have a lot to be sorry for.

[Guilt! Guilt! Guilt! Guilt! Guilt! Guilt! Pay! Pay! Pay! Pay! Pay! Pay!]

1 comment:

Mark Caplan said...

A previous article by the same Atlantic staff writer, Megan Garber, was titled "The Boston Marathon Bombers Were Muslim: So?" It explains why we need to stop reverting to labels. "Americans lack the intellectual equipment and moral imagination to tell the difference between an individual and a group." Garber thereby commits the very crime she is decrying: she stereotypes all Americans with a blanket condemnation.