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And Now, A Word From The Daily Show

Dear Feminists:

We work at the Daily Show. We are all women! Please do not make any enquiries as to whether we are hired or promoted at the same rate as men, or which opportunities are made available to us, as opposed to our male counterparts. For we are women. This should be enough for you.

Yes, women is what we are, and also we work at The Daily Show. We are all sorts of things: Production assistants! Administrative assistants! Writers’ assistants! So many of us women are assisting! Why, we even sometimes get our jokes on the air! But not our names, apparently, in many cases, or our faces, in all but three cases. Just because our names do not appear on the writers’ credits — just because we do not, as the saying goes, “get credit” for our work — this should not imply to you that our work is not valued! We are women! This is enough!

Also Jon Stewart is wonderful. He is our boyfriend. We have never experienced sexism at the hands of Jon Stewart that we are willing to write about in this public letter meant to rehabilitate the reputation of the show we are currently employed by, which is run by Jon Stewart. Also, have you checked us out? We’re women! Women women women. Boy howdy, what a bunch of women we are!

As for your suggestions that there are a multitude of female comedians who are funny, and who could provide a valuable addition to our predominantly male cast, or that our show — known for being liberal, and thereby concerning women, who tend to lean left and whose rights we so frequently discuss on air — might in fact demonstrate its stated principles better by employing women, LET ALONE your ridiculous suggestion that when looking for a female cast member we might favor women with backgrounds in comedy rather than a woman whose primary on-air achievement was licking the Nintendo Wii’s port on the day it came out while her obnoxious frat guy co-host chanted “lick it! Lick it, put your tongue on it” (strangely, our recollection of Olivia Munn’s career is identical to the recollections of Sady Doyle, who used to have to watch that show she was on because her boyfriend liked it): Ha, ha ha! What ridiculous suggestions! These are identical to the suggestions our Nanas make, which are useless!

Also, our Nanas are all talented comedians. You have never heard of them, because they are women. As are we! Women women women women women. That is what we are.


The Daily Show

(Which Has Some Women On It)

(Just Not, Most Of The Time, On Air)

PS: Olivia Munn told us to tell you that you all eat sandwiches, which is why you are bitches, and so fat, and no-one will ever hire you, because of how fat and ugly you bitches are. Women! The End.


  1. AnthroK8 wrote:

    I am a very lucky girl.


    I am a very lucky girl.


    I am a very lucky girl.

    Stepford Producers!

    ANYWAY. Nice post Sady. I’m glad TDS is doing BETTER than other shows when it comes to lady-hiring. However, if I were funny enough to have my jokes end up on air at TDS, I’d like everyone and their sainted grannies to know about it. And I don’t care who knows.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  2. alleen wrote:

    Ever since I saw “The Ladies of TSG” message about how 40% of the staff are women I’ve been imagining a similar rebuttal if it had come from the women of Sterling Cooper.

    Peggy, Joan, et al posing for a photo and saying “We love working for the guys here. See? They hire lots of women here!”

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  3. SKM wrote:

    He’s not a stupid man. He/they ought to know better than to use it as cheap fodder for a laugh.

    He’s not a stupid man, and that’s why he used it as cheap fodder for a laugh. Making fun of feminists is easy and popular; it’s the fastest way to deflect the criticism.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  4. AnthroK8 wrote:

    Also, I am glad that the funny ladies in the makeup department are happy that they have their uncredited jokes on the air. Wonderful.

    The issue is, are they having their funny uncredited jokes on the air as often as the hilarious set-sweeper or security-providing guys are having their uncredited jokes put on the air?

    AND THEN, are the funny ladies having their jokes on air with credit, and funny ladies performing on air, at the same rate as the credited guys and the the on air guys?

    No? Well, you still have a problem TDS.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
  5. Kat wrote:

    “It upsets me that Jon Stewart/his writing team decided it would be better/funnier to lampoon the Jezebel article & feminist critique of The Daily Show than to address the problem.”

    Had the critique involved more than a few former employees and general facts about gender disparities in comedy. Then maybe it would have deserved a more serious response. Like a poster above me all the TDS drama seems to have coincided with the hiring of Munn.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
  6. fieldwoman wrote:

    I realize that my remark didn’t make sense, since I hadn’t realized that it was making fun of the letter by the women at TDS. Now I’m caught up after reading the original letter and the Jezebel article. As a woman who worked in the TV industry, including exposure to the world of comedy, I agree that it’s still a boys club. But discrimination by men is only a fraction of the whole story. Women are socialized to be less competitive than men. In a competitive industry as show biz, as in many industries, that proves detrimental to advancement. Low-ranking men also get treated poorly. Emotional vulnerability is not tolerated. I’ve also witnessed discrimination by women against women. The women in positions of authority didn’t get there by being pretty. They got there by being tough and shrewd. It leaves plenty of room for senior-level women, who feel threatened by the potential of lower-paid junior women to take their jobs, to intimidate and bully their competition. It’s show-biz, and at every step of the way, it’s about putting on a show.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  7. snobographer wrote:

    It’s always struck me as ironic that, as much of a frat boy prick Craig Kilborn was, and as smart and politically enlightened Stewart’s supposed to be, there were a lot more female TDS correspondents when Kilborn hosted the show. Though I’m not sure how much control Kilborn had over casting or if that was all Winstead’s and Smithburg’s doing. I’ve missed Bethelford with an aching, aching heart since she left. Where the hell is that lady?!
    Nancy Wall was killer too.
    It’s interesting that Sam Bee’s been the only regular female TDS correspondent for more than five years now and Stewart only noticed just now since The Feminists started making noise about it. Best response is to get defensive and sic one of your two lady-correspondents on them to call them a bunch of whiny shrews!

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  8. snobographer wrote:

    @of making many books #18

    Yeah, this response makes me want to somehow not watch TDS even more than I was already not watching it.

    I don’t understand why sexists always get defensive like this when somebody points out their sexism. Stewart knows damn well how few female writers and correspondents he has. It’s ridiculous for him to blame anti-sexists for pointing out what he set up himself. Big baby.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  9. Kerri wrote:

    Especially being a comic, I dont care if the editor and hairstylist think female comics are not discriminated against on the show.
    Also, just because you are woman also doesnt mean you are automatically not sexist also. How do we know these women speaking out are not sexist even in just a passive way of tolerating it.
    there must be something wrong with the women staff if that was the funniest most intelligent comeback they could think up between the 30 of them

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  10. smadin wrote:

    No one to my knowledge took issue with its opperation until they hire a woman, who has been in Maxim, to be a face that their audience looks at. [emphasis added.]

    Allow me to suggest, in all kindness, PeeMikGee, that the problem here may be with the extent of your knowledge on the subject.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink
  11. smadin wrote:

    Making fun of feminists is easy and popular; it’s the fastest way to deflect the criticism.

    Agreed, SKM, and in particular treating a structural critique as a baseless personal attack is a bog-standard way to (try to) avoid dealing with any real issues that may be present while making your critic look like an asshole.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  12. small wrote:

    @PEEMIKGEE: Apparently I have some thoughts about this.

    Are its correspondents supposed to be a balanced presentation of oppressed faces?

    Choose any or all appropriate answers:
    a) Why not?
    b) Is this a problem?
    c) Or a bad thing?
    d) Since “oppressed” usually means people who’s voices aren’t generally heard?
    e) You’re abusing this multiple-choice gag and these answers no longer make sense.
    f) Other

    Should half of the production staff be female?


    the writing staff?

    Ditto again.

    Is it only who’s onscreen that’s important?

    Of course not. (And I don’t think anyone ever claimed it was.) Flip that around and you’ll see why – “is it only who’s offscreen that’s important?” Just because there are many women behind the camera doesn’t make it ok that there are very few (or none) in front of it.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  13. Kathleen wrote:

    Smadin you maded me laugh.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink
  14. sarah wrote:

    “Also Jon Stewart is wonderful. He is our boyfriend.”

    ahahahahahahah. hahah. haaaaa.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
  15. Mireille wrote:

    For those saying that Jezebel only started writing about this because of Olivia Munn, that’s not true. They were writing about women in the writing room on Lettermen and Leno (I don’t watch either and Leno is aaaaawfullllll) a couple months ago and this was just bringing that critique to a show that resonates more with its readership. I thought it was a logical step in analyzing the issue of women in the writing room, particularly on night time talk shows.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink
  16. Helen wrote:

    And the PPS: I hope that is sarcasm–it’s hard to tell on the intertubes–because if it isn’t, time to cry for what TDS used to be.

    I like to think that some lowly female content-updater for the TDS female website, after having been co-opted for the happy happy shiny WOMEN!!! photoshoot (“No, I’m not saying you HAVE to do this, I’m just saying if you don’t get your arse on this here podium it might affect your, er, future prospects here”)sneaked that last line in as a heroic gesture of snarky rebellion.

    But I know it’s most likely just a fantasy.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  17. Ennu wrote:

    Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m never watching The Daily Show again:

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  18. Erin wrote:

    I think Munn is doing a good job of responding to all the bullshit thrown at her by Jezebel. Those people are hateful, and not what I consider feminist. I will definitely watch TDS when she is on.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  19. Erin wrote:

    This entire deal has made me realize that much of the feminist blogosphere is just women criticizing other women. It reminds me of something Sady said when she was doing the stint over at some other blog writing about music (in the post about John Mayer). Yeah, I get it. Writing a post critiquing Taylor Swift or Olivia Munn is more interesting than writing about your average garden variety asshole sexist. But it is still bullshit. And it makes me really sad.

    Yes, that Jezebel piece criticized Stewart and TDS, but there were many more earlier posts that just criticized Munn. How much of a chance to comedians like Munn have at success when people like us spend so much energy putting them through the ringer? And I’m sure all of this won’t negatively affect Stewart’s career, but what is it going to do to Munn’s? Or do we not care about that? Megan Fox can be on the list of women we like, but not Munn apparently.

    You all can stop watching TDS, but this has just made me decide to stop reading Jezebel.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  20. SKM wrote:

    Re that Salon link Ennu posted: the writer refers to the response from TDS women employees as “a saucy rebuttal”. FFS. So, women who are defending the status quo are taken at their word and dismissed at the same time. Nice.

    Saucy infuckingdeed.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  21. Ennu wrote:

    I KNOW! I felt like it totally crapped all over Tracy Clark-Flory’s actually thoughtful article from before.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  22. Ennu wrote:

    I’m wondering if the author was afraid that if she said the wrong thing then Munn would just start yelling at her and calling her an ugly bitch. Or take the opportunity to call her a cunt instead since she thinks the term is so underused.
    Ugh. I can’t stand this shit anymore.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  23. E wrote:


    Bloggers don’t write about Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga or Olivia Munn because it’s more interesting to write about ladies than about sexist dudes. They write about them because sexism and patriarchy are institutional problems, problems that women can put forth and reflect just as men can. Feminism isn’t about infighting, just as it isn’t about persecuting dudes: it’s about pointing out instances of sexism, inequality, and oppression, however they happen to occur. We all mess up sometimes, and we all need to call out oppressive behavior — or own, and other people’s.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
  24. snobographer wrote:

    @Mirielle #66 – I’ve been lamenting the dearth of female correspondents on TDS since Beth Littleford and Nancy Wall quit.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  25. Ennu wrote:

    Okay, I know three comments in a row is a little much, especially since I rarely comment at all ever, but this is stressing me right the fuck out.

    To women levying the “why are you criticizing/being mean to/ being so hard on her! She’s a woman and so her success must be good for all women regardless of anything she actually says/does/stands for” defense:
    Can we please stop pretending like women can only be feminists if they never criticize other women and prove this by supporting a woman who goes out of her way to put other women down? I thought we already covered this with Sarah Palin!

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  26. Ockeghem wrote:

    Picking up a bit on Fieldwoman’s remarks: While I like a good satire, and I had some of the same issues with the TDS letter (could they say anything bad if they wanted to? It’s their employer), I’m not sure any of this (Jezebel, TDS letter, Olivia Munn’s comments, this post) moves the debate forward.

    My reaction after reading your post was: a) Every workplace is sexist, especially by the standards set out here. Okay, any woman with a fair amount of experience knows this. What’s the story here, really? Some are better than others — some places, the male execs walk into meetings with a diagram of a penis to illustrate a point, some places they don’t (yes, I speak from experience). But hey, TDS actually allowed Sam Bee to keep working in front of the cameras through her pregnancy and come back to the same job (not a substantively similar but sidelined one, which meets the legal requirements but ends the mother’s career at the company), and that’s a hell of a lot better than some places I’ve worked. So why are we all knocking TDS? How about we talk about Letterman — sounds like TDS is a much better place to work? How about we talk about the sexism in all workplaces, of which TDS is not likely the best poster child?

    b) Yes, there are a lot of “assistants” on the list of signatories. But here’s what you don’t account for — in my experience, many mothers *choose* to take assistant positions because they want to focus a little more on the home front than on the work front. There is a degree of agency here that you’re not accounting for. Choices like that are not TDS’ fault, or Jon Stewart’s fault.

    Jezebel’s not doing themselves any favors in this debate, and Olivia Munn sure isn’t, either. (And no, I don’t think she’s particularly funny, but that’s a different debate.) But I think all the umbrage at the expense of The Daily Show might be misplaced.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  27. SKM wrote:

    Or take the opportunity to call her a cunt instead since she thinks the term is so underused.

    And don’t forget–“overanalyzed”! We should be slingin’ that shit around as thoughtlessly as ever we can!

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  28. PeeMikGee wrote:

    @SMADIN, You are right, my knowledge was not extensive enough. A half hour of trying to remove recent posts from google results yields: &

    I’m sure there would be more if Jon wasn’t treated like some progressive messiah one can only criticize “gingerly.” Or if I were better at searching.

    @SMALL I’m going to go with (D). And, the only response I can make (and it’s a weak one) is that TDS is not in the business of giving voice to the voiceless. TDS gives voice to the inner anxieties and angers of a very privileged demographic. It’d be good if they used that platform a bit more radically more often, but balancing preaching and entertainment is hard. I’m a bit bewildered that people would expect entertainers to not err on the side of entertainment.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  29. snobographer wrote:

    Ennu wrote:

    Can we please stop pretending like women can only be feminists if they never criticize other women and prove this by supporting a woman who goes out of her way to put other women down? I thought we already covered this with Sarah Palin!

    Further, there’s a big difference between criticizing a woman’s actions and ideals (possibly feminist) and criticizing a woman’s appearance and calling her a stupid bimbo (not feminist).

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink
  30. Not much that I could say that hasn’t been said yet, especially considering that, being a brazilian woman, I don’t have TDS on tv in any channel, and only watch it online semi-regularly. *But*: as a brazilian woman, it’s been months that every time I watch TDS, I have to remember myself consciously to try to ignore how incredibly offensive and hurtful to brazilians (brazilian women above all) this was:

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  31. Miasma wrote:

    Considering how they completely fail on the race front (anyone notice how overwhelming white that pic was that supposedly featured a portion of their female employees and how there is maybe 2 minority correspondents as of now on the show), I’m not at all surprised that they fail when it comes to equal hiring of genders. Also, I find Olivia Munn painfully unfunny but I’ll try to give her another chance.

    Anyways, TDS’ letter was just facepalm worthy, but hell, TDS has MANY moments where they seem to be completely oblivious to their racism, sexism, and homophobia. I’m not excusing them, but hell I’m not surprised.

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 3:12 am | Permalink
  32. CassieC wrote:


    You’re argument about “all employers are shitty so stop writing about it” is very hollow indeed. How are things ever supposed to change if no one calls anyone out on it? It’s not that most employers are not sexist: as Jezebel and Sady pointed out, TDS pretends to be progressive. Guess what: feminism SHOULD be part of that.

    Also this post sums it up pretty nicely, when it comes to being blaze about shitty environments:

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink
  33. Ennu wrote:


    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 4:54 am | Permalink

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. links for 2010-07-07 « Embololalia on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    […] Tiger Beatdown – And Now, A Word From The Daily Show We work at the Daily Show. We are all women! Please do not make any enquiries as to whether we are hired or promoted at the same rate as men, or which opportunities are made available to us, as opposed to our male counterparts. For we are women. This should be enough for you. (tags: work gender satire) […]

  2. Hot Girl On Girl « One Unique Token on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:53 am

    […] fellow female bloggers, Sady Doyle, who rushed to defend the site and Carmon’s claims. Doyle mocked the women of “The Daily Show” for asserting themselves and publicly defending their […]

  3. […] Show put out an open letter insisting that Jon Stewart isn’t sexist. Cue the (hilarious) response to that letter and the debate over whether or not new TDS female correspondent Olivia Munn is worthy of being a […]

  4. […] out an open letter insisting that Jon Stewart isn’t sexist. Cue the (admittedly hilarious) response to that letter and the background chatter regarding new TDS female correspondent Olivia Munn and how she gets half […]

  5. […] Irin’s initial piece and witty retorts to the rather lame open letter, the best of which is here. In general, I think Irin and Jezebel got this one right: The Daily Show is a good show, a very […]