Aug 262008

Last week we wrote a post about the ad about presidential candidates that did not include Cynthia McKinney, candidate for the Green Party. Now it seems the folks at Comedy Central are pulling the same stunt. On their Indecision2008 website, the have a cute little compare the candidates graphic,

Notice anything missing? This time Jindal made the list, but not only do they conspicuously cross out Clinton–not once but twice (why not list and cross out the other gazillion candidates who dropped out)– but once again McKinney is not listed as a candidate.

This post will no doubt lead to a large batch of mail telling us to lighten up and get with the program, the important thing is to support Obama because the alternative is unthinkable and sure sexism is deplorable, but it isn’t the main issue. Well get a clue, relegating misogyny as a perpetual backburner issue is unacceptable. Nor do we buy into swallowing hard (wording used intentionally) and accepting that it is politically necessary to go along with a 2 party only system. Lest you doubt the results of said folly, you only have to get out of bed in the morning and look around you. Whether or not voting for McKinney makes sense is up for debate, but what isn’t up for debate is that you should listen to her, she unwaveringly and courageously speaks truth to power, you just might like what you hear.

Unfortunately the Comedy Central graphic is hardly surprising, given The Daily Show (and to a lesser extent The Colbert Report)’s long history of having a heavily testosterone-skewered guest lineup. We want to laugh at Comedy Central’s coverage of the conventions and election, we want to support anyone who is antiwar, but we cringe at the thought that this kind of blatant, marginalizing, misogynist crap is going to be par for the course in election discourse. In a word, it’s no joke.

Want to voice your opinion? They don’t provide any contact info on their site, but you can leave a comment on their blog :-). You can also contact Comedy Central here, pick “the Daily Show with Jon Stewart”.

Here is a sample letter, with thanks to FPN member Amee Chew:

Hey, the Daily Show should stop invisibilizing Cynthia McKinney’s Green Party candidacy for president!

She isn’t included in any of the webpage’s widgettes on the candidates, including “Candidate Knock-Out” and the “Candidate Stock Tracker.” But the latter has lots of other minor (male) candidates like Paul, Barr, and Nader!

This silence on McKinney — the difficulty she has getting attention– is due at least in part to institutionalized sexism and racism, including in progressive organizations. Why is Indecision perpetuating this sexism and racism?

Now especially, we need anti-war woman and minority candidates who can stand for an alternative to Hillary Clinton’s monopoly on a female candidacy. The alternative to even Obama’s politics doesn’t hurt
either. Unfortunately, much progressive politics looks an old boys club… There’s Third Party candidates’, like Nader’s, blindness on gender issues. The Daily Show, which could do a lot to hire more female comedians and staff, stop trivializing gendered violence, and make jokes that actually question sexism, is no exception.

 August 26, 2008  Posted by on August 26, 2008

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