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"The Colbert Report": Week of 3/31/14

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3/31 Biz Stone: Co-founder of Twitter and author, “Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind”
4/1/14 John Malkovich: Film, “Cesar Chavez”
4/2/14 Dan Harris: Author, “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story”
4/3/14 Mark Mazzetti: Author, “The Way of the Knife”

Feel free to use this thread to comment on this week's shows. I'll start posting the lineups here a few days in advance (I usually get them from Comedy Central on Wednesday or Thursday the week before). 

Incidentally, I believe Stephen only had two female guests in all of March: Caitlin Flanagan and Maria Shriver. The continuing lack of female guests on the Report is one of my pet peeves.

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Was there another guest originally planned, or was Biz always on deck? How fortuitous, given the weekend's kerfuffle. 

I especially appreciated when Stephen pointed out how there was no similar outcry over the Washington NFL owner's doings. I suspect that's because nobody expects better of him, but still: gah.

BD Wong! Chungchung!

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Great job bringing Biz Stone on to turn this into yet another good learning opportunity. 

I figured that having the hashtag thread set up separately will let us discuss that in more depth without derailing this thread.

trow125 - that's a good observation.  I wonder how guests are chosen.  How has TDS been?

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It would be interesting to do a long-term study. I just crunched the numbers for 2014 so far, and the shows are actually tied in terms of the number of female guests (12 each, not counting the female member of Lake Street Dive, which appeared on the "Report" last month). The reason the numbers aren't equal is because there were a handful of shows with two guests, for instance, the book club episode with Michael Chabon and Mariel Hemingway, or the recent "Daily Show" with Gibby Haynes and Amy Yates Wuelfing. I did not count any of the first-act "desk" guests who occasionally appear on "Colbert," though I know there are a few women who have shown up there, such as Slate's Emily Bazelon.

Considering the pressure over the years on news outlets, Sunday talk shows, etc. to feature more women, it's surprising that the issue hasn't gotten more attention. Based on my gut (which is what Stephen would want, right?) I bet that if you looked at the last five years of "Colbert," female guests would be 20% or less.

Jan: TDS 12 M, 4 W; TCR 13 M, 4 W
Feb: TDS 11 M, 3 W; TCR 8 M, 6 W + 1 co-ed band
Mar: TDS 9 M, 5 W; TCR 11 M, 2 W

Edited by trow125
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Thanks for the data.  In trying to make sense of the data, I wonder if it would be meaningful to contrast musician guests with other guests.  I'm not trying to minimize the disparity (I teach gender studies), but I'm curious about whether we could get more useful information when we look at types of guests.  I know that I tend to tune out with musician guests because it's not as interesting for me compared to a new author or activist, and I tend to see the latter two are more "authoritative" people where gender parity has some valuable impacts.  Actors seem to have been fairly balanced.

(not trying to make you do more work, just thinking aloud)

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I LOVE Stephen's reaction to the kerfluffle. Bless him for pointing out that people are angrier about his brilliant critique of racism than about the ACTUAL racism being parodied. I mean, yes, there are some jerks in the world who want to use parody as an excuse to repeat racist/sexist/homophobic BS. That is a real thing. But holy cow, that's not Stephen. The awful things he says in character are the best dissection of ignorance in America today.

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The Word about the death penalty and its application in Tennessee was quite good.  I won't be surprised if such claims eventually reached SCOTUS, but unfortunately not sure what the outcome will be, particularly with the current court make-up.

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