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Jezebel and the Daily Show

Last week, I wrote my take on the Jezebel/Daily Show showdown over at BlogHer.  This morning, the New York Times posted a story about Jezebel titled, “The Blog Jezebel is Not Afraid to Pick a Fight,” though the irony in the cries of sexism in the hiring practices of the Daily Show is reflected in the Jezebel newsroom photos.  The first shows Jessica Coen standing in front of several male employees on computers.  The second one shows the mostly male staff of Jezebel at work (helpfully labeled by Josh):

Where are the women of Jezebel?  Why are we mostly seeing men in the pictures?  Is Jezebel engaging in…gasp…sexist hiring practices at a WOMEN’S WEB SITE?

But the fact is that just as you can’t get the whole story of what is happening at the Daily Show simply by speaking to ex-employees and a few people who haven’t been hired by the show, you can’t know how many women or how many men or how important any individual’s job is to the whole of the product simply by examining the tiny sliver of reality contained in a photograph.  No, I don’t believe that Jezebel engages in sexist hiring practices any more than I believe the Daily Show has it out for women.

But I do think it’s a series of interesting photos considering the accusations of the blog.


1 Kelley Roberts { 07.12.10 at 10:27 am }

Glad you clarified, or unclarified., the statements in today’s NYTimes story…but we know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, don’t we?

2 a { 07.12.10 at 2:11 pm }

Yes, interesting…

I have experienced a little of this in my workplace, actually. When I was hired in 1995, there were 19 people in the group for my section…16 women and 3 men. All the women were hired to make up for the gross inequality that had been present previously (21 men, 8 women throughout the whole state). Now, most of the labs have a majority of women, because the men have either quit/retired or promoted out!

3 electriclady { 07.12.10 at 3:55 pm }

I actually find Jezebel incredibly anti-woman. The commenters’ venom toward women who have used fertility treatments and toward “breeders” in general is breathtaking, and the site seems to encourage the pile-ons. I cannot get behind their brand of attack feminism.

4 Kristen { 07.13.10 at 12:28 am }

I personally feel like Jezebel is more interested in grabbing headlines than anything else and that sort of attention-seeking attack just doesn’t appeal to me.

5 afteriris { 07.17.10 at 4:02 am }

I used to read Jezebel regularly, and while there is much to criticize, I’m not sure this is quite accurate.

Those aren’t actually Jezebel employees. That’s the Gawker office where employees from across the Gawker empire work. Most of Jezebel’s writers work from home, only the editor and the deputy ed have a desk in that office.

All of the regular writers for Jezebel are women.

6 Mel { 07.17.10 at 9:42 am }

Good point, but I’ll see your Gawker office and raise you… Okay, I’m not sure that gambling analogy was going to work, BUT–

The Daily Show isn’t a men’s show. It is a general show, just as Gawker is a general online magazine. It probably has a larger male audience, just like the Daily Show, but it isn’t a specifically male publication. So why is it okay for Gawker to mostly hire men and not okay for the Daily Show?

The picture is a sea of men working. I’m willing to believe there are more people who work at Gawker that we’re not seeing. Which is my point. There are more people working to put together a production than what you see on the surface. To judge Gawker by this picture would be wrong, just as it was wrong to judge The Daily Show based on a small sliver of the whole picture.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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