Tag Archives: Jezebel

How your Playboy Centerfold is Made – with Photoshop

Jezebel’s Irin Carmon – “How your Playboy Centerfold Sausage is Made”


It’s not enough to make the cut to be a Playboy centerfold. Your nipples also have to be the right sort of pointy.

Your butt has to have a “better curve.” Enter Photoshop. Here, a rare view into the process.

It’s “The Year Of The Rabbit” at Christie’s, which has put up for auction an array of Playboy memorabilia.

The most interesting are the copies of Playboy centerfolds from the 1990s and early 2000s that are marked up by editors and the art department — and subjected to a panel that grades them with a composite score.

Because when I look at Kelly Wearstler, I can’t help but look at her wrinkles rather than her boobs…?



Jezebel’s got the whole shebang of edited photos of these beauties which you can check out here.  These edits really beg the question, what is beauty and how far do you have to go to achieve it?  Or can you at all?


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Miss Representation Documentary

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Daily Show Co-creator Erupts at Feminist Blogger During Panel – Bloggasm

Bloggasm is a blog run by Simon Owens that focuses on the media, with an emphasis on online media and journalism. It often features interviews with prominent bloggers, authors and journalists. If you want to request an interview, contact Owens at simon.bloggasm@gmail.com.  Link to the blog post here.

When I heard that Lizz Winstead, the co-creator of the Daily Show, would appear on a blogger “snark” panel at this year’s Netroots Nation, I wondered if the group would address the elephant in the room. It had just been a little over a month since Jezebel — owned by Gawker Media, one of the most well-known purveyors of “snark” — had published a piece called “The Daily Show’s Woman Problem,” which supported the claim that Jon Stewart was sexist by using several sources that were either anonymous or who had never worked on the show. This was followed by an open letter signed by over 30 Daily Show women harshly criticizing the Jezebel piece (without naming it). Or, as Sarah Palin would say, the Daily Show writers “refudiated” Jezebel’s claims.

But the entire hour-long panel went by nary a mention of the episode — at least until the QandA period. Sady Doyle, who writes for the feminist blog Tiger Beatdown, mentioned it — seemingly apropos of nothing — when describing the most effective uses of snark:

“For me I think so much that we make fun of rests on a foundation of either intellectual dishonesty or just a profoundly strange and faulty grasp on the world,” said Doyle. “And for me what’s always funny …. is if you just actually type out what they’re actually saying, like if you remove all the politeness from it. Not to be weird around present company” — here she was referring to co-panelist Lizz Winstead — “but the Daily Show’s letter from women on the staff. What was alleged was that they had two female writers, two female correspondents, and had hired a new one after a 7-year gap with no new correspondents, and they wrote this letter that was like, ‘We are not sexists. We have women. They’re accountants, and also some of them do makeup. Like, that’s great…”

Doyle didn’t get any further before Winstead interrupted her:

“Wait, wait, wait a sec,” Winstead said. “I think there’s intellectual dishonesty with an article called ‘The Daily Show’s Woman Problem’ when nobody understands how the Daily Show is actually made. There are two women writers on the show. They rewrite submissions blind. There are no names on writing submissions to the Daily Show, because they have to pick people who are full part historians, brilliant, who pay attention to the media, and are equal parts hilarious. And people don’t really quit the Daily Show that often.

But there are also the field producers who work there. Like somebody slammed — and maybe it was you or someone” — here she was referring to Doyle — “who wrote a blog post saying, ’someone is called co-executive producer, who doesn’t really have a creative role in the show.’ And they were referring to someone who started out as a field producer. The field producers there write the material for the talent. But the people in the field aren’t called writers, they’re called field producers. Segment producers are segment producers because they write segments.

[Co-Executive Producer Kahane Cooperman] taught me how to produce in the field. She’s a very talented person. And I get really frustrated when people claim that the Daily Show is sexist when I’ve worked with Jon Stewart on four separate projects and he is the least sexist person ever. They’re not trying to not hire women, they’re trying to hire the best possible people for the show.

You can call it a boy’s club, it’s not. It’s a nerd club. And I challenge anybody who has submitted to the Daily Show, who if she didn’t get hired as a writer, who actually thought, ‘ok I didn’t get hired on this shot. What I’m going to do is I’m going to start a blog that has a focus and tone like the Daily Show, so they can see the kind of work I do, so they can see there are women out there trying to do that.’ I haven’t seen that blog. When I first launched that show, I got 150 writer submissions. Three were from women. Three, that’s it.”

I wondered if this would lead to an actual debate, but Doyle remained silent. For a moment it looked as if Amanda Marcotte, another feminist on the panel, would respond: “It’s an endemic problem,” she began. “I certainly think that the intentions… we should not get into all that. Does anyone else have any questions from the audience?”

To be honest, after watching everyone on the panel pat themselves on the back about how funny they were and how their snark was saving democracy, I wish a debate had broken out. Yes, most of the panelists were funny — two of them write for Sadly, No!, one of my favorite blogs that has actually made me laugh out loud at times — but here was an instance where we could have viewed the other side of snark: The target. Several audience members tried to address this during the QandA by bringing up the negative aspects of a snark-riddled web — the harassment, the potential for unfounded cruelty — but the panelists seemed to brush it aside without giving it serious thought. And here we had someone insinuating Jon Stewart was sexist (Doyle) and one of Stewart’s good friends (Winstead) a few feet away.

Shortly after the Jezebel/Daily Show fiasco, Emily Gould wrote a piece in Slate accusing feminist blogs of using snark-filled faux outrage to “gin up pageviews.” I was reminded of this earlier in the panel when Doyle weighed the use of snark versus more serious discussion:

“I’ve had this happen around the time of the Daily Show controversy,” she said. “I wrote this really snarky post and I got like 20 comments about what an irresponsible dick I was and 80 more comments about how I was funny and great. And then I wrote a more serious post, and the comments were like ‘I agree with you, thanks for spelling out your ideas so clearly.’ But there were way fewer comments.”

Way fewer comments on a post that was serious and substantive? The horror.

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The Daily Show’s Woman Problem

This post is taken from an article on Jesebel.com.  Read Irin Carmon’s article in its entirety here.  The embedded links were from the original article.


The Daily Show is many things: progressive darling, alleged news source for America’s youth, righteous media critique. And it’s also a boys’ club where women’s contributions are often ignored and dismissed.

If Olivia Munn, the former video game show host introduced to Daily Show viewers three weeks ago, survives her tryout, she’ll be the first new female correspondent on the show in seven years. With the notable exception of Samantha Bee, who’s been on since 2001, female correspondents have been a short-lived phenomenon. As fiercely liberal and sharp-eyed an observer as Jon Stewart can be, getting women on the air may be his major blind spot.

Television comedy, and late night in particular, can be cutthroat and transitory, and no one is particularly surprised when the men who host these shows turn out to be not very nice guys, as anyone who cared to pay attention to the David Letterman fall-out could see. Women are universally scarce, whether in the writer’s room or on the air.

The environment on The Daily Show was arguably worse in the Craig Kilborn era: Back in 1997, the then-host was suspended after telling Esquire,”To be honest, [co-creator] Lizz [Winstead] does find me very attractive. If I wanted her to blow me, she would.” (Winstead quit not long afterward.) Nowadays there may be less overt frat-boy humor, but that doesn’t mean the institutionalized sexism is gone.  Behind the scenes, numerous former female staffers tell us that working there was often a frustrating and alienating experience.

Jon Stewart hosts a taping of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" Thursday, March 12, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

“What I was told when I was hired is that they have a very hard time finding and keeping women, and that I was lucky to get a one year contract,” says Lauren Weedman, a comedian and writer who worked on the show as an on-air correspondent from 2001-2002.

The story of Stewart throwing a newspaper or script at the show’s co-creator and executive producer Madeleine Smithberg out of displeasure with her work is an oft-told one among Daily Show veterans. Not long after the continued tension led Smithberg to quit in 2003, sources say Stewart refused to allow her onstage to accept the show’s Emmy, even though her work contributed to the win.

Stacey Grenrock Woods was on Stewart’s show from 1999-2003, longer than any other correspondent besides Bee. (She later chronicled the experience in her book, I, California.) She told me, “Did I feel like there was a boy’s club there? Yeah, sure. Did I want to be part of it? Not necessarily. So it kind of goes both ways.”

Overall, The Daily Show‘s environment was such that many women felt marginalized. “It was a place of just business,” says one show veteran. “The business happened to be hilarious comedy, but you weren’t allowed to enjoy it…Any sort of emotional vulnerability is like blood to a shark. And that is not great for women.”

Stewart and his show do have their female defenders. Bee, for starters, has repeatedly said her gender has been no impediment. Allison Silverman, a former Daily Show writer who returned after a stint working for Conan O’Brien to launch and executive produce The Colbert Report, says, “I had a great experience at The Daily Show. Jon’s given me nothing but support.”

“I don’t think Jon is sexist,” Smithberg says. “I don’t think that there is a double standard at the Daily Show. I do think that by the time it gets to the Daily Show it’s already been through the horrible sexist double standard of the universe. You’re not hiring someone right out of school. By the time they get to the candidates of the Daily Show, the herd has been thinned by the larger societal forces.” Of the greater talent pool of comedians, she said, “All that’s left are white men and Aziz Ansari.”

The show’s producers are somewhat aware they have a problem. Last fall, the writers’ room went from being all male to having two women, a definite improvement. “We shook the trees a little,” the head writer told The New York Times, and bringing on Olivia Munn would come out of the same impulse, according to numerous reports.

“The writers want to be able to write for a female reporter — but not too female,” says Weedman. She says it was hard to figure out what that meant exactly. “I would pitch something like, can I do a segment on women’s self help or on fitness. And they didn’t want anything like that…Ed Helms got to have his mole removed [in a segment], but they weren’t going to do, a women goes to the gynecologist. They felt like at the time it wasn’t their audience.”

According to Nielsen, the Daily Show‘s audience does lean male—about 60 percent. That’s who producers seemed to have in mind when they hired Olivia Munn. Though it’s far to early to assess Munn’s performance based on her few seconds onscreen so far, her previous career path has led some to criticize The Daily Show for hiring someone better known for suggestively putting things in her mouth on a video game show (seen here) and being on the covers of Playboy and Maxim than for her comedic chops.

Munn was hired after an exhaustive search for a female correspondent that included many professional comedians. (Kristen Schaal is already an occasional contributor, but not a regular correspondent.) Executive producer Rory Albanese told the Daily Beast that producers were previously unaware of Olivia’s drooling fanboy base: “We’re stuck in a hard news cycle and we’re nerdy. If she was on the cover of The Economist, we would have been like, ‘Yes! Of course!'”

It’s hard not to conclude that looks mattered more for women than for men. Silverman jokes of Munn’s hiring, “I just hope it encourages Wyatt Cenac to take his top off more often.”

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