Wednesday night on Slate Night TV is a busy night. Hump day can sometimes make things feel like the week will never end, but luckily Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show are around to perk things up like they did last night on October 29. Colbert endeavored to explain the crisis known as “Gamergate” and interviewed feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian in order to answer his burning questions. Jon Stewart is still in Austin, Texas, and he took time to look at the big political issue the state faces: Danny Trejo. Together these two comedians provide exactly the distraction America needs so it can forget about all the issues they are talking about on their shows.
The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report started out with its namesake talking about how he likes to relax in his free time, namely with a good game. While Go Fish is one of his faves, video gaming provides more of a distraction with favorites like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty. It was just another way to prove that Colbert is just like everyone else, only better. But the scandal known as #Gamergate is threatening to take all of the joy out of gaming by spotlighting the objectification of women that goes on in games. Women are fighting back against the exploitative nature of portraying women in games which often include hyper-sexualized stereotypes of women and portrayals of abuse, some of which gamers can actually participate in. Despite claims that the real issue of #Gamergate was the collusion of a developer and a journalist to sell a game through controversy, critic Anita Sarkeesian says the real problem is how gamers treat women.
Just as he was saying that the media needed to give Sarkeesian less screen time, Colbert introduced her as his guest for an interview on the #Gamergate story. She noted that the journalistic ethics argument had been thoroughly debunked and that no misdoing had actually been done by the journalist and developer. Instead she said it was a distraction from the way male gamers treat women, both in game and outside it. She told the story of how one male gamer had threatened a university with a school shooting if it allowed her to speak on campus. Stories like that are not uncommon for women, who have all at some point experienced harassment and threats of physical violence from male gamers. All female gamers want is inclusion and to be treated like human beings in an area of entertainment that has been viewed as a “little boys club.” Colbert ended the interview with the most important question of all: “Can I as a man be a feminist?” Sarkeesian asked him whether he believed in equal rights and treatment for the sexes, to which he replied yes. “Then you’re a feminist,” she told him. Now Colbert can add that to his long list of titles.
Next came a segment which dropped bombshell news on the Colbert Nation. The Ottawa shooting taught Colbert a lot about America’s hat, but mostly it taught him that Canadians are awesome. The story of Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers affected the show’s host so deeply that he was prompted to do the most Canadian thing he could think of. He said, “I’m soory.” As a penance he sang the national anthem of Canada, giving it a little personal Colbert twist at the end. After years of making fun of Canadians, Colbert has literally changed his tune and all it took was a Canadian that Bruce Willis would be proud of.
Sticking with the theme of feminism, Colbert ended the episode with an interview with author Jill LePore whose new book is The Secret History of Wonder Woman. They covered many topics relating to the Princess of the Amazons, including if she was a feminist icon and her time as secretary to the Justice Society. But the most startling revelation of the interview was that the creator of Wonder Woman was a man who ended up in a polyamorous relationship and was curiously connected to the founder of Planned Parenthood. As her creator put it, Wonder Woman was “psychological propaganda” for the type of woman he believed should “rule the world.” This prompts Slate Night TV to contemplate what Wonder Woman would say about #Gamergate?
The Daily Show
Wednesday, October 29, probably was not very exciting for most people, but for Slate Night TV it means another recap of The Daily Show and the marvelous antics Jon Stewart is getting up to in Austin, Texas. Apparently, he and the world’s finest fake news team are learning a lot about the state, including how it feels about immigration. As Stewart threw the screen over to his correspondents, he expected them to talk about immigration in the entire state, but all they cared about was the annoying people trying to get into Austin illegally. Jason Jones was sick of the traffic on the “Northbound jogging lane” that kept him trapped for 45 minutes that morning. All the illegals had mucked up his run. Samantha Bee was on the Colorado River, or as she called it an “organic bramble and algae puddle farm,” talking about the dreamers crossing it on paddle boards hoping for freedom. Jessica Williams was downtown at the Austin Bureau of Investigation, where she laid out the details of an immigration sting. It figured an “ad on Craigslist looking for a keytar player for a Japanese language Lana Del Rey cover band.” That was so typically Austin that it would surely nab a few illegal immigrants living in the city. Stewart ended the round up by saying it all seemed a little hostile, which prompted him to break into laughter. “Sometimes you don’t know if a bit will hit a nerve,” he explained, “but it seems like we hit a root canal.”
If the show’s point about immigration had not been made, correspondent Al Madrigal presented his special report on immigration. He started by interviewing a panel of Texan opponents to immigration, who said that Latinos would outnumber white people because they would all have eight or nine kids and that all cultures are not created equal. Apparently any race was fine except Latinos in their eyes. Madrigal noted that maybe he should have told them that he was Latino. Sheriff Richard Jones was also interviewed as a member of law enforcement and he revealed to MAdrigal that illegal immigrants were all given free stuff when they entered the country, like computers and car payments paid for by the government. The correspondent dutifully interviewed actual immigrants who completely refuted the claim. When he checked back in with Jones, Madrigal discovered that the people he was really looking for were mules who were often poor people kept together in packed places in order to work as mules for cartels who promised to get them to America. “So these are tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free,” Madrigal noted. Lady Liberty would of course want to keep them out. After finally figuring out what the fuss was about, Madrigal put together a treatment featuring actor Danny Trejo in the role of the evil illegal immigrant. It all goes to show that illegal immigrants are exactly what Texans think they are.
Stewart then took time out of the show to introduce its new sponsor: the Koch brothers. An ad had run during the program portraying Koch Industries as a happy-go-lucky “smile factory.” Of course, as Stewart explained, they are also nothing like the Menendez brothers in that their operation is way bigger and extends to buying elections through shadowy organizational fronts. With that in mind, he gave them a hearty Daily Show welcome by redoing their ad for them and making it more accurate. It is all part of the service the show provides to its newest advertisers.
The show wrapped up with an interview with Austin native son Ellar Coltrane, who spent the majority of his life making the film Boyhood. Now an adult, he talked about what it was like to work on the film growing up and if it was weird to watch himself on the screen. Coltrane said that overall it was an enjoyable experience that intersected a lot with his own experiences growing up. In a way, watching the film for him was like watching his own biography. Sadly, he was never able to use it to pick up chicks since it took so long to film and then be released. Slate Night TV hopes he can now capitalize on his newfound fame as a movie star and pick up a date at one of the many Austin taco places.
Opinion By Lydia Bradbury