A collection of videos showing instances of the great liberal heroes, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Daily Show correspondents, being transmisogynists.

Trigger Warnings on every post!

 

mx-bug:

yourmomentofhate:

If you weren’t already aware, on Twitter there’s a #cancelcolbert hashtag trending tonight because of this racist tweet.

Firstly, I would like to applaud your efforts to draw attention to each forward and backward step in the progressiveness of liberal satire, but I came across your post trying to find info on #CancelColbert, and now that I’ve found the truth I felt obligated to share it.

This article (among many others, but this one written by an Australian of Asian descent) explains the pretenses under which the hashtag was spurred and the fact that @StephenAtHome (the actual person) has no control over what Comedy Central decides to post on @ColbertReport, which has quite regularly lead to satirical comments being taken out of context.

It’s a little ironic therefore that the online protest associated with the hashtag has also mostly consisted of taking things out of context. Protest is certainly not a bad idea in response to this indiscretion, but it must be directed at the actual transgressor, the PR dept of @ComedyCentral, and with a level of reasoning higher than that which caused the mistake.

If I may make a meager suggestion: please continue to shed light on minority issues surrounding the use of language in liberal media, but also be willing to find the underlying source of any particular line of protest in order to avoid giving undue attention to red herrings. It greatly helps the respectability of all of us, liberals and minorities alike, to avoid them. Thank you !

Wow. I’ve never seen someone be so rude, yet so polite at the same time.

~Firstly~, if I can hurt the respectability of liberals by listening to and respecting the concerns of people of color, then liberalism doesn’t deserve any respect in the first place. 

Secondly, the joke in the tweet wasn’t “taken out of context”, it was told out of context. All that stuff about the racist sports team’s charity? That was not in the original tweet. The Colbert Report’s twitter account, ie, the online face of Colbert’s show, decided that a portion of the joke—the part that makes it something other than blatantly racist—wasn’t necessary for it to be funny. Holding Colbert and his show accountable for this is hardly going too far. Someone needs to apologize. Someone needs to be fired. And Comedy Central needs to drastically change the way it markets its shows.

Also, I do actually do my research. Everything in your post, I already knew and took into consideration before making my two line post. The one that basically just said “hey here’s a thing that’s happening and this clearly racist tweet is racist”.

Thirdly, the context doesn’t help as much as you think it does. White people, like Colbert and myself, have gotten waaaaay too comfortable using disgusting racist stereotypes to mock ~the real racists~. At some point, we should at least be asking ourselves if we’ve done enough to earn the right to wield this awful history as a weapon. If we’re responsible enough to use it. If we’re even really as different as we think we are from the terrible white people we wield it against. If our motivations in doing so are to help people of color, or to separate ourselves from ~the racists~ and dodge any accountability for our own awful behaviors. If we are using satire and irony as a cloak of deniability to get away with simply telling racist jokes and putting on blackface. 

White comedians aren’t doing that, at all. There are more comedy shows starring bigots that we’re “supposed to hate” than there are shows starring the targets of that bigotry. There are likely just as many white people—not on television—using racist slurs and stereotypes as a form of hipster racism as there are ~actual racists~ using them. Blackface is still being done in 2014, thanks almost exclusively to white comedians trying to be as edgy as the 100 other white comedians doing blackface since the 80s. There are white people that watch Colbert’s show, take in all of his messages, and are going after Suey Park, the creator of the hashtag, using racism and misogyny to attack her for speaking out against him. 

Colbert and the rest of the liberal comedians have severe problems that go far beyond a single tweet.

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Here are some articles that I feel are required reading for white people who want to do responsible comedy. If you must bring race into your act, I think you should at least have some basic understanding of what you’re getting into. These are long, and they may not be easy to get through, but everyone who reads this post should read them.

  • Postmodern Geekdom as Simulated Ethnicity (potentially explains why white comedians are so desperate to cling onto their ironic racism. They want to separate themselves from the ~true oppressors~ and deny their own privileges in life. A very long read)
  • A Historical guide to Hipster Racism (A huge listing of articles on hipster racism by Racialicious.com)
  • This is White History (A tumblr blog that shows you what your high school history classes omitted. This is to gain some better understanding of what people of color have gone through, and how/why you and I as white people living in 2014 have benefited from it.)
  • The perfect post about the issue (A short but sweet takedown of Colbert’s ironic racism.)
  • Another post by the same blog
  • The Devil and Dave Chappelle (An article about why Dave Chappelle left comedy in the mid 2000s. I’ve included it because it clearly illustrates how complicated racial humor with a mostly white audience can be, even for black people. This article is obviously intended for the black community, so bear that in mind if you read it. Also, it unfortunately references Eddie Murphy sleeping with a trans sex worker.)

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Note: I think the problems involved with ironic racism and transmisogynistic humor are very different. Until very recently, there’s been no reason for liberal comedians to hide their disgust for trans women behind irony. They could just be open with it and face absolutely no social ramifications. This is in the process of changing within certain circles and if we all continue to work really hard at it, we can expect ironic transmisogyny within the next 5–10 years!

Anonymous asked
Reading it closer I get the point of the Colbert example- that's what he should be doing. But how can you criticize someone for doing right simply on the basis that they've done some wrong in their past?

Because, without any acknowledgment of previous wrongdoing on his part, his message changes from “mocking and ridiculing trans women is not ok” to “mocking and ridiculing trans women is not ok, unless someone like me does it”. 

If you weren’t already aware, on Twitter there’s a #cancelcolbert hashtag trending tonight because of this racist tweet.

Anonymous asked
I don't at all see how the example from Colbert's segment from 2/18 was transphobic: [Morgan- I have spent literally 12 hours being viciously abused by the transgender community. I want you to explain why I’ve had to go through this. Colbert- Yes! You transgender people don’t understand what it’s like to be ridiculed and abused.] Colbert here is clearly mocking Piers by making the point that whatever Piers went though is nothing compared to what transgendered people go through

You’ve misread (or ignored) my commentary. 

I used that bit as an example of how Colbert should have been treating jokes involving trans people. Then, I pointed out that Colbert himself has a long history of contributing to the very same culture of mockery and ridicule of trans women, that he’s attacking Morgan for not understanding. Which makes him a giant hypocrite.

The rest of this clip was mostly fine, though he may gotten a bit close to mocking non-binary identities while discussing the Facebook gender thing. Maybe even crossing the line, I’m not sure.

However, what got to me was the following bit:

Clip of Piers Morgan: I have spent literally 12 hours being viciously abused by the transgender community. I want you to explain why I’ve had to go through this.

Colbert: Yes! You transgender people don’t understand what it’s like to be ridiculed and abused.

This is actually a perfect example of how Colbert could have been satirizing transphobic TV personalities. This would have been amazing. Instead, he and his colleagues have ridiculed trans women—in the very way he’s condemning—for years without a hint of remorse.

It’s a little bit hard to get past the hypocrisy here. 

The Colbert Report, February 18. 2014

This tweet is actually a shortened version of a remarkably unfunny bit from last night’s episode. And I guess it was a callback to this 6.5 year old joke. The quote is below.

Colbert: But folks, nothing has me more confused than the transgenders. They’re everywhere, from Rupaul’s Drag Race, to Glee, to those Transformer’s movies. 
Colbert: Hey, hey. Optimus, you were born a robot, it doesn’t matter if inside you feel like you’re a truck.


The Colbert Report, February 18, 2014

Disclaimer: Someone else originally posted this, but didn’t seem to like the unwanted attention it was drawing and deleted it. I could reblog it from someone else, but I think that would just add to the crap they’re getting. Sorry if this is the wrong way to go about it.

This tweet is actually a shortened version of a remarkably unfunny bit from last night’s episode. And I guess it was a callback to this 6.5 year old joke. The quote is below.

Colbert: But folks, nothing has me more confused than the transgenders. They’re everywhere, from Rupaul’s Drag Race, to Glee, to those Transformer’s movies. 

Colbert: Hey, hey. Optimus, you were born a robot, it doesn’t matter if inside you feel like you’re a truck.

The Colbert Report, February 18, 2014

Disclaimer: Someone else originally posted this, but didn’t seem to like the unwanted attention it was drawing and deleted it. I could reblog it from someone else, but I think that would just add to the crap they’re getting. Sorry if this is the wrong way to go about it.

So, Janet Mock was on the Colbert Report tonight. This makes her the first transgender guest, on either show, in their 9 and 15 year histories. And this will be the first time Colbert has shown anything resembling support (either through satire or sincerity) to trans women. 

It’s not available for streaming yet, so I haven’t watched it yet, but from what I’ve seen, it looks really good. I hope it will be this blog’s final post.

This is a really good thing, though. As Mock said on Twitter tonight, "it’s 1 step fwd".

It means that there’s a real chance that we’re approaching a day wherein it’s seen as unacceptable to dehumanize and mock trans women within the liberal community. 

However, that doesn’t mean we should forget any of their past transgressions. There are lessons that need to be learned here, about how and why we mock people. This should stand as an example of why we shouldn’t tear into fellow human beings, just because it’s seen as socially acceptable at the time. Of why you should at least consider what you’re doing to people when you shame them without good reason.

Even if they seem strange to you. 

(Also, Janet Mock is the greatest. I’m so glad that young trans kids have someone like her to look up to.)

Anonymous asked
That’s the thing, jokes mocking and dehumanizing trans people are a liberal problem. Liberal comedians and comedy shows do it constantly. Nearly all of them. It’s borderline harassment. Remember that this Show scabbed during the screenwriters strike. How is scabbing liberal? They are not liberal heros, and should be seen as terrorists in the prank sense.

Clip from a radio show

Rep. Stockman: It’s amazing what they are saying is covered by Obamacare. If you decide to become transgender, you can also get that covered. So—

Host: Good to know.

Rep. Stockman: [in a falsetto voice] the next time I call your show…

Host: hahahaha.

John Stewart: Oh, I get it! It’s funny because you’re an asshole!

The Daily Show, December 17. 2013

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Either way, I’m sure if/when transphobia becomes an undesirable trait to be seen as having, you’ll see Colbert/Stewart come running to our defense and trashing conservative politicians and talk show hosts for their transphobia as though they had been doing that all along. I doubt they’ll even acknowledge that they’ve ever done anything wrong.

yourmomentofhate, July 9, 2013

Welp.

I’m a transgender person who regularly views both shows, although I honestly watch Colbert less now because of his frequent use of transphobic humor. I’d like to see more of Stewart’s segments mocking transphobic bigots, rather than more segments where we’re the punchline for a cheap joke. Remember, there’s a lot of scared, closeted trans teenagers watching your shows, and those little jokes can do more damage than someone who hasn’t gone through it can possibly imagine.

-Kayla Brumfield, a commenter on some petition for Stewart/Colbert to reject transphobia.

That last sentence is really important. 

(Starts at 3:30)

Stephen: Folks, it’s just like when someone lies to you. Technically, they’re telling you the truth as long as you never find out it was a lie.

The Word: Or Notice Her Adam’s Apple

The Colbert Report, October 31, 2013

(Starts at 1:55)

“But folks, on today’s the Today Show, today. Halloween died when anchor Matt Lauer dressed as my waking nightmare:”

[Clip of Matt Lauer dressed as a female lifeguard]

"I look forward to their new segment, Where in the World is Matt Lauer’s dignity?"

The Colbert Report, October 31, 2013

the ‘joke’ starts at about 50 seconds into the 3:33 video showing the administration’s rebranding of the ACA as the adorable care act using  pictures of hamsters and pandas and a puzzled news anchor who couldn’t tell if the picture was a mouse or a hamster:

“‘Could be a mouse. Could be a hamster. I don’t know. Thanks to Obamacare it could be a rat that had gerbil reassignment surgery. Who knows? Sick stuff. Sick. Stuff.”

there’s even a second borderline joke at 90 seconds that goes

"I’ve started a campaign I’m calling the Abominable Care Act, featuring ugly animals revealing the true dangers of Obamacare.  For instance, (displaying picture of dog) ‘I picked my own doctor and he cut off my balls. Thanks Obamacare’."

whether it’s transphobic or not the first part really made me flinch, maybe it just took me by surprise.

heroinpuppy asked
Do you think modern culture has mainstreamed this so much that Stewart and Colbert say these things purely comically without thinking about it? cause the alternative is some cool people being transphobic on purpose also why make a large deal out of liberals when people are scum regardless of how they vote

Hi, Good question! :D

I think because of the way trans women have historically been represented to the public—until very recently, exclusively by trashy talk shows, pornography, and lazy comedians—a lot of otherwise decent people fail to recognize that we’re actually real-life human beings. They only seem to have the capacity to treat us like these weird gross stereotypes. 

Or maybe they’re just assholes who know they can get away with mocking and dehumanizing trans people for laughs in way that would never be seen as acceptable by their audience if it were another minority. 

Either way, I’m sure if/when transphobia becomes an undesirable trait to be seen as having, you’ll see Colbert/Stewart come running to our defense and trashing conservative politicians and talk show hosts for their transphobia as though they had been doing that all along. I doubt they’ll even acknowledge that they’ve ever done anything wrong.

The reason I’m focusing on liberals is that they’re supposed to better than this shit. I feel like we should be at a point where liberals are helping trans people get a halfway respectable image of ourselves out to the public, get some legal protections so we don’t have to be afraid of being unemployed and homeless, and make sure that younger trans people can begin transitioning without feeling like the entire world is against them.

But how can we expect that if people like Jon Stewart, someone mostly seen as this good-hearted champion of sanity and liberalism, can only stomach mentioning us whenever they need a good ol’ fashioned tranny joke?