Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly duked it out on The Daily Show over the existence of “white privilege,” or a world where white males set the system by which minorities have to “play.”
O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor, took the counterpoint that white privilege does not exist in American society any more. He conceded that it used to, but noted that it was “decades ago.”
Stewart, always an O’Reilly opponent, took the opposite stance, making his case that it was alive and well in today’s society.
O’Reilly pointed out stats showing that if that were the case, then why are Asian-Americans beating whites in income, job security, education, and a number of other factors?
The debate was a compelling one, and even though O’Reilly gets a lot of flak from Jon Stewart audiences, it was a point the host had a tough time countering.
Now as one columnist for Mediaite notes, if white privilege does exist, it’s alive and well on the staff of The Daily Show and overseen by Stewart himself.
Writer Joe Concha pointed out the following.
“During last night’s debate, Stewart specifically pointed out that ‘white men set the system.’ Within Comedy Central’s ‘Daily Show’ — its highest rated program and a cash cow for nearly two decades — Stewart holds most or all of the power. That includes having major say in who get[s] hired to the most important position (outside of host) on the ‘Daily Show’ staff: The writing team.”
Concha then continued with his argument, stating that Stewart’s 14 “exceptionally talented staff writers feeding him the gems we hear every night” are comprised 12 whites, including 10 who are male.
“The two non-whites on staff consists of one African-American (Travon Free) and one of Iranian descent (Zhubin Parang),” he adds.
“So the next time Stewart talks about white men ‘setting the system’ during a ‘Daily Show’ broadcast,” Concha asks, “should his photo be placed over his shoulder during the story? And if the numbers above are any indication, it appears the fictional War of Women is alive and quite well in Mr. Stewart’s neighborhood as well.”
Clearly, Concha is not a fan of Jon Stewart, but politics aside, he makes a good point.
The Daily Show host undoubtedly has a lot of power when it comes to the hiring of his creative team. Considering the demographics, it does appear that his staffers are heavily white and male-oriented.
Do you think Jon Stewart is being hypocritical in pointing out O’Reilly and others’ stance against the idea of white privilege?