Daily Show Airs “Controversial” Redskins Segment

Last night, The Daily Show aired the segment about the Redskins that James Joyner earlier this week. It’s pretty standard fare for a Jason Jones piece, but they didn’t actually end up airing very much footage from the “confrontation” between the Redskins fans and the group of Native American Indians Jones had interviewed:

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” aired its controversial segment Thursday night pitting Washington Redskins fans against Native Americans over the team’s name.

But the program showed hardly any of the heated footage of the taped confrontation between the two sides, with Stewart opening the segment alluding to public complaints from Redskins fans about being misled by the show, and preparing viewers to expect an edited version of the piece.

“We learned later that some of the individuals who participated in the piece, they didn’t enjoy the experience. It’s something that happens a lot less than you would think,” Stewart said in an unusual, apologetic preamble to a segment featuring correspondent Jason Jones. “But we take the complaint seriously. We generally don’t want people who participate in the show to have a bad experience. We work very hard to find real people who have real beliefs and want to express those beliefs on television, and we work hard to make sure that the gist of those beliefs are represented accurately, albeit sometimes comedically on our program.

“If we find out that someone in a piece was intentionally misled or if their comments were intentionally misrepresented, we do not air that piece. We would not air that piece. So that being said, I hope you enjoy the following piece.”


The Redskins fans were Kelli O’Dell, a former teacher who lives in Alexandria and writes about the team for an NFL fan site; Maurice Hawkins, 43, a sales consultant from Hampton Roads, Va.; Brian Dortch, who runs a home-repair business in Dinwiddie, Va.; and Charles Barr, 36, an office adminstrator for a heating and air conditioning company in Petersburg, Va., who also runs a Redskins blog. Barr sported a giant Redskins belt that looks like the kind worn by professional wrestlers.

The Native Americans who confronted the fans featured a mix of activists and comedians, including Amanda Blackhorse, the lead plaintiff in the case that has put the Redskins’ trademark protections in jeopardy; Bobby Wilson, 29, of Phoenix, a member of the comedy group The 1491s; and Tara Houska, an Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation who lives in the District and works for the grass-roots group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry.

Judge for yourself:

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Sports, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Megan McArdle has some good advice for appearing on The Daily Show. 9 tips, #1 is “Don’t.”

    As the old saying goes, “The only winning move is not to play.”

  2. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Megan McArdle lies just a little less than you…and is just as confused.

  3. Tony W says:

    Good segment, and demonstrates well the problem of protecting minorities in general from the tyranny of the majority. “We took a vote” and “let the market decide” seems so fair if you don’t think about it too deeply. White folks like me win sometimes and lose sometimes – but mostly we win, so it’s easy to dismiss these folks as whiners if you have not walked in their shoes. I literally cannot imagine living in a world where the deck is so stacked against me.

    The Redskins owner doesn’t have to change the name because Freedom. I get that – we’re not Europe where, at least in some places, hate speech is outlawed. My only hope is the market. Perhaps every away game in which the redskins are visiting will be empty of fans.

  4. John Peabody says:

    Jenos- that’s like my take on state lotteries. They say “You can’t win if you don’t play!”. I say, “I’ll never lose, ’cause I never play!”

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, Cliffy. Just what did she say about the Daily Show was inaccurate? Just what advice did she offer do you consider poor or unjustified?

    The only reason the segment didn’t air as intended was that word had gotten out ahead of the air date.

  6. bill says:

    @John Peabody: there’s nothing to “win” by going on a show that’s intent on deriding you and/or your opinions on some issue.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    It’s funny how idiots and bigots get upset when they are called out for being the idiots and bigots that they are.

    Ooooooh…don’t confront us with our hate and our xenophobia. Let us live in peace in our homogenous little world. We are the victims here!!!


  8. C. Clavin says:

    Well unless by winning you mean learning something and seeing a different viewpoint and gaining some insight to your fellow man.
    But I suspect by winning you mean being allowed to continue to wallow in your abject racism.

  9. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Typical Cliffy. As long as the “right” people are being attacked, anything is fair game.

    I bet Cliffy laughs when pro-life women get raped and end up pregnant.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    I don’t know any women that aren’t pro-life.
    I know some who are anti-choice.
    It’s disgusting that you think rape is a joke.
    But you’ve probably never spoken to a woman besides your mother…or maybe a teacher in the few grades you actually completed…so you are at a distinct disadvantage here.

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Whatever, Cliffy. You’re trying the old game of defining both sides’ arguments, which is a very shallow tactic. But I’ll play along with you.

    I bet you laugh when an “anti-choice” woman gets raped and ends up pregnant.

    But let’s run with Cliffy’s “thinking” here.

    It’s not bad when bad things happen to bad people. (His definitions here.)

    So, it’s not a bad thing if it happens to bad people.

    So, if it’s not a bad thing, then it’s OK to do it to bad people.

    By Cliffy’s “thinking,” doing what would be considered a bad thing is OK when it’s done against the right people. They’re fair game, and anything’s allowable.

    Or do you draw a line somewhere, Cliffy? Deliberate deception (that’s “lying”) for the purpose of public humiliation is OK with you, we’ve established that. (Part of me wants to agree with you — trusting The Daily Show is pretty much asking for whatever happens to you.) So what is the limit, Cliffy?

    But let’s not forget the real message here: this is what happens when you trust The Daily Show. If you trust them, you will have that trust betrayed.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Talk about inane ramblings that mean nothing.
    Ask you mother to bring your crayons down to the basement…and maybe some jello.

  13. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Gosh, I wonder how many times Megan McArdle begged her publicist to get her on the Daily Show before she came up with this bit of wisdom.

  14. wr says:

    @bill: “there’s nothing to “win” by going on a show that’s intent on deriding you and/or your opinions on some issue.”

    Of course there is — if you have a book or movie or website to promote there sure is. You really think people go on a show like this because they’re hoping for a serious discourse that will possibly change minds? You really have no idea how the modern world works, do you?

  15. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “But let’s not forget the real message here: this is what happens when you trust The Daily Show. If you trust them, you will have that trust betrayed.”

    That makes perfect sense — as long as somehow you believe that these people went on a left-leaning comedy show because they felt a sincere desire to discuss what they felt was an important issue in their lives.

    And it’s quite possible to believe that — if, like Jenos, you have absolutely no understand of how human beings think.

    These people went on The Daily Show so they could be on TV. And so they could brag to their friends they were on The Daily Show. So that they could be celebrities for a couple of days in a celebrity-mad culture.

    They got what they wanted. In fact, they got more, because not only were they on TV, they got some attention from right-wing losers looking for another martyr to weep over.

    This wasn’t a crucifiction, it was a transaction. And everyone got what they needed out of it.

    And you — well, you got another reason to whine, so I guess you’re happy, too.

  16. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I normally ignore you because I try to avoid feeding the trolls, but “I bet Cliffy laughs when pro-life women get raped and end up pregnant” is low even for your pathetic standards of pseudo decency.

    You really are so low that when an ant walks by you need to put up an umbrella, aren’t you?

  17. gVOR08 says:

    In a week when the news is reporting on the aftermath of an unarmed black teenage jaywalker shot dead by a cop in MO, a black guy shot in SC for reaching for his wallet when a cop demanded his drivers license, and a black guy in OH shot dead for talking on a phone while casually holding an unloaded BB gun, I’m supposed to worry about these four middle class white people being embarrassed on the Daily Show? People might think their racist, oh noes!! They met actual Native Americans, horrors!! Pearl clutching wusses. I’m starting to feel embarrassed at being a middle class white person. Man up, people.

  18. anjin-san says:

    If I went on Bill O’Reilly’s show to explain why I think the name should be changed, and O’Reilly
    smacked me around on national television, would I have something to whine about? Not really – it’s pretty easy to foresee that outcome.

    These people have enough on the ball to have season tickets, I think we can assume a reasonable level of sophistication on their part. They just could not see that they were putting themselves into a situation where they might not come off very well?

  19. James Joyner says:

    @wr: I’ve been watching the show for years now and am generally a fan. I do find a lot of these segments strained and often find them unfair, but at least they’re typically aimed at legitimate public figures. I thought this segment punched down, which is beneath Stewart and company.

    In terms of appearing on these show, it really just depends. Stewart and his contributors, Colbert, O’Reilly, Maher (although it’s usually just celebs), and others are just so good at what they do that all but the most polished public speaker is just going to come off poorly unless the host starts off sympathetic to them. That’s a hundredfold true for these taped and edited segments.

    For the most part, they’re cordial to those promoting a book or movie or whatnot. But going head-to-head with the hosts is a game most will lose.

  20. Mikey says:


    I’m supposed to worry about these four middle class white people being embarrassed on the Daily Show?

    Did you watch the segment? One of the four supporters of keeping the name is African-American.

  21. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “But going head-to-head with the hosts is a game most will lose.”

    Of course it is. Which is another reason I have no sympathy for these people. What did they expect — to be fawned over like the panelists at one of those Frank Lutz Fox things?

  22. Megan McArdle says:

    @wr: As it happens, I can answer that! And the answer is that I don’t have a publicist. Nor have I ever begged anyone else to get me on The Daily Show, as far as I can recall.

  23. Lyle says:

    As a Giant fan, I enjoy beating the Redskins.

  24. anjin-san says:

    I thought this segment punched down, which is beneath Stewart and company.

    Several people have made this point. I’ve spent a lot of time around professional comedians, even been out on the road with them. “Punching down” is a big part of what comedians do. I don’t know many comedians who are shy about making someone they feel is deserving look bad.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey: No, I didn’t watch it, not even at the link. Didn’t know that one person was black. It changes what? This is still middle class people whining about trivia.

  26. Mikey says:

    @gVOR08: There was an assumption made that supporters of keeping the name must be white, was there not? Over 150 comments between the previous post and this one and nobody seemed to entertain the possibility that someone who supported keeping the name could be non-white. Dozens of comments about “middle-class white people.”

    That’s an entirely separate issue from the name needing to be changed, but it’s an issue, don’t you think? There was an assumption made based on a pre-judgment of who would support keeping the name.

    I’m not trying to pull a “Gotcha” or point any fingers. I made the same assumption myself.

  27. the Q says:

    LIke I’ve posted before, anybody that thinks redskins is inoffensive….ask them to go to an Indian casino, straddle up to the bar and loudly ask, “hey can I get a redskin to pour me a drink” and see how inoffensive that word is to Indian employees.

  28. @anjin-san:

    “Punching down” is a big part of what comedians do. I don’t know many comedians who are shy about making someone they feel is deserving look bad.

    I don’t think you understand the term. “Punching Down” is attacking someone with less social power than you, as opposed to “Punching Up” when they attack someone with more social power. Comedians frequently punch up, but punching down acts tend to become divisive.

    For the low end comedian doing the club circuit, it’s usually not a big problem because they don’t have much social power anyways so nearly anyone the audience would have heard of is punching up. One of the big problems for a comedian becoming famous is that targets that used to be considered above them start becoming seen as below them.

  29. Crusty Dem says:

    McArdle was mentioned three times and then she appears. I think she really is the Candyman (Candywoman? Candyperson?). /coldsweat

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I normally ignore you because I try to avoid feeding the trolls, but “I bet Cliffy laughs when pro-life women get raped and end up pregnant” is low even for your pathetic standards of pseudo decency.

    This time, I apparently mixed up Cliffy with wr. From the Rabbis On A Plane article:

    Although this one has an easy solution. Let them pack themselves in their plastic bags, and then use a vacu-seal on them…

    My comment above got 12 down-twinkles, no up-twinkles.

    wr’s comment collected 13 up-twinkles, no down-twinkles.

    Apparently saying such things is good, predicting others saying them is bad.

  31. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Gosh, I’m sorry that some people can make jokes and people find them amusing while you are completely incapable of doing the same. I’m sure you can put on your self-pity hat — we all know it’s always within easy reach for you — and decide it’s because all those mean lefties are conspiring against you.

    Or you could look at the two jokes and see that mine is obviously silly hyperbole (and based on an absurd visual), while you were quite straightforwardly accusing another poster here of wanting to see women raped simply because he disagrees with their politics.

    In other words, the difference is that you simply have no understanding of how to construct a sentence in a way that gets across the thought or feeling that you intend — that you are plainly and simply a bad writer. One might think you would have realized this based on the dozens of times you’ve complained no one understands your posts here, but that still seems to be saling over your head.

    So why not make it easy on yourself: Just stop trying to be funny. It never works, you end up embarassing yourself and many others here, and you lose any chance you might have ever had for actually communicating anything besides your own incompetence.

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Let me do what you can’t do, wr: condense your gross verbiage into a simpler and more honest form.

    “Only liberals are allowed to make such remarks, and are obviously joking. Conservatives can’t be funny, and when they do bust us saying hateful crap, they’re proving they can’t get jokes.”

  33. Wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: in other words, you are not only incapable of composing a sentence, you also can not comprehend one. Maybe you should take some time off from trolling and use it to study for a GED.

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Wr: Just man up for once, wr, and admit what has you really upset: I stepped on your punchline.

  35. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Sorry, little Jenos, but you seem to be responding to a conversation that exists only in your head. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Which is actually a blessing.

  36. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Here, Jenos, let me help you out.

    Your rape joke was DISTASTEFUL.

    You’re welcome.