How The Daily Show did the Washington shoot

When watching The Daily Show, one often wonders why some people allow themselves to be made to look silly on the show. Sometimes they end up looking like such fools that one wonders whether they are actually actors following a script. Recently, they did a show about the fans of the Washington football team and their ridiculous devotion to the racist team name.

The people in it were not pleased at how things turned out during the recording because the fans were confronted with a group of Native Americans and seemed to have felt uncomfortable defending their mascot directly to the people who had been mascotized, so to speak. I wonder why. Anyway, they vented their grievance to the media and as a result we learn a bit more about how these segments are made.

Apparently everyone is asked to sign a release form right at the beginning after being told roughly what the show will be about. Once they sign it, there is no going back and the producers can use any of the footage they get. The shows will interview their subjects for many hours to get the few minutes they need and if you have interview subjects who are very confident about the rightness of their views, you are bound to get some choice quotes.

Here’s the final clip that appeared on the show in which Jon Stewart gives some introductory comments about the flap that shed some light on how they produce these things.

Incidentally, one of the Native Americans is wearing a shirt with a version of the racist Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo that is even more grotesque than the official one and looks like a death mask. I am pleased to inform readers that the Indians have been eliminated from playoff contention this year though I did not get my wish that they end up in last place in their division. Oh, well, there’s always next year.

(This clip aired on September 25, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

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