Former Letterman writer dissects Dave's lame excuses for not hiring more women

Now I’m curious about the gender and racial diversity of boingboing contributors too. How many women and people of color are writing here?

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Welcome to BoingBoing!

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That needs updating! It doesn’t mention Rusty or Carla, and what ever happened to Xeni anyway?

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Xeni still posts pieces here and elsewhere. She also manages the BB Twitter account IIRC.

Her last post was yesterday this morning.

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Reading the article, the following part of it bothers me a little:

“Next he claims, “I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers” and here’s where it gets weird. Earlier in the interview, Letterman notes that Fey was the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live, but technically the first female head writer in late-night variety was Merrill Markoe who co-created Late Night with her then-boyfriend, Letterman. (Fun fact: the show’s writing staff won Emmy awards every year until Markoe left the show in 1987. After that, Late Night never won another Emmy for writing.) Did Letterman forget about Markoe? This seems to go beyond memory lapse into disinformation.”

Letterman said SNL, the article writer then switches the subject to late-nite variety programming in order to claim he was being disingenuous and disinformative. Is that not a touch hypocritical?

Now, it’s possible I misread that paragraph or that there’s a context I missed in the video of the interview that I am yet to watch, but from just reading the article this bit seemed a bit wrong. I mean, there’s plenty of material to hit Letterman with without doing the same thing back.

Edit: The rest of the article I have no problem with and there are plenty of valid points (such as the mask slipping when there isn’t a camera on him, and of his legacy), it’s just this bit which didn’t read right to me.

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Isn’t Late Night part of SNL though?

Hmm, let me check. Edit, scratch that i was thinking of the wrong thing. Yeah i dunno

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i watched this episode last night, and when it got to that part, even i said, “uh, Dave, hello – MERRILL MARKOE??”

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Which must be I’m missing some context from the video, then.

It’s just, in the article it states he mentions the first female head writer on SNL, while the article suddenly - within the space of a comma - goes down a different track of the first female head writer on a different show (which happened to be the first, full stop).

It was jarring and looked wrong in the context of the article.

Welcome, new community member. Are you a woman or a person of color? Seems only fair to pay it forward, stranger!

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Earlier in the interview, Letterman notes that Fey was the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live, but technically the first female head writer in late-night variety was Merrill Markoe who co-created Late Night with her then-boyfriend, Letterman. (Fun fact: the show’s writing staff won Emmy awards every year until Markoe left the show in 1987. After that, Late Night never won another Emmy for writing.) Did Letterman forget about Markoe? This seems to go beyond memory lapse into disinformation. I emailed Markoe, a friend, and asked her why she thinks she may have slipped Letterman’s mind. She wrote back, “Because we were having sex, maybe he remembers me as an intern.”

Zing!

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I wonder how Tina Fey felt while going through this with that leering creep.

Maybe knowledge of his sexist scumbaggery, including in his hiring practices, inspired her to run the comedic circles around the plodding Letterman that she does in that clip.

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hard to say what she was actually feeling, but the interview comes off completely as peers, with her complimenting him many times, and vice-versa. letterman really seemed to be sure to mention how much he admires her skill and craft as a comedian, even admitting that he has no idea how she learned how to do things like improv, which he said he has no clue about.

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And yours truly, producing fine hand-crafted posts since 2010!

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Letterman was just one of several a-holes:

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Since BB posted the article, @M8888888’s question makes absolute sense given the hypocrisy riddled throughout Letterman’s ‘performance’.

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Greetings, new comrade.

Fair question, true enough; it’s the motivation in asking which could be suspect.

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I continue in my befuddlement as to why he’s such an above-the-fray beloved figure when someone like Al Franken had to resign from the Senate for much less. I wonder what his image would be like if his sexual predation and fostering of a hostile work environment had been revealed in the past year instead of so much sooner. Creep is right, although it may be a bit too kind.

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“Fair question, true enough; it’s the motivation in asking which could be suspect.”

I’d think that the motivation could be as benign as purely wondering if BB – having gone through the effort of bringing to us an article critical of a “male writers club” – does indeed walk the walk, or if the motivation carries a valid suspicion that BB has its own lapses.

Me? Not knowing anything about @M8888888, I chose to assume that the question was benign. I’m thinking now that questioning @M8888888’s motivations by asking for his/her profile could be seen as carrying its own motivations… but I’m not going down that rabbit hole. Suffice to say that BB has done a much better job than Letterman.

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Off the top of my head, on the gender parity side, there’s Carla, Xeni, Heather, Andrea, Rusty, Gina, Kristen, and some periodic contributors including Sarina, Jasmina, Christine, Maureen, Caroline, Mimi… former contributors include Leigh, Laura, Maggie, certainly others I’m missing.

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