September 29, 2000

the daily show

The Daily Show aired a watered-down version of their supposedly controversial story on the Washington [expletive] and their racist nickname on Thursday night.

“Catching Racism,” the anticipated seven-minute segment, felt like an obvious safe reaction to the allegedly hurt feelings of the [expletive] fans involved in the segment — fans who had said they were unaware of what they had agree to with the Comedy Central series.

Jon Stewart introduced the piece with this disclaimer:

“We learned later that some of the individuals who participated in the piece … didn’t enjoy the experience. It is something that happens a lot less than you would think, 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 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 reported showdown between Native American activists and [expletive] fans never happened — except for a 30-second sequence with no dialogue, just a voiceover from correspondent Jason Jones, who explained some of the controversy surrounding the segment over the previous two weeks.

Kelli, O’Dell, a 56-year-old former teacher, told The Washington Post said that she as in tears.

“This goes way beyond mocking,” she said. “The Native Americans accused me of things that were so wrong. I felt in danger. I didn’t consent to that. I am going to be defamed.”

Two days after taping the segment, O’Dell tried to file a police report, but authorizes told her no crime had been committed, because there is no law against making someone feel uncomfortable.

If there were, Native Americans could sue the [expletive] football organization.