"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" holds a privileged position in the minds of young, liberal-minded television viewers, says Irin Carmon at Jezebel. Its sharp critique of the media and its willingness to laugh at the flaws and inconsistencies of powerful figures have earned it an irreproachable status. But female writers and presenters who've come and gone from the show tell a story of "institutionalized sexism." Working with Stewart, despite his ostensible charm, is a "frustrating and alienating experience," former staffers tell Carmon. Here's an excerpt:
"This mentality arguably goes straight to the top: The host and executive producer's onscreen persona is lovable mensch, but one former executive on the show tells us "there's a huge discrepancy between the Jon Stewart who goes on TV every night and the Jon Stewart who runs The Daily Show with joyless rage." (A representative for Comedy Central said they would be unable to participate in this story.)
The story of Stewart throwing a newspaper or script at the show's co-creator and executive producer Madeleine Smithberg out of displeasure with her work is an oft-told one among Daily Show veterans. Not long after the continued tension led Smithberg to quit in 2003, sources say Stewart refused to allow her onstage to accept the show's Emmy, even though her work contributed to the win."