The Native Voice

An Inside Look at the Daily Show’s “Redskins Experience”

An Inside Look at the Daily Show's "Redskins Experience"

A few weeks back, we here at were contacted by a man by the name of  Matt Polidoro, who is a producer on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

The conversation was simple in thought process as they were looking to fill a panel for a possible show segment involving Redskins fans and those who view the Redskins name as needing to be changed. At first, the go back and forth with Polidoro was cordial until, of course, they said exactly what “type” of Redskins fans they were looking for. The exact words used were “multi-racial Redskins fans.”

An Inside Look

After asking Mr. Polidoro about what exactly the racial dynamics with the “changers” side would be, we were told it would be 100% Native American.

Being as we here at HTTR4LIFE are connected with several Native Americans who support the name, we decided to speak up and offer our assistance to help form a Native panel of Redskins fans. The producers at the Daily Show were not interested in that idea one bit and even said it “didn’t fit the show dynamic.” We were not sure at the time just what that meant, but after watching the finished product that aired on Comedy Central, it’s easy to figure out now.

The Daily Show producers did not want Native Americans who support the Redskins name on their show because the dynamics would not have allowed them to portray an image that Redskins fans don’t grasp things from the Native perspective or that all Natives are offended. That is why this website offered to help connect the producers with actual Natives who are not offended. Our exact words were, “would it not be a great idea to have Natives on both sides of the debate to talk about exactly what the issue is here?  If Natives are offended or not, multi-racial Redskins fans are not Native, so how can they contribute to that conversation?”

Polidoro’s exact quote: “And at the end of the day, the decision to change the team name isn’t up to Native Americans.  It’s up to one white guy– Dan Snyder.  So we feel/think it’s okay to have white fans, black fans, Native American fans, etc., on this panel. We’re not going to attack anyone for sharing their thoughts with us.  We’ll ask follow-up questions & there will be jokes made, obviously.  Some people may get a ribbing.  But we’ll be doing that with the other side too.”

We were told by Polidoro that they would, in fact, take the names of the Natives we knew, and they would reach out to them about joining the panel. To this day, the Daily Show has not contacted one person on that list.

In truth, the Daily Show took the four unknowing Redskins fans and marched them into a setup. While the Redskins fans were speaking in one room, the name-changers were allowed to sit in another room and listen in…and when the time was perfect, they were allowed to charge into the room and start a confrontation that Polidoro ensured everyone would not happen.

After this story made national news, and then, of course, the segment was aired, we made several attempts to contact Mr. Polidoro in hopes of getting an understanding of exactly why no Natives who support the name Redskins were contacted and why none of them ultimately ended up on the show. Polidoro and his colleagues did not return our emails or phone calls.

Anyone who viewed the segment could see the Daily show spent a lot of time assembling the “changers” side of the panel perfectly, putting top-name activists on the panel, such as Amanda Blackhorse. The show also allowed the fictitious origin argument of the term Redskin to be broadcast into millions of homes.

The term “Redskin” came from Natives as a word used to distinguish themselves in conversation with the white man, but a small group of Native American activists insists it stemmed from bloody scalps. Which is a closed-minded approach to taking information in since history points to something completely different. The situation is truly sad; misinformation is being allowed to slip through entertainment and news media channels as well as other outlets surrounding the internet, and a certain portion of Americans actually believe the nonsense.

The four Redskins fans involved in the Daily Show segment released a statement through their attorney J. Chapman “Chap” Peterson.

An Inside Look at the Daily Show's "Redskins Experience"

As a now FORMER avid fan of Jon Stewart and a FORMER viewer of Comedy Central programming since its inception, I was utterly disgusted & disappointed by the blatant attack on harmless Redskins fans. The show handpicked them to fit their “dynamics,” mocked them, tossed them into a volatile situation, and then stood by and let them get ridiculed and attacked. Much of the segment was edited to avoid a future lawsuit, but the four Redskins fans involved were unjustly accused of being racist for simply showing up in the Redskins clothing that the show asked them to wear.

Is this what satire comedy has come to in this country?

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