I was working this afternoon with an old SNL episode on in the background, when I stumbled on a vintage “Weekend Update” segment with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey that I wish I’d been able to quote in Reality Bites Back:

Jimmy Fallon: Married By America contestant, Denise, is expected to be removed from FOX’s new reality series, after it was revealed that she is still married. Meanwhile, Candy was thrown off of FOX’s Vagina Auction for having dude parts.

Jimmy Fallon: It’s a good episode this week.

Tina Fey: Yeah. It was a good Vagina Auction this week.

Jimmy Fallon: Big ratings.

Gotta love it! I don’t have the clip online, but if you do, let me know.




TSA-approved: You’re all safe from the explosive power of my breasts


Today’s my first day back from a spectacular whirlwind book tour, having done 12 Reality Bites Back events (readings, signings, panel discussions and book parties) in 8 cities in just under 3 weeks. I’m equal parts thrilled, inspired, and exhausted; I promise to post some report-backs, readers gallery pictures, and more once I get some rest.

But for now, something completely different. I want to share with you a quick reflection on the TSA controversy, based on my experience flying home to NY from D.C. yesterday on the heels of a large and dynamic crowd for the final reading at Busboys and Poets.

I Just want to share that I refused the backscatter cancer box at Dulles airport yesterday, and my fellow Americans are now all protected by the supposedly potentially explosive power of my breasts. Don’t you all feel safer?




DC TONIGHT: Final stop on the Reality Bites Back book tour


Tonight in Washington, D.C.,

I’m holding my last official reading on the Reality Bites Back book tour. It is listed in the Washington Post’sGoing Out Guide Blog,” and their “Going Out Guide.” There’s also a brief interview with the Express.

Tonight, the final official book reading will be held at Busboys & Poets on 14th & V in Washington, DC from 6:30-8pm. RSVP on Facebook (though walk-ins are fine, too). If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come out for a lively discussion about gender, race and class in entertainment media — and support a fantastic local independent DC bookstore and cafe.

This month has been incredible. Journalists from Newsweek, Macleans, Ms. magazine, AOL TV Squad, the St. Petersburg Times, the Denver Post, B*tch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, The American Prospect, and many more have written about the book. That was never a given for a feminist, anti-racist analysis of corporate media which includes extensive critique of product placement, advertising, and media consolidation — not to mention a conclusion featuring strategies for making

change from more than a dozen media activists.




BOSTON: Reality Bites Back TWICE, 11/19 in Wellesley, 11/20 with Jean Kilbourne in Boston


Quick hit from the road: All you MA-area TV fans — there are two chances to catch Reality Bites Backin Boston. Hope to see you at one of these events:

WHAT: Book reading and signing

WHEN: Nov. 19, 7pm

WHERE: Wellesley Booksmith

Why is reality television built on such blatant gender and race stereotypes? Why are women and people of color represented so harmfully, and with so much bias, in popular culture? What is “Frankenbite” editing, how many hours of tape are shot for every hour of reality TV aired, and how much cheaper is it to produce a reality show than a scripted program? Is it true that networks are simply “giving people what they want,” or is reality TV really the result of media consolidation, media economics, and stealth advertising? Find out at Wellesley Booksmith on 11/19!

And it is a HUGE honor and with great pleasure that I invite you to Trident Books on Saturday, where I’ll be sharing the mic with one of my formative influences and intellectual role models, pioneering ad critic Jean Kilbourne:

WHAT: Book reading and signing with Jennifer L. Pozner and Jean Kilbourne

WHEN: Nov. 20, 7pm




L.A. TODAY: “Sh*t My TV Says: Revealing Gender & Race in Reality TV & Pop Culture” with Jennifer L. Pozner, Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn & Morgane Richardson


Event Reminder: $h*t My TV Says: Revealing Gender & Race in Reality TV & Pop Culture

…an evening with Jennifer L. Pozner, author of Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, and entertainment journalist Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, contributor to the L.A. Times, TV Guide, Essence, Emmy magazine and more. Moderated by Morgane Veronique Richardson of Refuse the Silence.

WHAT: Los Angeles Book Launch for Reality Bites Back

WHEN: Nov 17, 7:30 – 9:30

WHERE: Stories Books and Cafe, 1716 Sunset Blvd. Echo Park, CA 90026

Why are reality TV’s stock characters (The Desperate Bachelorette, The Angry Black Woman, The Douchebag Dude, etc.) so regressive? What are Frankenbites, and other behind-the-scenes open secrets in the reality TV industry? Why does pop culture culture reduce women and people of color to such limiting stereotypes? Find out in the town that creates them at the L.A. book launch for Reality Bites Back! Expect critical media commentary, revealing insights about gender, race and pop culture — and lots of laughs.

Free. Lively conversation among the presenters, with ample time for audience Q&A, followed by Jennifer L. Pozner signing her book, Reality Bites Back. And after: schmoozing. What could be better?




TUES, Nov 16, noon: Reality Bites Back event with Jennifer L. Pozner and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Lady of San Francisco


BAY AREA EVENT REMINDER from WIMN and the International Museum of Women:

Nov. 16: Whose Reality? Exposing Gender, Race and Commercial Biases in Reality TV

11/16/2010: 12pm – 1:30pm

A conversation with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, documentarian, actress and First Lady of San Francisco, and Jennifer L. Pozner, Executive Director of Women In Media & News, media critic, author, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV, on November 16th.

SeibelNewsomAndPozneer

Purchase tickets now>>

The International Museum of Women is thrilled to be hosting a noontime conversation between Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actress, filmmaker and First Lady of San Francisco, and Jennifer L. Pozner, media critic, author and Executive Director of Women in Media & News, on November 16th.

Just how real is reality television? With video clips of popular prime time TV shows and a trailer for the forthcoming film, Miss Representation, Newsom and Pozner will shed light on sexism and racism in entertainment media. Please join us for this important discussion about misrepresentations of women and people of color in reality TV, and ways you can demand media accountability.




RADIO, 11/15 1:00-1:40pmEST: Callie Crossley Show talks gender & race in reality TV


Quick hit: I’m going to be on The Callie Crossley Show today, Monday Nov. 15, from 1:00 – 1:40 EST, talking about the issues raised in my book, Reality Bites Back.

Knowing Callie (which makes this interview a treat, as she’s smart, politically savvy and funny) we’ll likely focus in particular on gender and race in reality TV, and on the economic factors that drive production and are responsible for regressive representations within the genre. Here’s the description on the show’s WGBH page:

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but what if fiction is passing for the truth? From “America’s Next Top Model, to “Flavor of Love”, to “The Bachelor” (and MANY more)- what’s real with hyper-realism? We talk with journalist Jennifer L. Pozner at the top of the hour about her book, Reality Bites Back.

Tune in to The Callie Crossley Show, WGHB, at the top of the hour — and call in at 877-301-8970!




Three chances to catch Reality Bites Back in Bay Area and LA


Quick hit (more details when I’m not deadly exhausted): I’m doing two events in San Francisco and one in L.A. this week. Hope to see you there!

More details mid-day Monday




Saturday, Nov. 13: Reality Bites Back at National Women’s Studies Association conference


Quick reminder from the events calendar: if you’re at the National Women’s Studies Association conference, there are two chances to catch me and Reality Bites Back on Saturday, Nov. 13 in Denver, CO.

I’ll be talking shop, saying hi and signing books at a Seal Press-hosted wine and cheese reception for Reality Bites Back, from 5:10 – 6:10 in the Seal Press booth. Bring your questions, your feedback, your critiques, your love-hate relationship with your favorite guilty pleasure…whatever you’ve got, if you’re at NWSA, I want to hear it!

And earlier, at 9:25am, I will be moderating “Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Documentary Filmmaking,” a panel held in the Plaza Concourse Level / Plaza Court 8 AV. Participants and presentations include:

Documenting Ourselves: Creative Scholarship on the Margins
*Theresa Renee White (California State University, Northridge)

Iltezam and the Women’s Contingent in Budrus: Documentary Film as Feminist Intervention and Solidarity Praxis
*Jessica Devaney (Just Vision)

Of Rights and Representation: A Transnational Feminist Analysis of “Lakshmi and Me.”
*Swati Bandi (State University of New York, Buffalo)

Queering the Good Book: Analyzing Itineraries of Emotion in “For the Bible Tells Me So”
*Elizabeth A Gailey (The University of Tennessee)




Newsweek reviews Reality Bites Back: “Everything I Learned About Women I Learned From Reality TV” (Plus: my slideshow: “Reality TV’s 9 Worst Stock Characters”)


As a long-time media critic, I can tell you that

this is not a sentence I’m accustomed to writing: Corporate media gave me a huge gift yesterday.

As I traveled to Denver (to moderate a panel and have a wine and cheese reception for my book at the Women’s Studies Association conference), Newsweek’s Jessica Bennett reviewed Reality Bites Back in a lively feature headlined, “Everything I Learned About Women I Learned From Reality TV.” Her subhead that says it all: “Which means I must think they’re all desperate, competitive, plastic-surgery-obsessed bimbos. The problem? Today’s reality entertainment is a lot more like fiction.”

I couldn’t be happier with Benett’s take on the book and the issue of representation of women in this genre throughout the last decade. She writes:

If your main source of knowledge about women came from reality TV, this is how you’d see the world: a place where your mom is a conniving, deceitful gold digger, your sisters and girlfriends vicious and catty. You would learn that “sisterhood” is a thing of the past, as Pozner puts it—and that girl friendships are not powerful but spiteful. And you’d understand that women were put on this earth to compete for male attention—when, of course, they’re not busy pulling each other’s hair out or lounging half naked in a hot tub.