Reviewers say: Reality Bites Back makes a great gift!


Are you a last-minute Christmas gift-giver? Do you owe belated Chanukah and Solstice presents? Well, take it from Feministing, Isak, Hello Ladies and Women’s Voices for Change: Reality Bites Back makes the perfect gift!

I wrote the book to spark a national conversation about the meaning and impact of reality TV on our culture, and in doing so I hoped to make media literacy not only enlightening, but fun. So, I’m really excited to see Reality Bites Back popping up on holiday gift guides by respected media outlets and blogs who seem to find the book engaging and enjoyable. I’m also gratified and flattered to see the book recommended by readers on Twitter as “The Must-Have Book This Season” and discussed as good holiday reading options on Facebook by professors who say, “I’ve read it, I’ve taught it, Jenn has been in LA to discuss it — I’m all about it. If you haven’t yet, go get it!”

At Feministing, the book tops Courtney Martin’s “Not Oprah’s Book Club: Holiday Edition” gift guide:


My TLC podcast canceled–apparently, I make Sarah Palin “political.”


Earlier today, I announced that I was invited to be a guest on TLC’s podcast about Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the new reality show starring and executive produced by the former Governor, GOP VP nominee, and potential future POTUS candidate. I wrote to give you all a sneak peek into what I planned to talk about on the show, which — as I blogged — was exactly what I had discussed with the podcast’s rep prior to being booked for the segment.

Turns out, dear reader, that your sneak peek is to be your only peek: my segment has been canceled specifically because of that blog post.

I was first told that my “tone” in my blog post made the podcast and show’s powers-that-be uncomfortable. I reminded the booker that I hadn’t said anything in the blog post (other than my thoughts about the show’s sop to the NRA, which I hadn’t been asked about and had forgotten to mention) that I hadn’t previously, honestly and clearly stated before she booked me. I explained that I reserve my snark especially for you, my lovely readers, but that I am always professional and appropriate when I offer media commentary in broadcast forums — as the dozens of TV, radio and podcast interviews listed on the media page attest.


Princeton, NJ – 12/01/10


Who
Project Brainwash lecture
When
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
7:00pm - All Ages
Where
Princeton University (map)
Princeton, NJ 08544
Other Info
Project Brainwash: Why Reality TV is Bad For Women...
(...and men, people of color, the economy, love, sex, and sheer common sense!)

See description here: http://www.realitybitesbackbook.com/lectures-workshops/

WHEN: Dec. 1, 7pm
WHERE: Princeton University, Robertson 001

Sponsored by the Program for the Study of Women & Gender and organized by Melissa Harris-Perry

« Back to the calendar


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


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


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.


Reality Bites Back excerpt on Jezebel: The Exquisite Sadism Of America’s Next Top Model


On Tuesday, Jezebel posted (and Gawker cross-posted) an excerpt from the violence against women chapter of Reality Bites Back, focusing on “The Exquisite Sadism Of America’s Next Top Model.” By 9am today, the post had received more than 31,000 views, 315 comments,

and 414 “likes” on Facebook.

When Jezebel asked to excerpt that particular section, I had a feeling it might strike a chord. In all the press since the book launched on Nov. 1, no media outlets have picked up on my discussion of the way reality TV both normalizes and glamorizes violence against women. (A few have asked me about the many male participants in reality dating and lifestyle series who have had restraining orders, arrest histories and even jail sentences in their past for harassment, battery or sexual assault.) So I was glad to know that their readers would be able to sink their teeth into this analysis of the dangerous messages Tyra Banks sends on America’s Next Top Model, in the name of “empowering” girls.

This 800+ word excerpt is just a small taste of a 10,000+ word chapter, but I hope you’ll enjoy it. If “enjoy” is the right word for an essay about girls being instructed that, for