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culture

Duly Quoted: TV Host Steve Paikin, on How Hard It Is to Get Female Guests

Host of TVO's The Agenda ignites social-media firestorm.

“please help us. we are desperate for good female guests. where are they?

—TVO host Steve Paikin, in a tweet he sent out yesterday linking to a post he’d written about how difficult it is for The Agenda to find female guests: “We’ve had far too many programs where male guests outnumber female guests three to one or four to one. We’ve even had a few programs where there have been no female guests at all.” Or maybe it’s not the finding of qualified women that appears to be the problem—while he says that “if we’re doing a debate on economics, 90% of economists are men,” he suggests it’s the booking of female guests that’s the really difficult part: “But we’ve also discovered there also seems to be something in women’s DNA that makes them harder to book. No man will ever say, ‘Sorry, can’t do your show tonight, I’m taking care of my kids.’ The man will find someone to take care of his kids so he can appear on a TV show. Women use that excuse on us all the time. No man will say, ‘Sorry, can’t do your show tonight, my roots are showing.’ I’m serious. We get that as an excuse for not coming on. But only from women.”

In an extremely unsurprising turn of events, this article has ignited a social-media firestorm. It’s possible Paikin was himself, though, surprised by the fact that he ignited such a firestorm. “I’m making an effort here. Why so much snark?” he asks in one tweet—and “I’m making a genuine effort at something here and so much of the feedback is such typical noise,” he complains in another.

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