I've read more of Dr. Stacey Patton's work than she's read of Amy Schumer's work, so I can safely conclude that she's a fraud.
Dr. Patton said a few things that surprised me. For starters, she said she’s not a specialist on comedy or humor. While she does enjoy comedy (she likes George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Martin Lawrence, the Queens of Comedy, and Bill Maher among others), she told me that watching comedy isn’t something she gets to do often. In fact, before the ‘Schumer issue’ came up, she had never seen Amy Schumer perform stand up, and she had never seen Schumer’s Comedy Central television show. Even more surprising, she said she didn’t watch any of Amy’s performances or shows while writing the article, not even as background for the piece. Her judgement was based on what she read, presumably in The Guardian, which had just published an article accusing Schumer of “having a blind spot for race.”
The Interrobang; Have you ever watched Amy’s television show… in preparation for the article?
Stacey Patton: Nope. Not at all.
The Interrobang: Her stand up set[s]? have you ever watched any of them?
Stacey Patton: Nope. None of them.
Despite seeing the quotes out of context, and without the benefit of knowing anything about Amy’s comedy, she was comfortable making judgements about whether Schumer’s comedy was or wasn’t racist. She also was comfortable deciding whether Schumer’s audience was or wasn’t racially diverse (she characterizes Amy’s following as predominately white), and she was comfortable to conclude that Schumer’s comedy breeds racism in others.
Nope. Not at all.
Patton savaged the work of an artist without ever hearing or seeing that work.
At a bare minimum, the holder of an advanced degree who comments on something in the culture should, you know, have actually seen the thing on which they are commenting. I think it is safe to say that this constitutes a form of academic fraud that would make any administrator cringe and run away.
To be this willfully dishonest about something speaks volumes on the veracity of Dr. Patton's work. And while this works great when you only have the low, low standards of Fred Hiatt's editorial page as your barometer, it doesn't work so well when you're trying to pass yourself off as a legitimate thinker.
Now you know what the bottom of the barrel looks like. This is really more of an indictment of the standards of the Washington Post than it is a curious glance inside of the swirling rage of Dr. Stacey Patton. At least she's up front about being a hack.