Here’s Some Math to Explain the Woes of the Oscars Telecast

Alissa Wilkinson asks today why no one wants to host the Oscars these days. I’m here to help. Everyone loves Venn diagrams, so here’s the answer in the form of a Venn diagram:

It’s an impossible job. Half the country wants PG-13, the other half wants R. Half the country wants it to be all about diversity and inclusiveness, the other half just wants to see movie stars. Half the country wants Bob Hope, the other half wants Lenny Bruce.

You’re going to get hammered no matter what you do. It won’t help your career, it doesn’t pay much money, and it’s a pain in the ass to do it. The real question isn’t why no one wants to do it, it’s why it took so long for comedians to finally give up on the whole thing.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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