Said an unnamed former Fox News executive, quoted in a WaPo article titled "The fall of Roger Ailes: He made Fox his ‘locker room’ — and now women are telling their stories."
Ailes... succeeded in obliterating his main rival, CNN, in the ratings and making huge profits. He also pushed for a very specific look: blond and leggy. Television had long been the realm of perfectly coiffed commentators and anchors, but under Ailes, Fox seemed to be taking the ethos to another level.What happens to Fox News now that its trademark style has become connected, in the minds of viewers, with the sexual exploitation of women in the grossest form (the executive punishing or rewarding employees based on their response to his demands for sexual access)? Do those overly made-up blondes seem different and creepy now that you know the allegations against Ailes? Or was what was on screen always overtly sexual, following a longstanding sex-sells formula that everyone already knew about that stands separate and distinct from any behind-the-scenes sexual transactions?
“Generally, women accept that at Fox you are expected to wear skirts [and] dresses and that the makeup people are going to slather it on and make you look like a bimbo,” said a former frequent guest commentator. One time, the former commentator said, higher-ups at the network reprimanded makeup artists for putting her on-air without false eyelashes, even though she hated wearing them.
A late-night anchor boasted about the “leg chair” on his set, where the audience could get a full view of the on-air talent’s legs.
“From the very beginning, Roger wanted attractive women, translucent desks,” a prominent early staffer said in an interview. The message from Ailes was unmistakable, the former staffer said: “I want to see her legs. I want the viewers to see their legs. I want people to watch Fox News even if the sound is turned down.”