July 23, 2016

"I look at Roger, it’s like 'Mad Men.' This guy came of age in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s when it was a whole different culture."

"I don’t think he was thinking that [what he was saying] was really all that bad."

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.

“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.”
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?

Does Fox News look different to you now?
 
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64 comments:

Ron Winkleheimer said...

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?

Yes.

Seriously, there is a reason why the people in this photo are seated in the order they are in.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=foxnews+the+five&view=detailv2&&id=C73001F5D97BD8FF4C4D82CD3D128538E5D30439&selectedIndex=3&ccid=8GvHCBPB&simid=607994454818688977&thid=OIP.Mf06bc70813c1503517c4b7c161540686H0&ajaxhist=0

Tommy Duncan said...

The anchors can't all look like Gwen Ifill.

rhhardin said...

The news is for women and the leg shots are for men, who would not otherwise listen to that gender slant of news. That way they can watch together and turn up in ratings.

The women anchors have always been bimbos, and the males ken-dolls.

The pics tell you right away you're getting news from idiots.

Humperdink said...

"The anchors can't all look like Gwen Ifill."

Nor Candy "Mama Cass" Crowley.

tim maguire said...

The sexy young blondes thing may be great for ratings, but it also feeds into the "Faux News" meme. I went with choice number 1.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@rhhardin

So your contention is that attractive women can't be intelligent?

How very sexist.

Ron Winkleheimer said...


Also, it is untrue that all the Fox News female anchors and reporters are blond. There are several brunettes as well. There are (or were) red-heads as well. Fox news does not discriminate.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

One of the nice things about having a standard look for your women, and expecting them to put out, is that it must make staffing decisions much easier.

coupe said...

It's always the pimps fault. The whores are blameless.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Herridge

Degrees from Harvard and Columbia. Wonder who else had degrees from those universities?

CStanley said...

#1 with further explanation that I find that the sexiness is out of place in a professional setting. Megyn Kelly's shorter hair was an improvement but as time goes by she's getting more glam with the false eyelashes and chandelier earrings, with a look that's more appropriate for a cocktail party.

David Begley said...

"sexual exploitation of women in the grossest form"

Is this because the women wear dresses and the men long pants with ties?

AJ Lynch said...

MSM devotes more time and more newsprint on Fox News than it ever had before now that its founder is pushed out.

Laslo Spatula said...

Girl with the Pony Tail on the Treadmill:

They were interviewing people for the open position in Customer Service.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

This one girl came in with a short skirt, fake eyelashes -- the works.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

You could tell that she thought she was Hot.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

And they'll probably hire her because she is Hot.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

It won't matter what her skills are.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Her last job could've been as a stripper; it won't matter.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

She DID look like a stripper. Fuck-me shoes. Fake tits. Obviously fake tits.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I mean, I'm Hot, but I don't go around acting like I know it.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I might wear tight clothing sometimes, but it is Professional tight clothing.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

It could be a good thing. Maybe they'd stop staring at my ass and stare at hers, now.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I work hard for my ass.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Oh. And get this: the Bitch drove an Audi.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I wonder how she 'earned' that. Ha.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I bet she has STDs.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I bet she is RAMPANT with STDs. Her vagina is probably swarming with them. Like planes circling an airport.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I hope she fucks the boss and his dick falls off.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Maybe I should go shopping for some new outfits.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)


I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

The Puritans are back. The Puritans are back. And all sex outside marriage is a crime. Whose side are you on?

The sun is setting on the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Could we be offending our new computer masters by acting sexual instead of mechanical?

Dad said...

Wait. The "leg chair" was on Greg Gutfeld's Red Eye and was rarely filled by a leggy, blonde star. It held a variety of women, bless their hearts, and legs, and was certainly Greg's doing. I doubt that it had anything to do with Ailes.

Hagar said...

If they would just slow down their speech to a normal cadence and modulate their voices (just to normal speech; don't overdo it!), I would be happy and don't care what they look like.

john marzan said...

"said a former frequent guest commentator."

must be the disgruntled girl corey lewandowski manhandled

HT said...

"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?"

You are asking a question that no one seems (so far) interested in answering for the most part. I don't watch Fox News more than 2-3 times a year, so I can't say. But when I visit a certain relative, I will watch a little bit, and it's all fireworks and bright colors, the equivalent of high fructose corn syrup. I did watch some live streaming during the Republican "debates." I am not sure if Megan whatsohername was hosting then or not (Bill whatsohisname was mc'ing) but it was entertaining. I don't recall there being a lot of women reporters on that particular evening.

Now, to get away from the question you are asking and reply to some gotchas that the women are speaking up once the money stops coming in, well, yes, that's how that works. It's called harassment. And if all they were were pretty faces and not fueling/hitting the conservative nerve/sweet spot pretty effectively over and over, then their ratings would be awful and they'd have been fired a way long time ago.

pm317 said...

So Roger Ailes made Megyn wear all that bimbo makeup and the tank top on Wednesday night? Oh, but wait.. Roger was already on the way out.

pm317 said...

"said a former frequent guest commentator."

No, I think it is the Dem woman who comes on the Five.

Quaestor said...

This doesn't explain Greta Van Susteren, does it? She's blond, right? Sorta. Blond like Barbara Boxer — or Hillary, for that matter. Better blond than gray, I suppose.

So what if Ailes picked his anchors for their looks? Tell me women are unconcerned with how they look, and resent men looking at them. I dare ya.

rhhardin said...

So your contention is that attractive women can't be intelligent?

There's no money in intelligence.

Guildofcannonballs said...

With the American news-watching audience having been exposed to Helen Thomas for so very overly long, Ailes saw this "Celestine Prophetic pretty-girl gambit" as a logical extension of the "us vs. them" mindset Fox saw such great opportunity in.

The old "niche market that is half of the voting public" quip applies.

I will say the George Will/Bill O'Reilly bizarium-of-myopicy was entertaining and informative.

And about ten years ago I thought RedEye was kinda cool.

EMD said...

Has the WaPo watched any news from Hungary or Albania?

Or watched the weather 'girls' from South America?

EMD said...

There's also the self-selection bias of those who go into television "journalism."

It's usually "easier" in the sense that you're more a reader than a hardscrabble, go-getting, on-the-beat, pounding-the-pavement reporter.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Japanese are big on bukkake videos where the woman is portraying a news anchor.

She continues to attempt to read the news while short Japanese guys with pixelated cocks ejaculate on her hair and face, or push their pixelated cocks into her now-pixelated mouth.

And yet she keeps trying to read the news.

Eventually she looks like a glazed donut, but the news: she keeps at it.

Sometimes a guy bends her over the desk and pixelates her from behind, but this is optional, as far as I can tell.

Maybe the Washington Post can do a story on that.


I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

For the record, I have always liked Gwen Ifill's looks, very pleasant and optimistic, and back when she worked as a network reporter, she did that quite well; she is no dummy, just quite liberal, but then that is her shtick on PBS.

iowan2 said...

Some one else can check, but along with the striking good looks,didn's he also require extremely smart women?

Paddy O said...

Sheesh, it's like they think newsrooms should be like the White House in the 90s.

Kansas City said...

Look at Ann's photo.

Kansas City said...

On substance, the attractive women on Fox generally equal or exceed the males on brain power, talent and ability.

sane_voter said...

Of all the major female Fox news hosts I have seen, I think the least impressive was Elizabeth Hasselbeck. And she lasted about 2 1/2 years.

(I know she says she quit to spend time with her kids . . . sure she did)

Hagar said...

If a woman is over 30 and still has "striking good looks," you probably should not try matching wits with her.

Rusty said...

Blogger Dad said...
Wait. The "leg chair" was on Greg Gutfeld's Red Eye and was rarely filled by a leggy, blonde star. It held a variety of women, bless their hearts, and legs, and was certainly Greg's doing. I doubt that it had anything to do with Ailes.

That was the only reason to watch The Five. Well. Hot chicks and watching the resident liberal make a fool out of himself.

Bob Boyd said...

The Fox News circle of hotness.

gcarroll said...

Is Ailes the new Cosby? Let's all pile on.

Phil 3:14 said...

I watch a moderate amount of Fox. Two recurring thoughts:

" Why doesn't Gretchen get a new hair do?"

"Megyn's makeup and clothes are distracting."

MayBee said...

I just need someone to tell me - please- that Carol Costello at CNN got her job because she slept with someone or let someone flirt with her. Because she is terrible, and I can't believe she has her own hour long show.

MayBee said...

I actually *like* it when the smart women are pretty. I find that empowering. For years, women had to dull themselves down to be taken seriously. Think of Jane Pauly with her sensible hair style and conservative clothing, back in the day.
Megan Kelly may be going over the top lately with the glam, but I much prefer the idea that you don't have to be plain to be smart.

James Graham said...

Thoughts:

Will oh-so-progressive Colbert now forbid female guest to show any leg?

How many Fox viewers are reading these "exclusive" revelations here or elsewhere?

How many care?

Humans are sexual creatures. Deal with it.

David Begley said...

"Like planes circling an airport."

Classic and LOL.

Unknown said...

" He also pushed for a very specific look: blond and leggy."

Brit Hume to a tee.

damikesc said...

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.

Red Eye is the show in question and they mocked a lot of the stuff FNC and other channels did. They never actually focus on legs, even with a former Miss America contestant as a member of the ensemble. They had one anchor (Patti Ann Browne) do gangsta rap intros for Red Eye during her appearances for a year or so. Now they do their occasional "Out of context quote of the show" where they splice a comment said and remove all context to make it look bad (and usually funny).

mockturtle said...

@MayBeeI just need someone to tell me - please- that Carol Costello at CNN got her job because she slept with someone or let someone flirt with her. Because she is terrible, and I can't believe she has her own hour long show.

Costello can totally ruin my breakfast with her little head-shakes, unapologetic editorializing and rag-mop personality. Because of her, I seldom watch CNN in the morning.

Hagar said...

Shannon Bream undoubtedly is very bright, but she should not go bright and chirpy while annonucing that Turkey and Iran just exchanged nuclear barrages.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I couldn't vote because we don't watch Fox News anymore. Not since Megyn Kelly and her kerfluffle with Trump plus she looks like a high priced call girl. So do many of the other talking bimbo heads. Really? How about just present the news. And Bill O'Reilly bloviating all over the place or Sean Hannity robotically repeating the same mantras over and over and over.

We watch Fox Business regularly, though. Neil Cavuto is the best.

rhhardin said...

On substance, the attractive women on Fox generally equal or exceed the males on brain power, talent and ability.

Smart males don't go into news reader positions, anyway straight ones.

rhhardin said...

I like Degan McDowell, not on Fox in her professional role but on the radio. Used to be on Imus, where Imus loosened her up a lot; and now on WABC's Noam Laden at 5-6am as a call-in business update. In fact I don't know exactly what she looks like. It seems to be highly variable.

She, like all women in male jobs, is very grim and uptight if her competence in that pert of the role is challenged, or in particular poked-fun at. A guy just returns a countering bon mot.

But she's self-deprecating in her persona as a frumpy female making this or that comment. She's always having trouble pushing enough back fat to the front to produce breasts, for example.

mockturtle said...

My favorite, by far, on Fox is Harris Faulkner. Smart, pretty, poised and doesn't sound like a munchkin.

Curious George said...

Whoever was responsible for Patti Ann Browne...well God bless them.

Limited blogger said...

I piece my news together myself. I use a combination of the internet and the cable news outlets. I watch CNN and MSNBC so I can find out what is being lied about or covered up.

pm317 said...

Yeah, I like Harris too!

donald said...

Carol Costello fucked Ted Turner.

Leon Liz Wickersham till Lynne Russell who didn't play that shit, he tapped em all.

donald said...

Leon should have been from. Don't know how that happened, and by saying Russell didn't play that, did not mean to imply that he stopped terrorizing attractive female employees.

dreams said...

"I like Degan McDowell, not on Fox in her professional role but on the radio. Used to be on Imus, where Imus loosened her up a lot; and now on WABC's Noam Laden at 5-6am as a call-in business update. In fact I don't know exactly what she looks like. It seems to be highly variable."

I first became aware of Degan McDowell about ten or eleven years on the Fox Business investing shows on Sat. morning talking about stocks, politics and the economy. I think she is good looking and smart.

hombre said...

"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)?"

Neither Carlson nor Kelly claim Ailes had "sexual access." Where does this come from, wishful thinking?

Real American said...

ok, put a bunch of sloppy, fat pigs on the air and see how many people watch.

Original Mike said...

"It's just a simple thing to like looking at pretty women." winning by a country mile. Most of life is simpler than the Erudites want it to be.

rcocean said...

I'm sure all those leggy blondes (natural and otherwise) were just so upset that they got the job based on their looks.

I'm sure they all demanded to be judged purely on their journalistic talents and demanded to wear pant suits.

damikesc said...

Whoever was responsible for Patti Ann Browne...well God bless them.

Her "notorious P.A.B" raps are great.

Ann Althouse said...

""sexual exploitation of women in the grossest form" Is this because the women wear dresses and the men long pants with ties?"

I defined my term in the parenthetical, so I don't know why you need to ask that question.

mockturtle said...

As always, Laslo, an insightful post.

Darrell said...

Yeah. FOX should take advice from the Lefties.