Fox News is the clear leader in the cable television news race, far outpacing MSNBC and CNN.
Fox News also is the clear leader in legs and short skirts and it isnâ€™t getting there by accident. Based on a biography of Roger Ailes, who founded and runs the network, the orders apparently come down from the top: short skirts, lots of leg!
Is the Fox dominance in the ratings a coincidence? I report. You decide.
The other day I was channel surfing and came upon a program called "Outnumbered" on the Fox News channel. The gig for the show is that four women sit on couches while one guy sits in the middle and they gab about the news or popular culture or almost anything that comes to mind.
Picture this: four really good looking women, all in different colored simple dresses. All of them with their legs crossed and high heels dangling. And showing lots of leg. I mean lots of leg. In most cases we are talking mid-thigh.
Now I wasnâ€™t particularly bothered. I am proud to say Iâ€™m a leg man. Give me a well-turned ankle and Iâ€™m intrigued. Always have been.
The next morning I was watching "Good Morning America" and they have a new set, with a glass table. There was anchor Lara Spencer, sitting next to Robin Roberts with her legs crossed, a short skirt and showing lots of thigh through the top of that glass table. Robin was wearing pants.
I began to pay attention. Martha MacCallum on Fox, Kate Bolduan on CNN, Robin Meade on HLN. Katie Couric, for Godâ€™s sake. Everywhere I turned, it was like everybody is trying to keep up with Fox, while Fox seems determined to maintain its lead.
Gabriel Sherman recently wrote a very respected biography of Ailes and here areÂ several excerpts on the subject:
"The topic of the dress code and makeup of Fox News' female personalities has long been the subject of scrutiny among writers. Fox News host Gretchen Carlson recently admitted that "pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends."
An anecdote of Ailes regarding former Fox News reporter Kiran Chetry:
"Anchor Bob Sellers remembered Ailes once calling the control booth. 'I was doing the weekend show with Kiran Chetry. He called up and said, 'Move that damn laptop, I can't see her legs!'"
Sherman reports that Ailes "had admiration for [former Fox host Catherine Crier's] legs" and was livid when she appeared on-air wearing pants:
"He had admiration for her legs," a senior executive said. In one meeting, Ailes barked, "Tell Catherine I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits."
The strategy seems to be working for the ultra-conservative Fox. The network has long been a mouthpiece for the Republican party and the Ailes-fueled right-wing fascination with exposed shapely legs may also help explain how we got Sarah Palin, who has nice legs, and not much else.
MSNBC is the mouthpiece for the Democratic party, but all of their female hosts sit behind a desk. Where the heck are the consultants on this one?
I understand the mantra that sex sells. And it clearly sells for Fox. I donâ€™t think we have reached NSFW yet, but it may well come once we start to see the legs of Wolf Blitzer or Bill Oâ€™Reilly.
Letâ€™s hope that day is a long, long way away.
ED Hill was one lady who did buck the trend at Fox. Her legs were the stuff of legend with her legions of male admirers, but she infuriated them about ten years ago when she went through a protracted phase of encasing them in pants virtually every day. One can't help but wonder whether this was a factor in FNC's decision not to renew her contract..
Julie Banderas was another committed pants wearer when she anchored the Fox Report some years back. Then she was abruptly removed from the anchor slot and assigned to reporting duties back for reasons that were never entirely clear. Lo and behold she has recently reappeared back as Fox Report anchor but her pants have not. Go figure.
Martha MacCallum is another Fox lady who used to regularly wear pants but now seems to assiduously adhere to the the skirts and dresses culture. In fact the only lady who does regularly wear pants in the Fox studio these days in Megyn Kelly, albeit infrequently (once or twice a month if that) and it doesn't seem to have halted her meteoric and much deserved climb through the organization.
Laying my cards on the table I really don't have a problem with either Fox politics or their very transparent policy when it comes to skirts, dresses heels and shapely legs. In fact I rather enjoy the fact that the legions of Fox ladies who never, ever wear pants in the FNC Studio - Ainsley Earhart, Jenna Lee, Andrea Tantaros, Jedidiah Billa, Juliet Huddy, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Jo Nousochousky, Cheryl Casone, Heather Childers, Lori Rothman, Harris Faulkner, Sandra Smith, Heather Nauert, Shannon Bream, Molly Line, Patti Ann Browne and yes Gretchen Carlson to name but a few - drive the feminists wild with rage. And being primarily conservative women, I suspect that the ladies themselves rather enjoy tweaking the feminists' tail by dressing in a way that flatters and expresses their femininity, in defiance of the prevailing Maoist/feminist PC notion that a woman has to dress in a dull boring pant suit in order to be taken seriously in her career. Moreover, lets face it, far from being male chauvinist stooges these women are great role models of female success - very intelligent, highly educated, beautiful and well remunerated. Good luck to them and kudos to Fox for showcasing their talents in every sense of the word.
Hahahahahahhaha. *gasp* Hahahahahhahahahhahaahahaha.
That's right, Dave. Nobody is watching FoxNews for their content... it's for the legs. Hahahahahhahahahhahhahhaha. "Conservative leaning news and principles can't possibly be popular... what can we pin their success on? How about skirts?" Hahahahhahahhahahahhahaha.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published July 29, 2016
Milwaukee is a proud city, but we are not without our warts - and our biggest wart, the one that we should all be ashamed of, hobnobbed with a presidential candidate Thursday. Filling in for Mark Belling, Sheriff David Clarke interviewed Donald Trump.
Published July 28, 2016
It is now official that Democrat Hillary Clinton will oppose Republican Donald Trump in the race to be the next president of the United States. We won't get a winner, however. Instead, we will end up with a president who is merely a survivor.
Published July 26, 2016
Being an Uber driver in Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets Dave Begel meet some of the most interesting people, residents as well as visitors to the city. Find out where Begel took guests in the latest installment of Tales of the Road.
Published July 21, 2016
So the nightmare is true and Donald Trump actually may be president. The whole thing has made Dave Begel wonder about prominent conservatives in Wisconsin and whether they will support Trump. It turns out that they are split on the nomination.
Published July 19, 2016
Summer theater in Wisconsin usually means Spring Green or Door County. But there are several summer productions that look interesting and that range from the classical to the experimental, both indoors and under the stars of Milwaukee.
Published July 14, 2016
People say that America is more divided now than ever, but it was less than a lifetime ago when this country was torn apart by the quest for civil rights and the drive to end the war in Vietnam. Those times were full of violent demonstrations.
Published July 12, 2016
The Milwaukee Rep has announced a unique training program for teenage actors in the city, as part of the company's commitment to stimulating dialogue and creating engagement opportunities revolving around social issues facing the city.
Published July 8, 2016
They looked just like any other happy couple coming out of Summerfest when I picked them up at the staging area. But once they got into the car, the tension was obvious, and eventually, it boiled over.
Published July 5, 2016
All of the arts enable us to see things, especially in ourselves, we might otherwise miss. I have an idea, and it's something that could help brand Milwaukee better than any flag, slogan or video. Let's make Milwaukee the epicenter of the world for public art.
Published June 30, 2016
Now that the OSPP has exploded in mid-air like the Big Bang fireworks, the question is where do we go from here? The plan, which many saw as the right wing continuing to try and chip away at MPS, didn't have much of a chance of working.