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Women on Television News; Only Attractive Females Need Apply.

By Mike Fak(18,246) Mike Fak

Posted Monday, December 31, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by Mike Fak

I am far from being a prudish man. As I approach the age of 60, I still enjoy looking at attractive women. Much like when I was a seven-year-old looking in the window of Hanover’s Bakery, I enjoy the view. That being said, even by my “girl watching" standards I am concerned about the continued direction by news organizations on television. My observations tell me it appears they only seem to be able to hire attractive, good looking women to disseminate the news. I believe, and it appears to be getting worse rather than better, that this physical “model like" requirement for women in the news is patently unfair and sexist.

Of course, I’m sure many women will tell me ‘so and so’ is a remarkably handsome man but run through all the local and cable news shows some night and tell me that you see as many old, stodgy, worn for wear women telling you the news as there are men. It has to be a given that when it comes to getting into television news that unattractive females need not apply. I wonder why more isn’t made of this obviously sexist wave in television land.

Have you noticed that on major cable networks like Fox or MSNBC or CNN that not only are women hosts all striking, but reporters and special contributors to the airwaves almost always are also attractive females? Has it come to the point where a female wanting to break into television news not only must be intelligent and be able to communicate well but she must be a good looking specimen of her gender in order to get the job?

Now I can think of a few exceptions to this observation. As this column is not designed to criticize the few women who no doubt jumped through hoops to get where they were, I won’t mention names.

By and large, however, it must be obvious that news moguls believe viewers will stay on their station longer and more often if they have something in the window worth staring at and thinking about. If I am wrong, please direct me to what young, plain Jane but brilliant reporter they have on their network.

This move towards making the news a visual attraction for men isn’t just an American business model. A recent trip to Chicago proved that for me.

Chicago currently has four Spanish speaking networks and two Korean channels to feed the city's heavy populations of both with language and cultural friendly programming.

As I was clicking the dial I stopped on one Hispanic station where two women were giving the day’s news. The women were both remarkably attractive and although they both wore impeccable business suits, their skirts were far higher than the standards for conventional business attire. To help viewers note these women’s marvelous legs, the two were standing up giving the news from a perspective that allowed viewers to see all that the good Lord had given them.

Although I understand and speak Spanish to a small degree, the words were going too fast to catch all the stories but, as at the pastry shop so many years ago, I stayed there looking in the window known as television watching these young women.After a commercial break, the two were now seated at a desk and I thought at least the ploy of using their looks was now over but it wasn’t

The desk the two ladies sat at was glass topped and open fronted. Frequently the camera panned back so that viewers could readily stay fixed on all these women physically offered both above and below the table line.

I thought that was a bit much and continued flicking channels until I came upon one of the Korean stations also reporting the news. Here again, an especially cute, young Korean woman was standing up giving the news. She too was dressed in a well-tailored business suit. She too wore a skirt about a half foot higher than what business standards would consider appropriate. Yes, she had a set of marvelous legs by the way but is that now the gold standard for what a woman must possess to be a newscaster in this world?

It became obvious to me that this movement to having only attractive women giving the news is not an American concept. It seems to be a world wide movement as the news gets dumbed down into agendas, party politics and who looks so good that you don’t care what she is saying.

The problem is as I watch a certain news show right now I am concentrating on the incredibly attractive guest host rather than what she is saying. I fear the networks have been playing me. I never could get enough of looking into Hanover’s Bakery window.

This Blog Post has been read 413 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Monday, December 31, 2007
View other posts by Mike Fak

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