Since this slumber party is dragging, time for a game: Truth or Sexism!
You’re a woman and the local TV news program you anchor isn’t #1 or a strong #2 in the market. Your contract is up for renewal. You’re a proven journalist, got a few regional Emmys. But you’re 50+ and troweling on makeup. You’re intelligent and still in the 90th percentile of American pulchritude.
So, do you…
Take a new one-year deal with no raise, station option for a second? (While your male counterpart is offered three years with step raises.)
Or become the PR person for the medical center at 95% of your present salary?
The answer is obvious.
Which brings me to the point: The term “sexing up the news” once referred to flirting with sensational content.
Now “sexing up the news” is taken literally. Fox News and ESPN are the two worst offenders, but likely there are others with lower ratings.
At Fox, hosts with shapely legs wearing short dresses and cruel shoes (Hi, Megyn!) are showcased with cameras in strategic positions. At ESPN, entire shows are done with everybody shot head-to-toe.
For the men who played the game being discussed, this shows off their tailored suits and bad taste in shoes. It is obvious the visual target is the blonde woman with the bright teeth in the short black dress who can’t decide which pose to strike.
Stand like a model? Like she’s bored at a cocktail party? Cross her legs like she needs to pee?
What sport were they talking about, anyway? My personal assistant once told me TV would grow out of this, but it hasn’t.