Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s announced refusal to show up at the next in a never-ending series of televised debates raises a fundamental issue with Fox News. Is Fox News, which is airing the Jan. 28 debate and providing the moderators, serious about reporting the news and addressing the key issues of the day, or is the network just in the entertainment and celebrity business?
Can you really take Megyn Kelly seriously when she gets all gussied up every evening like its prom night? When I appear as a commentator on TV, which I do occasionally as a free-market economist and an investment newsletter editor, I might spend five minutes in the dressing room. But Kelly seems to spend hours in the make-up room before she goes on, applying slick lipstick and styling her ever-changing blond hair.
I do not intend to single out just Megyn Kelly, since Fox News is famous for the bimbo image of several of its anchorwomen, who typically wear short shirts, fake hairdos and tight outfits. Fox & Friends in the morning is a perfect example of such an over-the-top emphasis on glamour. I don’t doubt that Kelly and other anchorwomen on Fox News are educated, knowledgeable and intelligent, but their emphasis on image seems so excessive that it’s understandable if many viewers see them as babes rather than brains.
And the anchormen like Bill O’Reilly could be considered just as shameless, not for dressing up in tuxedos or custom-made suits, but for bringing “knock-out” women on their shows under the pretense of having them comment on a news item. Are those the best commentators available or just the ones who are so attractive that they can bring heightened ratings to shows anchored by Bill O’Reilly and others?
With the women on Fox News dressed like they are going out to a cocktail party, no wonder they are not taken seriously by certain people.
There’s at least one high-profile exception on Fox News to the bimbo image: anchorwoman Greta Van Susteren. She’s no bombshell and she does not have an especially attractive voice. But she’s a class act, dresses conservatively and asks tough questions. Fox News would do well to invite her to host the next Fox News debate.