Kurtz: "Fox News does seem to like video of scantily clad women"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On the February 4 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz teased an upcoming segment about "the phenomenon of scantily clad women on Fox News" and asked, "What's up with that?" During the segment, Kurtz played a portion of an interview from the February 1 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor between host Bill O'Reilly and radio host Laura Ingraham in which, as noted by Media Matters for America, Ingraham, in Kurtz's words, "objected to all the B-roll of babes" used by Fox News. Kurtz pointed out that "all the networks use B-roll -- that footage you see on the screen to illustrate a subject while someone is talking -- but for some, it's sexier than others."

Kurtz then offered another example of Fox News' propensity to air images of scantily clad women, highlighting a segment from the January 29 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Kurtz noted, "Fox News does seem to like video of scantily clad women, as Comedy Central's [host] Jon Stewart observed in examining why business anchor Neil Cavuto was interviewing waitresses from Hooters" on the January 24 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto. In the clip, Cavuto stated, "[I]t's been a controversial time for beautiful women. So you're all still waitresses?" Stewart added, "Well, I'm Neil Cavuto, and this is what I've been reduced to." Kurtz concluded, "Hey, anything to keep them watching."

Media Matters has noted several other examples (here, here, here, and here) of Your World segments featuring photos and videos of scantily clad women. Further, during various news reports covering the March 2006 Academy Awards, Fox News removed the text that normally appears at the bottom of the screen -- offering unobstructed views of female Fox News correspondents and commentators in revealing attire, as Media Matters noted.

From the February 4 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

KURTZ: Up next, we examine the phenomenon of scantily clad women on Fox News. What's up with that?

[...]

KURTZ: Now, all the networks use B-roll -- that footage you see on the screen to illustrate a subject while someone is talking -- but for some, it's sexier than others.

When radio host Laura Ingraham was on Bill O'Reilly's Fox show this week, she objected to all the B-roll of babes.

[begin video clip]

INGRAHAM: What is the purpose of your running the continuous loop? Are we going to run the B-roll of this?

O'REILLY: Yeah, we'll run -

INGRAHAM: Ok. This is what I'm talking about!

O'REILLY: Yes, we ran this last night for cosmetic surgery.

INGRAHAM: What is -- OK. Here's what I'm saying.

O'REILLY: Cosmetic surgery.

INGRAHAM: And I don't know, I don't know if there's a rampant midlife crisis going on in this network among the male anchors.

[end video clip]

KURTZ: FOX News does seem to like video of scantily clad women, as Comedy Central's Jon Stewart observed in examining why business anchor Neil Cavuto was interviewing waitresses from Hooters.

[begin video clip]

CAVUTO [video clip]: I was thinking when you guys were coming, it's been a controversial time for beautiful women. So you're all still waitresses?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE [video clip]: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE [video clip]: Yes.

STEWART: Well, I'm Neil Cavuto, and this is what I've been reduced to.

[end clip]

KURTZ: Hey, anything to keep them watching.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, CNN
Person
Howard Kurtz, Neil Cavuto
Show/Publication
Reliable Sources, Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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