Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Republican Blow-up Dolls

When did female television reporters start wearing cocktail dresses? And when did they start making Maxim's Top 100 List of hottest women?

I might be wrong about this, but the trend may have been started (like so many other wonderful things) by Fox News. I am far from the first to remark on the interchangeable blond bimbettes that grace the FN news "team" (see John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, among many others). A short list includes Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Ainsley Earhardt, Martha Maccallum, Jill Dobson, Chris Fernandez, Juliet Huddy, Courtney Friel, Carolyn Shively, Dana Blanton, Heather Nauert, Jenna Lee, I could go on...

Is it just me or is that a whole lot of T&A for a "news channel"? Of course, CNN and MSNBC have their share of news "hotties" (see Bartiromo "money honey," among others). But FN takes the presentation of news to a whole new level, IMHO.

Don't misunderstand, I love low-cut dresses and mini-skirts as much as the next person (okay, maybe a little more ;) But you would have to be in serious denial to miss the pattern here. You also have to wonder if the women reporters are contractually obligated to display at least a little T and/or A every other appearance (if they wore stripper outfits every day, it might tip their viewers off that this is not exactly a legitimate news organization).

Even more remarkably, a study of current reporters at MSNBC, CNN and FN showed that FN has substantially higher proportion of blond reporters than the other networks. In fact, fully 65 percent of the Fox reporters were blond against 44 percent for MSNBC and 39 percent for CNN. What this means is not entirely clear, but it is a far higher percentage than the U.S. population. And I would bet dollars to donuts that there is a strong correlation between sex and hair color at FN. .

Seriously, what IS that? Only one or two of them looks distinctive enough that I would be able to pick them out in a line-up of Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. If I had to guess, I would say that the FN marketing dept. ascertained that, all things equal, hot blond anchors/reporters get higher ratings than hot brunette anchors/reporters.

But this is not the whole story. The conservative movement is known for rallying around hot women who sound a bit like Hitler. Okay, maybe not Hitler exactly...like someone who is pay a high salary for sounding like a complete ahole while looking like a blow-up doll. To wit:

Ann Coulter was a pioneer in marrying sex appeal with a psycho a-hole personality (sex appeal, that is, if you ignore her Adam's apple). And yes, that is her posing on the steps of the Capitol Building in a latex dress. Klassy.

Pam Gellar is a particularly loathsome conservative blogger who is a new-ish additional to the pantheon of Republican blow-up dolls. She has a blog called "Atlas Shrugged" where she regularly calls the president a "terrorist" and happily shares her nutty birther conspiracy theories along with a variety of racist and anti-Semitic views to any and everyone who gives her air time. She is also a plastic surgery disaster.

This is almost too comically amateurish to be believed. This video of Michelle Malkin dressed up like a 13-year-old school girl was created and distributed by Malkin herself. Malkin has infamously linked Obama to the "Chicago machine," charging widespread corruption and graft in the White House. She has also, unbelievably (given that both of her parents are Philippine immigrants), defended the U.S. internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

I recommend watching this with the sound off :) This is S. E. Cupp, one of the newer Republican blow-up dolls. She has an Ivy League education, is a former ballet dancer, and has chosen to peddle propaganda for a living. She recently authored a book in which she argues that Christianity is under attack in America and is in danger of disappearing from public life. Oh, and she is an atheist. Confused yet? More importantly, is she wearing thigh-high boots in this interview?

All kidding aside, this post isn't intended as a bitchy swipe against hot Republican women ("don't hate me because I'm beautiful"), but rather to draw attention to the deeply ambivalent position women occupy in the conservative movement. The most prominent conservative women in the movement are not just attractive women capitalizing on their looks to get a message across. They are there for objectification and actively and overtly objectify themselves. Their appearance and their "smarts" IS the message, in other words. They are the "ideal woman" in the conservative subculture. The image below comparing "ours" (hot Republican women) with "theirs" (ugly Democratic women) says it all. It is almost too atavistic to be believed, and speaks to the sexism and misogyny that permeates the conservative movement.

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