April 23, 2017

Yes, we covered this video clip yesterday, but I watched it again and something feels very right about it, and something feels wrong.

I am so glad Alisyn Camerota spoke up. Everyone that can come forward and talk about mistreatment of women in the workplace should be commended for doing so. I totally understand why some people don't.

And every woman listening to this clip will completely identify with Alisyn's description of the "out of body" experience you have when you are a victim of a sexual bully. Everything from an inappropriate comment to a harassing demand to a dirty touch and all the way to full-blown assault...most of us have experienced at least some of this and know exactly what she is talking about. Whether it's the brain's way of defending the psyche or not, it is common.

You step away from the situation mentally when you cannot do so physically. You pretend it didn't really happen. You cope.

But what remains is my opinion and my perception. Something was right and wrong about this interview.

Alisyn Camerota played 9 level chess taking everyone's prurient interest in the sexual harassment and then making her story about Roger Ailes's demands that everyone at Fox News deliver conservative propaganda.

That's the headline here. And it goes on at Fox regardless of gender or sexual victimhood of the employee. Toe the line of Right Wing propaganda, or pay the price. That's Fox "news."

That's what was right about Camerota's revelations. What's wrong with them? Well...I'm just gonna come out and say it:

I'll believe cable news culture has changed when women journalists and analysts are not given wardrobes that feature their bare thighs under a glass desk.

Don't anybody tell me Camerota wasn't completely aware of the optics of what she was doing. Camerota is shapely enough to display the bare thighs (eat your heart out, Fox News crotch couch) but hey, don't tell your serious news people they are required as part of their job to spout conservatism. That's a bridge too far.

That's some pretty huge shade there, Alisyn. Bravo.

And this is where I get prudish.

Camerota was brilliant but I'm still sad about it because women goddammit. She's sitting there being interviewed -- no offense, Brian Stelter is usually pretty good, but seriously? He's Humpty Dumpty. And she's gotta get the lashes and the hair lightening? Aaaand the mini skirt and the glass desk. CNN doesn't have a glass desk there so we can see more of Brian.

And frankly I don't want to see more of Brian or more of Alisyn or anyone else discussing what is going on in the world. We don't need Cable News to have a "sexy" element.

There's still a culture at Fox, CNN, and other networks that thinks cheesecake is okay to grab eyeballs. You think it isn't everywhere? Do a youtube search on "news upskirt" and get back to me. And you know the gender of the suits upstairs making those wardrobe decisions is the same gender making contraception decisions in the Trump White House.

I hardly think an executive board made up of women would let slide the camera angle put on Alisyn Camerota yesterday.

It's just television? Really?

Maybe it is, but then don't you dare call yourself a news channel. You're Baywatch. You're jiggle vision. And you are catering to the Roger Ailes/Donald Trump vision of womanhood.

It's not necessary. (The late Gwen Ifill did great news coverage and never did an upskirt video.) And it's offensive because it sexualizes and demeans the professionalism of what women's brains bring to the table.

Most women these days wear slacks to work. And women covering the news on television are at work. Let them cover the news without the leg show, and we'll talk about how culture is changing at Fox and other networks.

It's time for the entire Roger Ailes approach to television news to be eliminated as sexist and demeaning.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.