"‘The Girls On Fox News Song’ And The Success of Fox’s Brand"
Austin Cunningham’s “The Girls On Fox News Song” may not be the most important contribution to the country music songbook in recent memory, but it’s a terrific explication of how Fox News built the element of its brand that’s reliant on very attractive women to draw in audiences:
“Honey sure beats vinegar to wash down the news we need,” Cunningham sings, and that’s part of the point. Fox News is selling the attractiveness of its anchors and commentators as much as it’s selling actual information. When the network is literally designing sets to make sure its female anchors’ legs will be visible on-air—not to mention sending Megyn Kelly on a long loop around the studio in high heels on election night—no matter the seriousness of the news at hand, it’s hard to argue that sex isn’t one of their products. And as an entertainment company, that’s certainly their prerogative to pick the products they’re interested in selling.
That said, I always wonder what it must be like to be a woman at the network and to be aware that your looks might easily overshadow the actual information you’re trying to convey. When Cunningham asks us to “Save some love for Greta, she’s the smartest of them all. Bet when she’s off the record, she’s the wildest one of all,” it kind of belies the idea that he’s interested in “beauty with brains.” And if I were Megyn Kelly, I’d be gritting my teeth and hoping that Fox had a plan to move me to Fox proper in primetime, or that Jeff Zucker’s CNN might be interested in hiring me and letting me wear a blazer.