Shut up and be pretty

Sunday, August 5, 2007 at 23:57 | Posted in Journalism, Media, TV, video | Leave a comment

Margaret writes in Transblawg about a nasty incident with British Channel 4 reporter Sue Turton being pinched in the back by a bastard in Oxford in live television while reporting about recent floods. While Margaret’s post focuses on translation of legal terms involved with judicial proceedings around the incident, I am interested in some other aspects of the case. The point I want to make is that female reporters seem to run a considerably greater risk of being exposed to humiliating situations in the air than male reporters.

As this YouTube video shows, Ms Turton had no way of anticipating that this sort of a cowardly act was going to take place. The bloke comes out of the blue from behind and does his dirty deed as Ms Turton delivers her report to millions of viewers. She deserves my deepest respect for being able to finish her report as if nothing had happened although I can only imagine the feelings she must have experienced at the time.

Another video clip, also at YouTube, features Gretchen Carlson’s legs in a Fox News Show. Why do I get the feeling that nobody bothers to listen what Ms Carlon is actually saying? The focus is definitely not on what she has to say.

Unlike Sue Turton, Gretchen Carlson must have had the option of not appearing in the show the way she was exposed. Very true, that option was probably mainly theoretical. She likely stood faced with the option of appearing the way she did or not appearing at all.

The studio set up shows something pretty interesting. Both of the male reporters wear dark business suites. Both of them have laptops on the table. They are not seen using the computers which seem to be there to add up their credibility and possibly act as cover for too revealing camera angles.

Gretchen Carlson has no laptop because she is not supposed to be taken seriously by the viewers. She seems to be in the studio for the sole purpose of exposing her visual virtues. Another classical case of “shut up and be pretty”.

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