On today’s front page of the Fox News online spew factory known as Fox Nation, there was a featured article that raised concerns about sexism in the media. Of course, it wasn’t directed to the dominance of ditzy blonds that populate Fox’s programming, or the fixation they have on First Lady Michelle Obama’s wardrobe or weight. It was that the Washington Post crossed some line of political correctness that offended Fox’s commitment to gender equality and respect when they published a story about Michelle Bachmann’s performance at the New Hampshire GOP debate. But take a look at the “Pic of the Day” that appeared just to the right of Bachmann’s on the web site:
The first thing that should be noted about this outrage is that the Fox Nationalists clearly don’t know what the phrase “Assume the position means.” They seem to think it has something to do with a sexual position. That, of course, is not so, but it tells us a lot about the pervs at Fox News. The phrase is a reference to a police command that a subject submit to a search for weapons or other contraband.
The next thing to note is that the Washington Post didn’t initiate the use of the phrase. They merely reported that John King, the CNN moderator of the debate, used it to prepare the candidates for the start of the debate. It was a play on words with an association to “positions” that candidates take on issues. In as much as the Post editorialized the phrase with regard to Bachmann, it was in a positive manner, saying that she “rose above the usual positioning” and that she “stole the show.”
Finally, the spectacle of Fox News becoming disturbed about sexism is a joke. As alluded to above, they are generally dismissive of legitimate complaints of sexism, which they portray as liberal whining and political correctness. But worse than that, they ceaselessly exploit sexism on the air in pursuit of horny viewers. So I took a look at Fox Nation’s “Pic of the Day” for just this year and found that they might not be as sensitive to the prevalence of sexism as they pretend to be.
This exploitation of women’s sexuality for commercial purposes is a part of the Fox News identity. It is Rupert Murdoch’s editorial creed and is practiced across his properties. If they could get away with it, they would broadcast nude pictures of women as Murdoch’s British tabloid The Sun does daily on its Page Three feature. This has long been one of the most blatant hypocrisies of the Murdoch empire which purports to advocate a Puritan-style, faith-based, morality. Somehow, Fox’s glassy-eyed congregation is able to ignore this contradiction.
To be fair, while researching this article I found that Fox was not entirely consumed with the sexual exploitation of women. There was one example of a male victim of this rhetorical abuse:
That’s Republican congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois. And, no, this is not a picture that he tweeted to a fan online. It is a picture that he posed for and was published in Men’s Health Magazine. Consequently it was on newsstands nationwide and seen by millions, not just a handful of individuals on a social network. That’s apparently the difference. If you send naked pictures of yourself to a couple of net-friends you are called upon to resign. If you publish them in magazines with millions of readers, as Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) did, it’s perfectly OK. Got that? And if you’re going to embroil yourself in a sex scandal, at least get some actual sex. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) were both caught with prostitutes in violation of the law, but they are both still serving in Congress.