22 January, 2006


I have a new job in a fancy newsroom full of murmurs into phones and the perpetual pitter patter of keyboards and dozens of flat-screen TVs hanging from ceilings blazing with the overpowering light shows of CNN, MSNBC, Sky TV, and of course Fox News. As the day goes on, I sometimes zone out gazing at one or another monitor to see what the networks consider to be important.

Friday Fox News carried a lengthy report about the possibility that Victoria's Secret might be marketing to teens. Unbelievable, isn't it? That a maker of women's lingerie would try to sell it to the women most insecure about their bodies and most susceptible to marketing messages? The ones at the beginning of their brand-loyalty lives? Shocking -- almost as shocking as Crest toothpaste marketing to teens, or Fox News marketing to teens.

This story struck me as funny because the anti-porn do-gooder being interviewed, Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, was, compared to the usual fake-tan pankcake makeup broadcast babes incredibly homely. I'm sure she was motivated by a real concern that young women receive too many messages promoting early sex. Which is a fair concern, even if her group deals with the issue in ridiculous ways. She was also on-screen for less than a quarter of her interview. The entire time she was talking, the network was playing tape from the Victoria's Secret fashion show. It cracked me up that Fox was able to use supposedly moral scolds as a medium for their only cleavage of the day.

Meanwhile, American liberals are all upset because the mass media, which includes me, is not spending as much energy on the Bush Administration scandals as it did on Clinton's blowjob. The thing they don't understand is that Fox never cared about Clinton one way or the other. They don't DO politics. TV news producers couldn't care less who's in the White House, so long as it's exciting. Clinton's routine good governance and feel-good speeches might have brought in some viewers. But every good producer knows that there's nothing like boobies.


I've been accused of having ridiculously low standards for applying the label of "beautiful" to people, and while that's certainly not in danger of happening here, I'm a bit surprised at the incredibly homely  tag. (Though she would appear to be traditional . She may even be wheatish.) The juxtaposition does sound amusing, however.

To be fair, the scandal seems to be over "tw eens" not teens, that somewhat ridiculous demographic term for not yet 12. Which does strike me as (barely) slightly more shocking.  

Posted by Saheli

i like that according to that bio, this spinoff organization of the CWA believes in "the unity of truth." i also believe in this, because bob marley told me:

one love, one heart
let's get together and
feel all right

and i believe that is what the concerned women of america are trying to tell us. 

Posted by david

She was not incredibly homely. But by the standards of broadcast TV, she was a total dog. I will make a correction.  

Posted by hedgey

drats! no footage of the report?

i've been on a semi-boycott of victoria's secret for years, but i have to say, even if they did not market their "pink" line to youngins' someone else would (abercrombie, anyone?) i remember telling my uncle's first wife (who had a pre-teen daughter from her second marriage), a couple of years back that she was really lucky that her daughter was into avril lavigne, and not britney, because it equated to more modest wardrobe choices.

i don't know if janice crouse addressed this, but i am more concerned about the VS mall displays featuring provocatively posed and dressed, real doll-type mannequins in the likeness of VS models. how do you explain that to a 4-year-old on the way to kay bee toys? 

Posted by echan

english people are afraid of water, so they cover their swimsuits in frills that would be ruined if they got wet? 

Posted by david

The markets must think Kellogs and Nickleodeon will win---commodity markets reached a 25-year sugar high . Though I don't know if high-fructose corn syrup trades in Chicago.  

Posted by Saheli

bah, clicked on wrong link again.

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