David Folkenflik, the NPR media correspondent and author of Murdoch’s World, recently revealed a little-noticed feature of Fox News’ afternoon opinion panel The Five. It’s called the “leg cam,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Speaking on November 11 to an audience member in Los Angeles who asked about the network’s portrayal of its female talent, the book-touring author (who is well-sourced within the network) responded:
There’s a camera that they have, and what they do — I’m told this is absolutely true — they sort of sort the women they have by the degree of attractiveness, and particularly the degree of attractiveness of the legs. I believe it’s the seat on the front right where, having arranged this hierarchy, they put the woman with the best legs there and they have a camera that goes directly for the legs. And so essentially they have what they call the “leg cam,” and that is to accentuate the sleekness and design of that particular person on-air.
Yesterday’s episode of The Five, with Andrea Tantaros in the leg seat, seemed to confirm Folkenflik’s account. Witness:
As did Wednesday’s episode, when Kimberly Guilfoyle occupied the same chair:
Fox News has a history of emphasizing female legs. “This is Fox News,” an “insider” told Roger Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman last year, following Karl Rove’s on-air election-night meltdown. “So anytime there’s a chance to show off Megyn Kelly's legs they’ll go for it.” Indeed, Kelly is the only prime-time Fox anchor whose studio desk permits viewers to glimpse her legs. At least Roger Ailes’ network is consistent.
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[Video via LAObserved, Zócalo Public Square]