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Today's 'Duh' Moment: Men Are Distracted By Sexy Anchors, Study Says

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 25th 2011 7:00PM
Kimberly Guilfoyle, Jamie Colby and Megyn Kelly of Fox NewsEvery so often, you hear about a study whose results are so obvious, you just have to smack yourself in the head and wonder how the researchers were able to ask for funding with a straight face.

Today, Miller-McCune.com published the results of one such study, conducted by two researchers at Indiana University. The researchers found that men, when they watch a newscast with an attractive, provocatively-dressed female anchor, are more likely to remember the image of the person reading the news than the news the person was reading.

Well, of course they are.

That's what the networks count on.

The study
was done in a controlled fashion, where men watched the same 24-year-old anchor read the news in a newscast produced by the researchers. In one newscast, the anchor "was dressed in a tight-fitting dark blue jacket and skirt that accented her waist-to-hip ratio," and she wore red lipstick and a necklace, said the study. In the other, the same woman was dressed in a "shapeless and loose-fitting" jacket and skirt. The participants were given a quiz about the stories on the newscast and questions about the anchor's appearance.

Amazingly, the men in the study who watched the provocatively-dressed version of the anchor retained less information than the men who watched the relatively frumpy version. The results were reversed in women, but the difference wasn't the same degree that it was in men.

So, what's the conclusion that can be drawn from this study? Well, at least this tells us once and for all that the news networks don't really care that much if you learn anything from the information they give on the air. They just want people to tune in. Just like on any other network, ratings are king. There's a reason why there's a seeming army of "Fox News Blondes" wearing somewhat shorter skirts than your average anchor. Sure, Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson are both smart, talented journalists. But it doesn't hurt that they're also both easy on the eyes, at least as far as Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch are concerned.

Do news directors pick men the same way? Yes, though it's not as obvious. As talented as Brian Williams is, his looks might have a little bit to do with his rocket ride from local New York reporter to 'Nightly News' anchor. Peter Jennings was a great reporter, but he also had that look of raconteur foreign correspondent that made ABC promote him from reporter to co-anchor to anchor of 'World News Tonight' in rapid fashion back in the day.

But the biggest conclusion I get from this study is that universities will throw money at anyone with an idea and a scientific procedure, no matter how predictable the results might be. With that in mind, I'm going to see if I can get funding for the following:

-- A study to examine whether people prefer pizza or Brussels sprouts.

-- A study to see if men drive faster in a Ferrari or a Ford Focus.

-- A study to find out what happens to rain when the temperature dips below 32 degrees.

-- A study to find out who is funnier: Louis C.K. or Carrot Top.

(Follow @joelkeller on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/joelkeller.)

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11 Comments

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jengle9718

First it was hair, and fingernails, and then as the cleavage lowered the skirts creped up. Glass topped tables made it more interesting. You should tune into the LA local channels for the "weather girls", not a 32 among-em. And while your at it, the used car saleswomen here on LA Hispanic TV have very little on to contain the" busting out all over the place". Truth be told the TV Producers are just rising to the occasion caused by their Cialis and Viagra commercials.

After panting over the "news" I turn to (no offense or shortshrift ment) to Candy Crowley or Erin Burnett who I find to substitute intelligence and insite for cleavage and skin. By the way why are the side by side bathtubs in the forrest pitching Cialis?

January 26 2011 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
woody3333

All they need to do is show some skin, wiggle their ass and jiggle their **** and ... its promotion time. Wish I was a girl. I'm a boy, I need to WORK for a living. Live is not fair.

January 26 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ihategumby

guess the men on that news cast are "hard" up...

January 26 2011 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cbrown6120

Does anyone think they were hired for their BRAINS. I'm sure there are many less attractive women who could READ the news better than these skanks.

January 26 2011 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ksmooch

Not sure whats sillier..The study, or the article I just read about it.

January 26 2011 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John & Jeanne

Just because they are beautiful does not mean they are smart. Working at FOX!!!!!!!

January 26 2011 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bkln1953

thats why i only let my boy friend watch NEWS 12 LONG ISLAND all the women are old ,bleached blonds ,or 30 lbs overweight or all of the above

January 26 2011 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
vanflo1

If these three women are representative of "SEXY" then I MUST be missing something. They are nothing special.

Definitely seen MUCH better!

January 26 2011 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
threedawgknights

Imagine that, women using sex , and their body's to get ahead and make a dollar. I bet that's a new innovative idea! ROFL

January 26 2011 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Mike Siroky

They also completely ignore a wholse section of Japanese porn in which female anchors are stripped and fondled (and other things) while reading the news. This is not a new phenomena. Therte is also the Naked News networks. Pretty silly that anyone devoted any time to this.

January 25 2011 at 8:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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