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Pole Dancing in the Heartland – Good for Fox Business?

Reported by Chrish - February 4, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

There wasn’t much “there” there in the Heartland last night 2/3/07. Faced with a choice between UFO’s and pole dancing, I picked the pole dancing segment as it seemed to represent an ongoing theme on Fox News.

Kasich began the segment by saying “can you imagine your pre-teen girl in an exotic dancing class or pole dancing class? These are classes that are forming right now all over the US.” He noted that “while the physical benefits might be good, are these classes a proper form of exercise for young girls.” While he was speaking there was a photo of a professional pole dancer on the right side of the screen with the chyron “dirty dancing.”

To Leah Stauffer, of The Art of Exotic Dancing for Everyday Women, he said “this sounds crazy.” She responded that the exotic dancing program was for women 18 and over and the teen program was called the “art of attraction.” While she was speaking, the chyron read “dirty dancing” while half the screen was consumed by shots of women in gym shorts busting some very sexy moves (at one point someone’s derriere consumed the entire shot.) To Kasich’s comments about girls being taught “sexy moves,” Stauffer responded that the teen program offers some of the benefits of the adult program but uses different language because “words like pole dancing aren’t helpful.” A chyron appeared that noted that classes are beginning in 16 states. (Comment: hardly “all over the US”) Ms. Stauffer than spoke of how the teen program focuses on self image and projection for teens. Interrupting her, Kasich said “so you’re letting it all hang out” to which she responded “not really.”

Kasich’s other guest, Sari Locker (identified as a Sex-Ed doctor) the author of the “Complete Idiots Guide to Amazing Sex” then spoke about how today’s women are overwhelmed because this is all the rage and it’s causing women to “doubt their sexuality” and feel that they should “look and act like they’re right out of a porn magazine.” Kasich agreed that “they’re stripping it out” (Comment: huh?) and Locker agreed that “they’re trying to say it’s not erotic; but it’s really stripping which is money to remove clothes.” While she was speaking, Stauffer tried to respond but Kasich did not allow her the opportunity.

Kasich concluded by indignantly asserting that he wouldn’t allow his daughters to do this. The commercial break that immediately followed was for the movie “Wicked Ways” which featured scantily clad people, “making out,” in bedrooms.

Comment: Once again we have the typical Fox juxtaposition of issues of moral appropriateness set against very sexual imagery. I, personally, have some questions about the teen program and would have pressed Ms. Stauffer to explain what, specifically, was different about the teen program other than the self image enhancement. In other words, is the pole dancing more of a gymnastic exercise or an erotic one? Ms. Stauffer might have offered the answer if Kasich had allowed her to respond to the other guest. The whole segment was odd – but what else is new in the Heartland!

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla