Today was the exciting launch of the new Fox “News” morning show “Fox and Friends First,” which is really a return to an old name that Fox “News” retired in 2008 when Fox and Friends was expanded to 3 hours. No matter how unoriginal the name might be, NewsHounds readers are more interested in the on-air product. For a longer review, keep reading. However, if you want a capsule review Twitter-style: “Fox and Friends First” is the blondest and leggiest show Fox “News” has ever produced. Based on this alone: ‘Merkin men seem to be the target audience."
Starting with a minor criticism of the show: the two hosts were interchangeable—all leg, teeth and blonde hair. Consequently, this review will make no further distinction. Why? Because prior to the launch, “Fox and Friends First” tweeted out this picture, which appeared to have been snapped at a test taping. One of my correspondents remarked that she could hardly tell them apart, even though she watches Fox (so you don’t have to) and is well aware of what Blonde #1 looks like. However, this minor bit of carping should go away as the other promised co-hosts are rotated in and out. That’s because only some of the following announced co-hosts are blonde and leggy: Heather Childers, Dave Briggs, Heather Nauert, Juliet Huddy, Julie Banderas, Clayton Morris, Arthel Neville, Jamie Colby and Patti Ann Browne. Some are just leggy and a few are men.
The agit-prop on the first show was mostly in the stories chosen to be covered, except for one glaring exception (see below). Contrast this with how “Fox and Friends” uses the first ten minutes of its show as a morning, happy-talk, agit-prop extravaganza, that’s heavily scripted but passed off as extemporaneous. “Fox and Friends First” shied away from that pretend adlib and mostly kept to the script as evidenced when one of the blondes said words to the effect of, “It’s 5:35 and time for the 5:30 news.” However, Blonde #1 demonstrated that, like the rest of the network, “Fair and Balanced” is not the ultimate goal of F&F1st when the topic turned to “The Phony War On Religion.”
It was simply another opportunity for Fox “News” to frame insurance coverage for contraception as a religious issue, as opposed to a health issue. After 1 minute and 14 seconds of into, with Newt Gingrinch and Rick Santorum framing the religious argument, Blonde #1 read from the teleprompter, “He makes a good point. The government has bent over backwards to be tolerant of minority groups. So when did we stop being tolerant of individual beliefs?” [Video below the jump] This was also her unfair and imbalanced 1st question. Although Blonde #1 had a Democrat and a Republican on the panel, she couldn’t keep her thumb off the scale. Her first question to the Democrat was “Why is the government forcing people to do something they don’t believe in?” Her guest only got 6 words into her response when Blonde #1 jumped on her with, “How can you say that?” The Democrat never had an uninterrupted statement after that. Consequently, (by a rough timing) one side of the argument appeared to only get about 1/5th of the segment. It’s good to know that some things on Fox “News” never change.
I don’t know what Media Matters will say, though, but Media Matters has criticized the lack of women in cable news.