Study: Attractive Politicians Get More Time on TV News

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By Alex Weprin

A new study in the journal Political Communication suggests that there is a correlation between the physical attractiveness of a politician, and the amount of time they get to discuss issues on TV news.

The New York Times examines the study, and talks to some familiar names to get their take on it:

Jeff Greenfield, an author and political analyst, said he thought it possible that networks had “some unconscious tilt to better-looking guests.” But, he added, “not nearly as much as the full-tilt preference for anchors and news readers who set hearts, and perhaps other body parts, aflutter.”

Richard C. Wald, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and former senior vice president of ABC News, went one step further. “Since the day that Socrates was known for being ugly and Pericles for being handsome and compelling, humans have found better-looking persons to be more interesting to look at than those less well-favored by the culture,” he said.