Cable News: Behind the Makeup

By Alex Weprin 

The Atlantic writes about the makeup practices at Fox News, and how they differ from the cable news competition. Apparently the differences are substantial!

I learned that while the vivid blue of my eye shadow may have been an aberration, its heavy application was not. “Pageant queen” was one of the kinder articulations I heard of the female aesthetic at Fox News and its financial counterpart, Fox Business; “glamour nighttime” was another…

And it’s hardly a revelation that some networks place more pressure on women than do others: C-SPAN has no makeup room at all, just a collection of powder compacts that guests can use if they are so inclined. At MSNBC, Rachel Maddow is known to prefer minimal makeup, while other anchors want more, and the artists oblige with a range of choices, from neutral tones to berry hues. Bloomberg TV tends toward the corporate aesthetic; CNN favors a professional style that makes women and men look crisp, as if they have been ironed.


Of course, there is a method to the madness:

Ailes, Sherman points out, under-stands that while TV news may be journalism, it is also entertainment. “He works like a Broadway producer,” says Sherman (indeed, at one point Ailes was a Broadway producer). That, Sherman says, is why Fox sets look like stage sets: “The colors are brighter, the camera angles faster. Everything pops on the screen more, every­thing is eye candy.”