Carol Costello On How Networks Treat Women: “CNN Is Better Than Most”

By Alissa Krinsky 

The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal‘s Rich Heldenfels writes of an Akron Press Club appearance by CNN’s Carol Costello, who grew up in Ohio. Costello touched upon a number of subjects:

&bull On CNN’s coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith: “I can’t speak for all of CNN, I can only speak to the show I work on, The Situation Room. After we did a lot on Anna Nicole Smith, we felt dirty. We did. We had a meeting and a discussion about that, and we told ourselves…we were never going to do that again. And we haven’t. We do news.”

• On the image of women in TV News, Costello tells of watching a recent newscast (network not specified) where the man wore a suit and the woman “was wearing, I swear to you, a skirt so short she did not dare uncross her legs…Our culture seems to be saying sex is power.”

• Asked after her speech how CNN “treats women” — especially, as Heldenfels writes, “its seeming to hire young, attractive women for big jobs” — Costello said, “I’m not sure that’s true. Campbell Brown certainly isn’t young. She’s 40…CNN hired me at 40. I’m not saying CNN is perfect, because no place is. But I think CNN is better than most…We have a lot of older women on the air, and we have a lot of women who are not attractive in the traditional sense…Even Christiane Amanpour, she doesn’t even wear makeup. She doesn’t care.”