Fox News Channel host Gretchen Carlson‘s new book, Getting Real, comes out tomorrow. We caught up with The Real Story host for Five Questions about her book, the bimbo stigma attached to being a blonde former Miss America working for Fox News and if her boss, Roger Ailes, is going to put the kibosh on all his talent writing books.
TVNewser: Your new book has been described as an “inspirational memoir” that offers advice for finding success in the real world. What makes this different from all the other self-help books on the market?
Carlson: I’ve lived the life I talk about in Getting Real. From violin prodigy growing up in Minnesota to the unexpected twist of becoming Miss America to 25 years in the TV business. And along the way failures and disappointment–some never told before. Sometimes people have the impression that people in the public eye have never had any problems.
Well, I grew up a fat kid, was terminally teased, I got fired from my job in Cleveland the week after I got married and was told I’d be OK now that I had a husband, I struggled with infertility, my first child was born with a tumor in her eye, I endured a life-threatening stalker for four years, sexual harassment and more.
Most of these stories have never been told before and the goal is to let people know that I’m just like them. I’ve experienced failures and successes, happiness and depression … but in the end, the life lesson is that through a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance I’ve achieved what I can and dealt with what I can’t. Here’s my life lesson: if I can do it, you can too.
Carlson: LOL! Roger has a great sense of patience with all of this and I respect that first and foremost my job is to do the best I can every day hosting The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson. On the side, I’m talking about a book that I think can really inspire people to never ever give up and live life to the fullest.
TVNewser: In the book, you speak publicly for the first time about a man who stalked you early in your career. What made you open up about this now?
Carlson: Primarily because I found out while researching for the book that he’s no longer with us. And sadly that was a relief and made me feel free to speak about it to help others. I really wanted me to share my story, but the thought that he might then come after me again petrified me. But obviously, its such an important story to tell because honestly, no one really cares about victims of stalkers or domestic violence until the victims are dead. And that could have been me.
The laws all work in favor of the stalkers unfortunately and I had to endure four years of hell before I could finally get him incarcerated. And after that, he only received a year in jail. After my experience, I did a 30-part series on domestic violence when I worked in Dallas — which was an eye-opening experience and I learned so much. And I know we saved lives.
TVNewser: You’ve called being Miss America, blonde and working for Fox News the “bimbo trifecta.” I believe you’re the only member of that exclusive club. What’s it like to be the founder and president of the “bimbo trifecta?”
Carlson: Wow! What an honor! Listen, once I became Miss America it was like my entire resume evaporated into thin air. Violin prodigy, valedictorian of my high school class, graduate of Stanford who also studied at Oxford, etc … So I developed thick skin from the bimbo comments then. I didn’t realize they’d grow exponentially when I reached Fox News. LOL.
Natural blonde, former Miss America and host at Fox News. Bimbo trifecta! Trust me. The National Organization of Women (NOW) has never asked me to be a member and that’s fine. Turns out, I’m one of the fiercest advocates for women out there. So that’s OK. I’ve learned that sometimes when people don’t like what I have to say, and don’t want to debate me on ideas, it’s just easier to call me a dumb blonde from Fox News.
TVNewser: You, well… technically your son Christian, won the 2015 TV Newser Bracket Challenge. You’re also married to a sports agent. Be honest, your household is more likely to watch a Yankees game than Fox News, right?
Carlson: HA! Love this! Let’s just say that my husband and I never fight over the remote! I’m still waiting for him to love classical music like I love sports -not. If I had nothing to do on a Sunday, my favorite thing to do would be to lay on the couch and watch a four-hour golf tournament. Or tennis. Or football. Or hockey. Or anything sports related.
My sports career ended in 6th grade when I broke my left hand pinkie finger playing football with all the boys. That almost ended my violin career, so my mom said enough was enough. My husband was a gifted baseball player — college player of the year while at Michigan — and played up through Triple-A with the Yankees. My kids (age 12 and 10) are a good combination — both play a mean piano and both love sports, too. Watch out for next year’s TVNewser NCAA bracket picks, as my son had it all right two years ago as well before I knew I could enter TVNewser’s bracket!
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) June 4, 2015