Jason Matheson stood up for the female co-host on his show, The Jason Show, with a withering rant directed at viewers who criticize women in local TV about their appearance.
Matheson had a lot to say about comments and messages directed at both the KMSP meteorologists and co-host Kendall Mark.
Saying the comments “literally bugged the hell” out of him, Matheson said that he often sees “vicious horrible attacks on colleagues of mine.”
“Not fair criticism,” said Matheson in defense of the meteorology department at the Minneapolis Fox owned station. “Vicious. Vicious messages. Some homophobic. Some violent. Some threats. All because of snow.”
“Criticism is OK, but violence? And unnecessary vitriol?” he said. “No. Not necessary for something like this. They can’t defend themselves. But I sure the hell can defend them.”
He then went to the aid of Mark whom, he said, was criticized for a skirt she wore on-air, saying he is “really sick of having to come on this show and defend female colleagues.”
Matheson said when he worked at CBS owned WCCO in 1997, he saw viewers go after evening anchor Amelia Santaniello for the way she looked. He said he saw viewers do the same thing to Twin Cities Live co-host Elizabeth Reese on ABC affiliate KSTP.
While underlining that he never sees similar comments about male hosts or anchors, he said complaints about Mark weren’t about her work ethic or her professionalism, but about her appearance.
“She can’t defend herself. Because she’ll look like she’s taking advantage of the situation but I can,” said Matheson. “Because you know what happens when you pick on little sisters? You have angry big brothers.”
“I Love you,” he told Mark on-air. “You are beautiful. I don’t just say it as a line to end this show. You are beautiful the way that you are. You are a professional. You are grace under fire. You did a great job for this station the last few days. I don’t want you to take any of that in. Those comments are not about you, It’s about the people writing them. It says everything about them and nothing about you and I don’t want you to forget that.”