New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait defended himself on Tuesday against a Fox News contributor who said it was sexist to mention that so many women who work on-air at the news channel have blond hair.
Chait published a post on the magazine’s website about Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers, who last week wrote a column titled “The Left’s war on Fox women” in which she criticized what she said was the objectification of women.
“One of the worst aspects of the illiberal left is its heinous sexism against women with whom they disagree,” she wrote.
Powers, an often liberal voice on Fox, pointed to a 2010 Chait article with the headline, “The Quintessential Fox News Image.” The article contained an image of Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who is blond, along with other Fox News staples such as American flags and frightening images.
Powers, who is also blond, accused the left of characterizing Fox News’ female personalities as “dumb blonde chicks” and assessing them on their hotness and looks.
“Kelly wasn’t sneering or looking frightened, though she is blonde and is on Fox which to the illiberal left means she’s a nameless ‘blond anchor’ and candidate for being objectified and dehumanized,” Powers wrote.
In Chait’s latest article, he made mention of Twitter criticism he’d received from Powers in which she accused him of having an “issue” with blond hosts.
Chait wrote that he was not the one with the issue.
“Does the disproportionate occurrence of blonde hair among female Fox News personalities have any bearing on the substance of their journalism (or journalism-esque statements)?” Chait wrote. “Not to me. It does, however, matter a great deal to Fox News.”
Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at email@example.com.