Are you a conservative guy looking for the best and brightest women in TV news? Mark Ellis has a quick-reference guide to the most powerful dames in conservative news.
Confronted by buzz-killing liberal commentators like Rachel Maddow, Kirsten Powers, Tamara Holder, Diane Sawyer, et al., where do conservative guys turn to find the best and brightest women in television journalism? Since 1996 the answer has been Fox News Channel.
The network had a bounty of smart and photogenic women on display going all the way back to early shows featuring hosts Catherine Crier and Paula Zahn. It’s legendary now that CEO Roger Ailes valued intellect and professionalism as much as appearance when considering prospects for on-air female talent.
The following overview by no means includes all the capable women at the cable news leader, and does include both permanent nonpartisan staff positions and affiliated partisan analysts. Primetime host Greta Van Susteren and news analyst Sarah Palin are assumed to inhabit a league of their own.
Style, Substance, and Sanity: Represents very simply the traditionalist matriarchal archetype, thematically overlaid with a dream den mother. When you’ve got that going for you everything else seems to fall into place.
Lithe Spirit: She’s lean, and at times inscrutable, but always has the best interests of the Right at heart, especially when touting Romney as the man who can win. We marvel at the frost, wince at the bomb blasts, but never stop watching.
The (Very) Good Doctor: A measured debater with a superlative smile, Crowley works the trick of seeming both elevated and accessible. Watch with renewed hope as she surgically undercuts Democrat obfuscation and exposes left-wing fallaciousness.
Holding Down the Fort: Comes the weekend, even the newsiest junkies may feel the need to disengage. But the news doesn’t stop, and whether it’s a catastrophic tsunami, breaking congressional scandal, or nefarious document dump, this six-time Emmy winner has the helm, the scoop, and, if I may say so, all the optics you’ll ever need.
Diamond Girl: Hails from sunny California, and the glint of that state is definitely upon her. It’s all about sparks with this commentator, legal sparks, cultural sparks, political sparks, sparks.
MARY KATHERINE HAM
Youthful Insider: She’s everywhere—contributing at the Weekly Standard, blogging at the Daily Caller, and in the big chair on the O’Reilly Factor. Ham is a study in appealing southern journalistic pedigree even while pretending to flush her cat down the toilet (I saw the clip). There’s a hint of self-scripting when she confronts the thrusts and parries of Juan Williams, but watch for more hip shots as she matures.
Elegant Warrior: She has a tendency to talk over, around, behind and sometimes through her guests on occasion, but this is what an alpha-female going toe-to-toe looks like. The inclination is to hope her point gets over. A gutsy breast cancer survivor, she understands the concept of “tested.”
Effortless Icon: O’Reilly’s affectionate “Little Bo Peep” works on one level, but so does precedent-packing bundle of legal nerviness. In an age of sliding-scale positioning she offers precise differentiation between her own views and her legal analysis. Just hope the verdict goes your way.
West Coast Wake-up: Maybe it’s a time zone thing, but Ms. Lee is enough to suggest morning-personhood—at least out here on the Left Coast when she comes on at 8 A.M. Not exactly happy-talk given the state of the world, but brimming with positive energy. Mitt’s team committed another gaffe? Jenna will make it all right.
Scorcher: The one you figure liberals least want to meet in a rhetorical dark alley. Veritably snarling her disapproval on Hannity, she answers the pent-up conservative demand for great reality television. By the time you get to the confident sign-off, a well-deserved scorching has usually taken place.
Info-Goddess: No opinions are forthcoming, yet, from this statuesque anchor, more proof with Chris Christie and Frank Sinatra that New Jersey can achieve certain perfections. The voice, less a siren song than alarming girl-timbre which compels us to “Listen!”
The Professional: When she took over for Tony Snow as Bush 43 press secretary it was a tall order to fill and a troubled time for the GOP. On Fox early-prime hit The Five she’s still go-to on comportment, consistency of message, and grace.
Brilliant Brunette: Whether holding down stage right next to Democrat warhorse Bob Beckel on The Five or guest-slotting on breaking news, watch for the circling, the counter-arguing, the going in for the kill. There’s also a purr which argues for hanging around through the break.