BIMBO ALERT!
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BIMBO ALERT!

Usually it’s the young and attractive ones who are hit with allegations of being a bimbo. Interestingly, it’s never men who are charged with using the world's oldest method of getting ahead. Why? Because broadcast news is a male dominated industry, and boys think with their you-know-whats!!!!

By Siddhartha Dubey

Published on :

‘She doesn’t deserve to be on air and she must have slept with someone to get the anchor spot.’  That’s about as nasty an allegation as one can make.  But newsrooms are newsrooms and from Manhattan to Mumbai journalists do tend to sleep around.

Usually it’s the young and attractive ones who are hit with allegations of being a bimbo.  Interestingly, it’s never men who are charged with using the world’s oldest method of getting ahead.  Why? Because broadcast news is a male dominated industry, and boys think with their you-know-whats.

Case in point – Frisky, a former employer who will go unnamed for obvious reasons.  Lots of sexy gals came his way and many of them were pushed in my direction to be auditioned for television news anchors.  As the fellow in the station with the most broadcast news experience – it was my job to identify and train wanna-be talent.  The talent though was questionable.  Most were girls whose modeling days (however brief) were over, and TV news seemed the ideal transition.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a BIG advocate of hot, good-looking women on air.  They get viewership and I’m in the business of TRPs.  Plus given the current state of Indian men – I’m all for women reading the news.   India is full of hot and intelligent women.  So why was I getting all the wrong stuff? Back to Frisky and his merry bunch of ‘yes men’ who kept ’em coming.

I don’t blame the women.  Many had no idea what TV news was all about, let alone what an Initial Public Offering was.  What they had to offer was a whole lot of … well … let me give you an example.

One lady wore such a tight-fitted mini dress for the audition that she could not sit properly on the studio chair.  I don’t know what the largest bra size is, but the blouse was so tight and low cut, that my camera man refused point blank to attach the lapel microphone on her.

“Here you go, I am not touching her,” he said stomping out of the studio red faced. One look at her and I decided that not even SEAL Team 6 was successfully going to get that thin black wire to slide up her dress.

“Shall I unbutton more,” she offered helpfully.  “NOOOOOOO thanks” I blurted out.  “That won’t be necessary, because I am just going to pop the wire behind your back.” We were soon in business and I had avoided a sexual harassment type scene in the studio.

And then there was….well I’m not going to say her name since she’s a friend on Facebook.  Let’s just say my friend was plucked from the corporate world by Frisky’s boys because she was “hot.”  That’s all I heard before she came to the newsroom.  So-and-so is hot, great personality.  Bubbly and has an MBA too.  ‘So all you need to do, Sid, is train her to speak to the camera.’

Well so-and-so arrived one day and yup, she was hot all right.  All the boys wanted to say hi.  But I was the first boy who she said hi to, because I was to put her on TV.  It was tough going in the beginning.  All the bubbles came out of so-and-so the minute she came in front of the camera.  Months went by and she became better.  But one fine day she was dropped like a hot brick, because so-and-so had a pronounced American accent!

She was smart and sexy and in time would have excelled on air.  But like all mediocre managers, the (male and one female) editors decided that an American accent would never fly with an Indian business news audience.  This time the damage was done.  An intelligent young woman was taken out of an environment she was doing well in – promised something she was not given – and in effect unfairly made a “bimbo” out of!

My female anchor friends say bimbos don’t get through and if they do somehow make it on air, they get bumped off pretty quickly when editors realize they can’t cut it as news anchors. I agree. Every TV newsroom I have worked in had very professional women on air who became anchors because of their hard work first and good looks second.

Women don’t become bimbos – folks like Frisky make them bimbos.

BIMBO ALERT!
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