You may have noticed that WaPo‘s Erik Wemple has been playing closer attention to the males that appear on Cable TV. He took time the other day to comment on their shirts, ties, facial and head hair. Is he aiming for a gig at Metro Weekly? Nah…he was making a point, that was recently picked up by Name It Change It, a non-partisan project affiliated with the Women’s Media Center, whose mission is to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the media.
Good luck with that, right?
But Wemple is taking an interesting stab at the issue by partaking in a practice usually reserved for female pundits and journos whose looks are constantly assessed in crass and complimentary ways. “I just think that male fashion in the world of television is a vastly undercovered region, and I am trying to cure the imbalance,” Wemple told FishbowlDC earlier today. “Thus far, I’ve been mainly descriptive and not judgmental in the comments, but in time, I suppose I could become meaner.”
Name It Change It asked Wemple why he has committed to this new practice. He said he feels men on TV have been neglected. “They’ve never had the joy of having commentary on their appearances share the stage with or overwhelm reaction to the substance of what they’re saying,” he said. “So I decided that I would right this wrong, singlehandedly.”
So far, Wemple appears to be going after the males in the most superficial, largely unopinionated of ways, but, fingers crossed, we hope this will change. He acknowledges to Name It Change It that he may need to be more judgmental — for now, his insults are tame and amount to “his mustache looks a bit thin right now” and the compliments are plentiful. He writes, “Weapons expert looking sharp in gray suit with purple shirt, purple tie; hair a bit tousled but stylishly so.” Purple shirt and purple tie, Wemple? That sounds like a grape ape disaster and you know it!
He concedes, “Perhaps I should be less descriptive and more judgmental. That might be a nice turn to make.”