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University of Wisconsin–Madison
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

“The Five” host Kimberly Guilfoyle tells young women not to vote; virality ensues

FOX News Channel’s “The Five,” host Kimberly Guilfoyle’s  comment recently that young women should be “excused” from voting in this election and instead “go back to Tinder and Match.com” received nearly universal condemnation from most online news sources.

Averaging about 2 million viewers per episode, “The Five” is not nearly FNC’s most-watched show, but Guilfoyle’s rant quickly went viral, picked up by multiple popular online news outlets including Huffington Post and Salon.

While the ethics of a pundit on national television perpetuating statements of misogyny can be more obviously challenged and condemned, another question is whether or not the news should cover the news, as in this instance when you have journalists writing about what another journalist has said.

Huffington Post, in their section dedicated to tracking the media, wrote a quick news story with Guilfoyle’s video clip on what specifically was said, with updates including aftermath statements from Guilfoyle in which she insisted that viewers missed her point and that she meant to urge viewers to “come prepared because you don’t want to dilute the votes out there.” However, given that Huffington Post’s readership base is generally liberal, is a story just on what Guilfoyle said “clickbait” for readers looking to roll their eyes at what a pundit said? Is Huffington Post providing their readers with what they want to read without much of a real story?

Media Matters For America, a left-leaning self-described media watchdog, went further,  pulling together a montage of right-wing pundits attempting to dissuade young women from voting. If anything, this angle provides context to the story, albeit from a partisan point of view, by drawing parallels between similarly leaning television personalities. Otherwise, it is too easy to editorialize, given there’s really not much a journalist can say without injecting their own beliefs about Guilfoyle’s remarks other than the fact that they were said. Additionally, Media Matters For America provided more information regarding the story by illustrating a pattern of certain types of far-right journalism, leaving it for their readers to either condemn or defend each set of remarks.

 

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