Friday, December 3, 2010

On the Air

Talk about being at the right place at the right time, I was on television this Friday evening!

Sadly, it wasn't about The Calling to Lead, but yes, I met a lot of people, did a little networking and had a blast doing it!

While in New York City tonight, I was walking up Sixth Avenue and passed by the Fox News Headquarters at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. As I was walking past, Neil Cavuto was doing a live shot for his Fox Business Network show, Cavuto. Having not had to be anywhere for a while, I stood by, watched and took a few pictures. After about 5 minutes, one of his staff members approached me and asked me a question about a segment on the negative treatment of men, aka "man-bashing" in holiday commercials. After thinking for a moment, I provided a response (which I will share below and explain the context of it) that was good enough for him to ask me to be in the final segment where this material would be covered. Along with 3 other people watching (3 men (myself included), 1 woman) we were led to an area where Neil would ask us our reaction on the commercials, which were shown on the monitor in his view.

Along the way, there were a couple of surprises, namely Gene Simmons (of KISS) appearing in the crowd, in street clothes, which is pictured below.

The gathered crowd did not have an "Elvis Reaction" because Cavuto was broadcasting, but Simmons was quite dignified and very unlike his stage persona. He said hello to all who came up to him and took pictures.

Neil prepped the segment, ran the commercials and shared his outrage. The moment then came as Neil Cavuto came up to me with the microphone, asking me what I thought. I pretty much said that as a man, I was offended by the commercials, but understand why the advertisements are done the way they are, as the advertisers believe this content is appropriately marketed to women. Continuing on, I discussed how shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and The Simpsons are rough on men, and even though they are funny, it is done for a reason and that is to attract female viewers, therefore, the direction taken by these advertisements are not surprising. I then closed, somewhat in jest, telling Neil, "I feel your rage."

Over the years, I have read studies as to why television and advertising has turned to "man-bashing" and I just came across an interesting article that further discusses it and reinforces my on-air statements. The truth of the matter is that women have been making the majority of financial decisions in families, so companies think of their bottom line, as well as the trends in popular culture, and commit this practice. While I'm not going to boycott the product, I do find that line of advertising a bit annoying. With the rise of Conservative feminism, it may be interesting to see if there is an eventual change.

In the end, it was a great experience! Neil Cavuto was very complimentary about my on-air performance and ease in front of the camera and I exchanged contact info with the producers (as I did mention The Calling to Lead to them).

Here is the segment:


  1. Chris, congrats on a really smooth TV appearance! Great delivery, no nervousness, NO filler words. Good job, sir!

    The Roomba commercial is indeed an exercise man-bashing. The thing is, it's also offensive to women. Right? The woman in the commercial basically says, "In my household, we've decided that I am in charge of keeping the house clean. I don't think my husband realizes the amount of work involved! But instead of discussing it with him like an adult, I passive-aggressively let the rest of my family walk all over me and then bitch behind their backs about how they're just a bunch of filthy animals. Thank God I've got this cute little cleaning robot." That woman doesn't need a self-guided mini vacuum. She needs a backbone. =)

    Does that kind of advertising really appeal to women? Is that who we're supposed to identify with? Ugh. How depressing.

  2. Thank you so much Jen! Neil came up to me afterwards and told me he was quite impressed wiht my response and composure on camera. I didn't tell him that having 2 prior television/on-camera experiences, some talk radio call-ins, along with all the plays, band and choral performances from high school on made it easier. The producers were also quite impressed and there were good networking opportunities of which I took advantage. This on-air moment was actually the first time I watched myself on camera!

    The man bashing is apparent in the Roomba commercial, but yes, the woman does come off as a moron as well.

    I have to go back to my Sociology and Economics stack of stuff, but there have been many studies done which show women have grown to be a primary economic force in the United States and any group, company or organization looking to profit seeks out their approval. Yes, it is sad they take this route and I do wonder if this style of advertising will continue in years to come.