Washington Post culture-and-politics blogger Alyssa Rosenberg is crediting Fox News with a “stroke of evil genius” for creating a new show called “Outnumbered” with a panel of four women and one man.
“I thought it was smart when Fox News promoted Megyn Kelly, an anchor with the singular ability to generate juicy cable news moments that appeal to the left and the right, to an evening slot. Ratings-wise, that seems to have been a good call for the network.” Rosengberg added “And the show the network dreamed up to replace Kelly’s in daytime has a flair of evil genius.” It’s an audacious act of trolling:
In conception, “Outnumbered” is such an audacious act of trolling that I almost have to admire it. The setup is essentially a parody of what conservatives often accuse feminists of wanting to do to men: overwhelm them and shout them down as a sort of rhetorical reparations for years in a subordinate position.
But because the man in question will rotate every week, rather than being part of the main cast, he will not have the same status as the women on the panel, so the audience’s sympathies can remain with those core personalities. The ladies of Fox News will not have to risk appearing to be argumentative harpies by beating up on a man their viewers will actually be invested in. [Emphasis hers.]
The challenge for “Outnumbered,” though, is that the show’s ability to bring heat relies on the idea that men and women are actually in some sort of profound opposition to each other. By design, the man who shows up to be the minority opinion has to start and end the segment on a different page from the women who are there to argue with him. Given how much conservative opposition to feminism relies on the idea that men and women were in happy agreement until Gloria Steinem rode forth on a pale horse to spread dissension across the land, this is a bit of a change-up for Fox News.
But I am confident it will manage....If any bookers can find extreme guests who will make their hosts look eminently reasonable, it is the ones who work for Fox. I might suggest looking for men who get hysterical about minor grievances, who advocate for a return to a mode of courtship that involves clubs and caves, or who have made a hash of their efforts to be feminist allies.