I live in Los Angeles, but my wake-up time is not earlier than 7am. So when I read the following story in the L.A. Times by excellent TV reporter Greg Braxton, I was pretty much blown away. Read it, and then I'll have a few thoughts:
"KTLA Morning News" anchor Sharon Tay's seductive gaze from the pages of a men's magazine suggests that the headlines of the day are the last thing on her mind. Bold lipstick accents her prominent lips, and few might disagree that she wears her clothes — what there is of them — well.
a) Hooker? b) News anchor?
But despite posing in various stages of undress in the March issue of Razor magazine, Tay, who anchors the 5 to 7 a.m. edition of the news, insists she has no aspirations to be America's Next Top Model.
"Oh, no, no, NO!" says the petite Tay, shaking her head vigorously. "I'm way too short!"
Now Tay's "fashion" pictorial has revived the debate about the blurring of boundaries between news and entertainment. While some TV newswomen, such as Fox 11's Jillian Barberie and KTLA's Mindy Burbano,
have emphasized sexuality to promote themselves and their newscasts for several years, the emergence of news anchors using magazines and websites to flaunt their physical attributes has heightened concerns about the boundaries between journalism and show business, with academics, news directors and rival anchors denouncing the practice.
In one of the full-page photos of her in Razor — a young men's magazine similar to Maxim and FHM that features scantily clad celebrities — Tay leans against a wall in a tight, backless green outfit that reveals a hint of her rear end. She highlights her cleavage in another photo.
"The pictorial is not Tay's only promotional vehicle. The anchor has a personal website where she touts her "beauty secrets" and health and fitness tips ("Do you want to have a firm butt? A few squats and lunges are great for this 'pow pow' factor"). There is also a Tay photo gallery. Her website bio names Tay as an "in-demand talent for a diverse array of entertainment industry projects," a description absent from her KTLA biography on the station's website, which says that Tay is "always interested in improving her journalist skills."