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Category: Media, Media Monitoring

CBS New York Uses Baseless Survey to Claim Women Would Choose Bigger Boobs Over Brains

| April 13, 2012

Local news channels and network affiliates can run important stories about events and information pertinent to viewers. Or, like a New York affiliate of CBS, they can run the most hackneyed, sexist drivel we’ve seen in a while.

Check out the “report” from CBS New York, a local affiliate. The headline “Many Women Would Trade IQ Points For Bigger Breasts” (the video, broadcast on April 9, below must be seen to be believed.)

What is the basis for the story? The report says a “leading consumer website” released a survey that found 41 percent of 18 to 25 year old women would rather have larger breasts to more intelligence.

But the website in question turns out to be the link-bait generator and the “survey” is an “unscientific, online survey.” Meaning they could have polled four women in their building and it would have been just as accurate. But considering we can’t even find the original “survey” anymore we highly doubt there were even unscientific numbers to trust.

Women’s Media Center staff called CBS 2 New York and asked where the idea for the piece came from. They cited a New York Post column by Andrea Peyser, who does, at the very end of her April 9 column, talk about CouponCodes4u’s survey. But Peyser doesn’t even mention it’s a meaningless “survey” from a completely untrustworthy website and instead uses the so-called “results” to make herself feel superior to the supposed 41 percent of women who would trade bigger breasts for brains.

We’re left scratching our heads how a meaningless “survey” from a link-bait website first earned a mention from a New York Post columnist and then went through another editorial process (that clearly included multiple decision-makers) where it was decided that it was newsworthy enough to devote two and a half minutes of broadcast airtime to discuss this bogus report.  The next time we see a news curmudgeon tut-tutting that college kids get their news from The Daily Show, we’re going to send them this link to demonstrate exactly what counts as “newsworthy” for a New York affiliate of CBS.   

These kind of ridiculous “news” pieces not only waste viewers’ time, but is also pushes the idea that “women are stupid" for everyone's amusement. It’s no wonder that nearly every actual women CBS 2 reporter Emily Smith spoke with could hardly believe the question was being asked.