Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fox News and Non-Verbal Body Language

Do you ever watch the body language of some of the liberal guests on Fox News? Last night, I watched Michelle Malkin hosting the O'Reilly Factor and started to notice all the squirming in their seats and eye darting on the part of her guests of the liberal persuasion. Typically when you see a guest with a liberal point of view on Today, World News Tonight, or any other liberal news program, meaning basically all of them except Fox News, they look rather confident, particularly if they are regular commentators. However, last night, one of the guests of Michelle's, an immigration activist, looked like he was gearing up for a boxing match rather than a discussion. His eyes darted back and forth and he looked quite uncomfortable, and probably with good reason. When your argument for immigration consists of saying something like, "Well, there are hundreds of millions of illegal immigrants all over the world, and the United States only has 6% of them--so what's the problem?" then maybe you should look uncomfortable because you would have to know deep down that your argument lacks the logic to stand up to scrutiny. When Katie Couric bats her eyelashes at you and coos in sympathy to your left leaning cause, you just don't need to get that worked up, but when you are challenged by the likes of Michelle Malkin, the eye darting and seat shifting begin.

In another segment, a Democratic strategist, Julie Roginsky, is talking with Michelle and a Republican strategist about the Edwards blogger fiasco. The Democratic strategist looks like she is geared up for a fight, her eyes are flashing and she looks ready ready to swing--but she also looks out of her element. She is geared up for a challenge and she must realize to some extent that her slanderous excuses for Edward's poor judgement in hiring bloggers will not hold up--her body language gives her away. "Look, McCain hired an anti-semitic blogger for his campaign," she states. Perhaps Roginsky should check her notes again and see that she made a "mistake." If she didn't feel uncomfortable while in the studio, then maybe she will when bloggers rake her over the coals. The time for getting away with any left-leaning statement as if it were fact is over, and maybe the liberals are just starting to figure that out--and thus the discomfort.

So next time you watch Fox News, take a look at the body language of the liberal guests as compared to the conservative guests. You will often see the liberal display a defensive stance, darting eyes and shifting in their seat. The discomfort could just be fear of being challenged, but my guess is, that deep down, many of these people know that their arguments do not hold water and what they can get away with on regular news segments no longer works on Fox News. It's no wonder liberals hate it so much.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see you and Michelle Malkin host a show together, Dr Helen. You'd rule the airwaves.

7:58 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol. Thanks for yer analysis.
Generalize much?

Speaking of defensive stances, how's that political philosophy coming, y'all were espousing? -- The Bush Doctrine, I think they were calling it. Hmm... speaking of shifty; indeed.

8:19 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the trolls instantly appear!

Very sad, really.

Dr. Helen, I appreciate your efforts. But you may have to go to a registered nonanonymous system after all.

9:26 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon, let me take some time to analyze your brilliant response. OK, now let me do something important like feed my fish.

Seriously lame and vapid anon. Why go anon to write such drivel? It makes you look chicken and vapid.


10:03 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read about your Tennessee blogger fest.
How come you don't like to be called "Dr. Helen"?

10:05 AM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I'm all for analyzing people's written and spoken words, but body language? I think not.

10:11 AM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger Don Surber said...

Malkin certainly would be a popular show. Conserves would watch. Libs would watch. Hell, I would watch

10:17 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Body language is not unimportant, as Dr. Helen knows too well from her work as a forensic psycholoist.

I think I understand why she doesn't care to be called Dr. Helen, but we all know her that way, and it id endearing to us.

Dr. Helen, youur thoughts are often so good at helping one's perspectives. Also reassuring, as one gets to wondering, is it just me? Am I really misguided? Thanks.

10:26 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking this idea one step farther, I notice when someone sincerely believes the argument he's making the body language shows this and it doesn't matter with whom he is debating. It may have something to do with his voice, the lower registers seem to disappear along with confidence and sincerity.


10:30 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose it is inevitable that Fox News will be attacked as it is from an opposing point of view. It is the only network on the tube that is not decidedly left leaning. At best, and only at times, center. A little to a lot to the right the rest of the time. Nothing wrong with that, as you won't find it anywhere else. And I lean that way.

Fox does have talking heads on from both sides at the same time on a regular basis. I do appreciate that. Perfect? Well, no. But a much more honest and sincere attempt than anywhere else I have searched.
My biggest rub is that it is commercial television. Meaning, when a point of contention is being heatedly discussed, they have to break for a commercial right in the middle of it. All the steam gets let out. And when they return, a different subject is usually begun.
PBS was a good idea at one time. But it got hi-jacked. In allowing that, we all lost, I believe.

10:31 AM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Body language is very important, as a psychologist and as a layperson, one would do well to learn to interpret body language. It tells us a great deal about what a person thinks, how they feel, if they are telling an untruth etc. In fact, it is so strong an indicator that there are books about it--check out "Telling Lies" by Paul Ekman, an expert in nonverbal communication who analyzes political strategies etc.


No, it's not just you, the MSM wants you to believe you are alone with your "weirdo" thoughts that the rest of society tags as abberrant. In reality, it is really the opposite, with many people having a different perspective than that portrayed on the liberal news shows. Remember, Fox News is the number one cable show on TV, some of us have to be listening. I don't agree with everything they say, but it is nice to know they are there.


I answered that question in another thread, but at a function for fun, I do not like to think about work! Dr Helen makes it sound like I am "on duty." And it is my blog name. It also reminds me of the mistake I made earlier in life in getting my PHD in psychology.

10:57 AM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also like Tammy Bruce. She seems to come from a place where she applies logic rather than tainted opinion. She's unafraid to part ways with any point of view, and unafraid to stick to her own guns.

She states herself a Democrat. And not necessarily a left leaning individual all the time. But like her site says, common sense. I think she has it, and uses it.

11:02 AM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

That's what the remote is for, to shut off the sound and look away when that telltale body language and tone of voice come on.

11:51 AM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger knox said...

It's no wonder liberals hate it so much.

...same people who want you to believe unquestioningly that "straight" news coming from George Stephanopolous is objective. They can't even make fluff opinion shows like The View balanced with an equal number of liberal & conservative hosts.

1:36 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason that those on the Left seem shifty and uncomfortable is that they NEVER debate or explain themselves with facts.

The Left will:
- Insult you-
-Laugh at you-
-become enraged-
-Accuse you of being a hater-
-Accuse you of being bribed by special interests-
-Become indignant that you would challenge someone with supreme moral authority-
-Change the subject repeatedly-
-Repeat a tired slogan-
-Cite hopelessly flawed statistics-
-Refer to some unprovable conspiracy-

But they will NEVER EVER argue facts.

In short, ALL of the Left's arguments are either outright falsehoods or they are gimmicked, twisted, or skewed in some way. One will NEVER hear a straight, sincere argument from the Left.

Their rebuttals to this post will prove my point.

1:38 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But they will NEVER EVER argue facts.

In short, ALL of the Left's arguments are either outright falsehoods or they are gimmicked, twisted, or skewed in some way.

The Iraq Debacle.
Talk your way out of that one, non-Lefties.
Heh. Indeed. Weasel, Wiggle, Squirm, Blame, Lose.
InstaRepublican circa 2003.

3:17 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah.

Outspend. Outwit. Outlast.

We're just getting started Mr.Reynolds and Ms.Smith... best buckle up for the long bumpy ride you've got yourselves in for. HehHehIndeed.

3:19 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ain't no pleasure boat ride, dahlins.

3:19 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Fox interviewers are just plain obnoxious! Ever think of that?

3:27 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, if we were fully committed to fighting in Iraq and fought it the way the military wanted to fight it, who knows what might happen?

And how are Dr. Helen and Instapundit particularly responsible for the Iraq debacle?

4:07 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derve is back, posting as anonymous.

4:08 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever notice how the lefties cheer each terrorist success while constantly trying to undermine the troops?

But don't question their patriotism.

4:13 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another faceless, nameless anon wrote: "We're just getting started Mr.Reynolds and Ms.Smith... best buckle up for the long bumpy ride you've got yourselves in for. HehHehIndeed."

Wow, now that will scare you. That and the Easter Bunny. Taking yourself a little too seriously lately?


4:36 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Iraq Debacle.
Talk your way out of that one, non-Lefties."

By debacle do you mean:
-Ridding the world of a maniacal dictator?
-Freeing 30 million Iraqis from bondage?
-Killing thousands of Al-Queda fighters?
-Removing the threat of WMD proliferation?

The "debacle" you speak of has not run its course yet. The war in Iraq is ongoing and we will win it. Shouldn't you wait until there has been an outcome before you pass judgment?
A lot of middle east dictators do not want Iraq to succeed. Their influence is making our job in Iraq tougher but we will win none the less.

4:51 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that Dr. Helen is critiquing the body language of "libs" on Fox News.

Look at Dr. Helen's published photos on her web site!

She is a veritable semiotic carnival of ambiguous meanings...

Only, she fully understands the codes of symbolic seduction ...

in minimally tactile environments.

What a smart, smart woman!

6:22 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other words, Dr Helen is hot. Duh.

8:23 PM, February 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1. Not all of Malkin's arguments work out. But if a conservative really annoys liberals, then quite a few secondary and tertiary responses are generated within blogger, print and video media which would expand the potential audience.

Which probably includes liberals who hate Malkin since I've noticed quite a few liberals watch these shows in order to gain either a vicarious experience or to watch dog the show and then complain of any actual or imagined inaccuracies.

2. Frankly I think it is this near incestuous relationship between liberals and the MSM that has brought them down so very very low. If you apply the most basic concepts of the Theory of Evolution to politics then you'd view the political landscape as one of predators and prey. And in politics, where appearance is all, the media is the one with the primary capacity as predator.

In such circumstances then conservatives have the full rigor of journalistic predation to maintain the fitness of the "herd" so to speak. Those that are very able will survive whilst those that are marginal will be quickly weeded out at every level. Drones and culls won't continue with the herd because the predators will ensure that they are removed from competition.

In this sort of worldview the antagonism and partisanship of the MSM actually helps conservatives quite a bit by forcing them to be much more capable than the liberal competition.

Conversely the help the MSM regularly gives to liberals and the partisan way the MSM deliberately avoids culling the less able liberals actually significantly damages the liberal movement. This is exemplified by the great difficulty the liberal-left has in dealing with the more ridiculously insane members. It's also easily seen in the rather thin field presented as the Democratic Presidential candidates in the 2004 election cycle. Any political movement that cannot weed out silly candidates such as Al Sharpton or Dennis Kucinich shows the seriousness of this disability.

This disability is also shown in the self-destructive behavior in academia, jurisprudence and in the media itself. Without a viable mechanism capable of eliminating those that do not add to the overall value of a political organization but who rather simply generate ineffective and valueless "noise", then it is "noise" that will eventually subsume everything as there will be extraordinary difficulty in separating the "noise" from the value.

*shrug* which I, as a conservative, find terribly amusing. The MSM, so dedicated to all things liberal, are in actuality destroying the foundation of the very thing they seek to promote.

The Law of Unintended Consequences is a harsh mistress, but also a delicious one.

12:02 AM, February 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a lot of excuse making by all those conservative academics here. And lots of anonymous finger pointing too, eh "Greg"?

Yep. Debacle. Maybe "Dr."Helen can blame the women who victimized the American men, and all the whiny academics who contribute? Because we're all waiting to see how Mr.Insta given plenty of time spins this debacle into some kind of success.

Yep, we're waiting and watching. And there's lots of us too. HehHeh. C'mon out "Dr."Trey, seems like there's plenty o' defendin to be doin these days, eh?

5:00 PM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 5:00:

Derve, I have already told you before in a previous thread that you are not welcome to comment here. You are a jerk, you have poor manners and you seem to spend a lot of time harassing people at Althouse's blog. Do not comment here.

5:06 PM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:06 PM, February 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you talking about "excuse making"?

5:21 PM, February 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon (is it Derve in Drag?) wrote: "C'mon out "Dr."Trey, seems like there's plenty o' defendin to be doin these days, eh?"

What in the world are you trying to say? I enjoy a good verbal joust as much as anyone, but you need to make some semi-coherent point before I can take aim.


6:50 PM, February 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew you'd show up to defend yer lady, eh?

8:37 PM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Alas: anonymous commenting is permitted again, with its attendant trollery.

If we absolutely must put up with their twitticisms, may I recommend this personal policy: if you go without a name, you go without a response.

5:54 PM, February 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P John, I will try.


11:56 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

It works for my blood pressure, anyway!

1:19 PM, February 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I have decided to ignore trollish anon posts. Sincere and/or thoughtful anon posts are worth responding to. So I am amending my Lenten contract!


3:33 PM, February 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Doctor's analysis of lefty "body language" is right on the money. For those of you who don't think this is important, just look up the word kinesics. Thank you Dr.

9:12 AM, February 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox tensd to find the dumbest, least articulate dopes for thier liberal guests. Easier to intimidate.

11:10 PM, February 25, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 11:10:

Perhaps, but liberals probably tend not to do the show due to fear of confrontation etc. and therefore the pickings might be slimmer. This is a mistake in my book, as the liberals on Fox look even more foolish, giving viewers a sense that liberals cannot support their views logically etc.

7:54 AM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Happy said...

An interesting post:) I'll watch Fox new more carefully next time, but I was never so good at non-verbal things, I've studied some things about eye contact, but no more, so I'll read a bit about non-verbal gesture and then watch:)

1:32 PM, January 16, 2008  
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