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'Stop this madness': Women of Fox News suddenly hiding their legs?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joins the leggy ladies of Fox News’ “Outnumbered”

Kimberly Guilfoyle, co-host of “The Five” on Fox New Channel

It’s no secret that Fox News has some of the most attractive female hosts in the business, and many fans have become accustomed to seeing beautiful, leggy women deliver the daily news.

In fact, Google searches of almost every woman on Fox News reveal scores of images of the lady-hosts boldly baring their long legs.

But now – in the wake of the recent ousters of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly following multiple sexual harassment accusations – the online rumor mill is running wild with speculation.

Why? In recent weeks, some of the Fox News bombshells, namely hosts Jenna Lee, Sandra Smith, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Ainsley Earhardt, have ditched their usual short skirts and were spotted wearing … pants!

Yes, pants.

Fox News’ Jenna Lee sports pants on the air (Photo: Screenshot)

Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt sports pants on the air (Photo: Provided to WND by Fox News)

Twitter noticed when Kimberly Guilfoyle (far left) wore pants on “The Five” in mid-April

Sandra Smith (far left) wears pants on Fox News’ “Outnumbered”

And Fox fans took notice on Twitter, where the story appears to “have legs”:

“Well, people have been talking about it for years, but in the last few weeks, there’s been less talk and more action on the part of the on-air talent themselves,” wrote Mediaite’s Lindsey Ellefson Tuesday. “Every time pants appear on a woman on Fox, the tweets start coming and our ‘tips’ inbox fills up with viewers curious to know if the ousting of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly and the resignation of Bill Shine have ushered in a new era at Fox News.”

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For many years, news reports indicated the network didn’t allow its female hosts to wear pants.

Gabriel Sherman’s biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” said the founder and former chairman of Fox News once disapproved when former host Catherine Crier appeared on TV wearing pants. The book states:

“Be more opinionated,” he told Crier in one meeting. “The guests are there as a foil for you.” He also disagreed with her dress. “He had admiration for her legs,” a senior executive said. In one meeting, Ailes barked, “Tell Catherine I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits” (“The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Page 238).

And NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, author of “Murdoch’s World,” claimed in 2013 that Fox used a so-called “leg cam” on “The Five”:

“There’s a camera that they have, and what they do – I’m told this is absolutely true – they sort of sort the women they have by the degree of attractiveness, and particularly the degree of attractiveness of the legs. I believe it’s the seat on the front right where, having arranged this hierarchy, they put the woman with the best legs there and they have a camera that goes directly for the legs. And so essentially they have what they call the ‘leg cam,’ and that is to accentuate the sleekness and design of that particular person on-air.”

Fox News’ “The Five”

In 2013, former “Fox & Friends” host Gretchen Carlson stated during a radio interview that she wasn’t “allowed” to wear pants on the show.

Carlson showed up for the “Kilmeade & Friends” radio interview wearing jeans. When Kilmeade mentioned her outfit, Carlson said: “Nobody’s going to recognize me, because not only am I dressed casually, [but] I have on pants! OK? Now, pants were not allowed on ‘Fox & Friends,’ remember?”

Former Fox host Gretchen Carlson interviews Miss America on “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson”

And just last month, Jedediah Bila, a former Fox contributor and once a panelist on “Outnumbered,” told “The View”:

“We used to go into a room and there were a bunch of dresses you could choose from. I was told at one point I wasn’t allowed to wear orange because Roger [Ailes] didn’t like the color orange, so I didn’t wear orange. I didn’t see any pants. People always say, ‘Why didn’t you wear pants?’ You’ll notice I wear pants a lot here. I didn’t wear pants because I didn’t see a pants option. I wasn’t given a pants option so I had to wear skirts.”

Jedediah Bila (right), a former Fox contributor and once a panelist on “Outnumbered”

Fox News has repeatedly denied that it has any rule against women wearing pants.

“There is no dress code, and there has never been an edict against women wearing pants on air,” a Fox News spokesperson told WND Tuesday.

Hosts Harris Faulkner, Martha MacCallum and Ainsley Earhardt have all said no one at Fox News has ever told them they can’t wear pants.

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Nonetheless, Fox’s ladies have even been the targets of harsh criticism from competitor CNN because they show their long legs.

As WND reported in 2012, CNN anchor Carol Costello took a verbal shot at the legs of the female anchors at Fox.

Costello wrote on her Facebook page: “Good Morning! Each morning we are amazed at the excellent posture and strange ‘leg crossings’ on Fox’s early, early news. I have tried to get my legs to do that … but, it hurts. What can I say, it’s a slow Monday!”

Costello’s remark prompted a string of responses on Facebook.

Donna DiMauro Wyko replied, “Wow, why so ‘catty’ about the Fox ladies? Maybe because they are not only good looking but, also are intelligent and informed? Fox always presents both sides of their stories. Yes, there is a reason that they’re number 1 and it’s NOT because the ladies have long legs!”