A couple of weeks ago, I set up an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly for Glamocracy (appearing soon, by the way, and she is super-nice) and mentioned to her fabulous publicist that I always really liked Bill Hemmer, with whom Megyn co-anchors a show. And, by "liked" I mean, "thought was completely cute." And there's nothing I like better to do than embarrass myself in front of a really hot guy, so I asked if it was possible that I could take a picture of Bill Hemmer just to gush, and his publicist did me one better and let me interview him... and then he insisted that I get in the picture with him. And he put his arm around me! Gushing aside, he was also super-nice and smart.
I asked him whether he gets more fan mail now or when he was at CNN — when he co-anchored a morning show with Soledad O'Brien and Jack Cafferty that first got me thinking he was cute. He told me that Fox News fans are more loyal than those of any other network, newspaper or publication, and that he feels that he gets a lot more fan mail now. He's actually been really impressed with how many fans of Fox News have come up to him and Megyn Kelly on the floor of the convention and said that they are fans (despite the netroots Fox News hatred). In fact, he cited off the top of his head a recent Pew study that shows Fox's viewership is pretty evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and independents.
We also talked a bit about the vibe at the conventions. When Hemmer interviewed Jon Stewart in 2004, Stewart told him that he sees the conventions as big Amway meetings — you bring your big sellers together and get them all geared up to go out and sell. But, this time he sees it a bit differently: what the crowds want to hear, he says, is simply how the hometown presidential candidate is good and his opponent is bad. (Of course, last night's message neglected the McCain-abuse, and tonight's not likely to be a particularly hit-filled evening either.) Anyway, so Bill Hemmer is kind of a combination of endearingly doofy and really smart. I've heard people call him a himbo, and his role alongside Soledad and Jack was that of the endearing younger brother, which is what I liked about him (and them). But between fist bumping me (which he's always called "potatoes," by the way) and quoting statistics off the top of his head about both Fox News' viewership and recent polls, he convinced me that he's far from the airhead he's sometimes portrayed as being. Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources [Pew Research Center]