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Fox’s Jenna Lee Responds to Conan Comparing Her to Porn Stars

On Tuesday evening, Conan O’Brien did a bit on failed coffee table books, including one called Fox News Anchor or Porn Star? The joke book cover included a photograph of Happening Now co-anchor Jenna Lee sipping lemonade, leaning up against a tree:

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The back cover of the book included a photograph of Outnumbered co-host Sandra Smith, alongside portraits of two pornographic actresses.

Watch the clip below, via TBS:

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While Smith has remained silent about the gag, Lee took to her Facebook page Wednesday morning to issue a lengthy response.

“Want the truth behind this picture?” she wrote. “It’s from an interview I did right before I got married in 2011…for a food blog,” referring to her food-centric interview with GrubStreet.

After stating that she normally lets sexualized references to her appearance slide, Lee declared of the Conan bit: “[A]s a wife, and a new mom, this trashy comment is not only inappropriate, it’s clearly ridiculous. And not even funny! I’m also someone’s daughter — and it’s for the benefit of young girls, like Conan’s daughter Neve, who are growing up in a world where porn references to successful, educated women are somehow considered “funny” and appropriate, even when made by fathers, that I think we need to discuss this.”

She continued with some observations on the sexualization of women in media:

In fact, Conan brings up a sad truth. Some women feel they need to dress and look like porn stars to make it on TV. I wonder where they get that idea? Could it be that the more provocative and sexy their social media photos are, the more followers they get? Maybe they don’t care about their “traditional career” – the Twitter followers are enough. But personally, it makes me extremely sad to see so many talented women tarted-up because they feel like thats what they need to do to be successful.

As many of you have noted – I dress more conservatively than many of the women on TV. It’s a conscious, strategic decision. My theory is my body should never be more important than my body of work – and I’m not done building the latter. Quite frankly, I’ll never be. I may not be the most popular on social media – or voted the sexiest – but at the end of the day, I’ve wanted to be one thing – a journalist. And based on a series of conversations recently with young women, I see the younger generation questioning about where their priority should be – the sexy selfie or the solid resume? And you can’t blame them for being confused. Class is on short supply as a priority for young women. It’s seldom reinforced, re-tweeted, tagged or trending – but it’s the one thing that never goes out of style.

Lee ended the note with a barb aimed at the late-night host: “And now a note from someone who is actually funny: #StayClassy”

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