Rivlin: Knesset fashion ranking ‘in bad taste’

Knesset speakers questions Knesset Channel's airing of a program ranking MKs' fashion sense, says "the show is in bad taste."

Knesset Channel fashion program_370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Knesset Channel fashion program_370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima) raised questions about the appropriateness of the Knesset Channel’s content, after a ranking of MKs’ fashion sense was aired on television on Tuesday.
“The Knesset Channel is not supposed to intervene in matters of MKs’ personal style and taste. It seems to me that the channel deviated from its purpose and mandate, and should examine its behavior,” Rivlin said on Wednesday.
The Knesset speaker explained that the channel is meant to be an additional platform to publicize parliamentary and political activity, and increases transparency in legislation.
“The show is in bad taste,” Rivlin said on Wednesday.
“The Knesset is not the Knesset Channel’s censor and is careful not to intervene in its content, but there are some topics that are not the channel’s job to cover.”
Part of the Knesset speaker’s responsibilities is to regulate the Knesset Channel; however, he does not control its content.
Rivlin sent Knesset Channel director-general Uri Paz a letter by MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima), who was the target of some of the program’s sharpest barbs.
The Knesset Channel responded that, in cooperation with the Fashion Channel, they are giving MKs “advice about their outer appearance by first-class Israeli fashion experts,” adding that Dress Code is an “original and unique segment.”
On Tuesday, following an article in The Jerusalem Post revealing the Knesset Channel- Fashion Channel collaboration on a weekly segment called Dress Code ranking the best-dressed and most sartorially challenged parliamentarians, Solodkin wrote to Rivlin that she found the new program to be inappropriate.
“There is no accounting for taste, but even if my taste in clothing does not match that of the show’s producers and participants, they do not have a right to disparage me,” she wrote.
In addition, Solodkin criticized the Knesset Channel for “focusing on MKs’ style of dress and not the content of their work.”
The Kadima MK pointed out that the segment showed her giving a speech in the plenum about a bill meant to increase the punishment for those who try to stop population groups – such as women, Arabs or new immigrants – from voting. The legislation was inspired by a case in which ultra-Orthodox women in Mea She’arim were stopped from voting in the same polling place as men.
“Apparently, to the show’s producers and participants, the jacket I wore was a bigger problem than the one my bill seeks to solve,” she wrote.
The first 10-minute episode of Dress Code, which is hosted by model Moran Gross and features stylist Lilach Cohen and fashion columnist Chen Avni, aired on Tuesday night.
For nearly three of those minutes, the program mocked Solodkin’s clothing and hairstyle.
MK Miri Regev (Likud) was also targeted by Cohen and Avni.