TV Can Create the Wrong Images of People

It's amazing how you can come off on TV.

I've seen absolute jerks who are loved by their viewers.

And absolute jewels who are hated.

Me? I'm perfect, of course, on-air and off, so it figures the love is universal.

But seriously, TV impressions are a powerful thing, and once formed, a powerful thing to break.

Take this riff against Barack Obama that he's some elitist snob.

I don't think he is, and given his struggling childhood, it's pretty clear he wasn't, but that's the image now.

Odd coming from John McCain, a guy who owns more homes than I do dessert menus, and a man whose wife is worth, what, a hundred million bucks?

But if you can sell it, push it.

And trust me, candidates have for years.

Franklin Roosevelt came from one of the richest families in America, yet somehow managed to gain the voice of the working man and several electoral landslides in the process.

John Kennedy was Mr. Matinee Idol, but he was also Mr. Hard-Hat Union, go figure.

Richard Nixon truly was one of us, but he was dismissed as put-offish and out of touch.

Sometimes things crack, and carefully crafted images fall apart, like that time photographers caught John Kerry parasailing, and it just looked weird.

Or Obama went bowling, and it just looked rehearsed.

Images can always change.

George Foreman proved that. Forty years ago this Olympic year he was the menacing teenage boxing gold medal winner who went on to destroy every opponent in the world.

Until he didn't, and he became humble, then funny, then hawked those grills.

And George-the-tyrant became George-the-teddy bear.

Just like that.

That's why I'm not touching this, Cavuto-sex-symbol thing.

I know I'm sexy, but I've built a career on being cuddly.

Sure I'm built, but I remind any and all handling my own marketing here: I'm built for comfort.

Stress that.

Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto" and send your comments to

Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.