Fox News has issued a statement in regards to tweets and other communications made by billionaire Republican U.S. presidential nomination front-runner, Donald Trump, encouraging his supporters to “boycott” Megyn Kelly. Trump has described Kelly as being “crazy,” “sick,””overrated,” and “unwatchable.”
Everybody should boycott the @megynkelly show. Never worth watching. Always a hit on Trump! She is sick, & the most overrated person on tv.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2016
Best thing my supporters can do if you don't like the way @megynkelly and her puppets unfairly treat "us" is don't watch her show!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2015
Watching other networks and local news. Really good night! Crazy @megynkelly is unwatchable.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2016
In defense of Kelly, Fox News described Donald Trump’s language as “vitriolic” and professed a belief that the candidate has a “sick obsession” with her, and that his behavior has been “beneath the dignity” of a U.S. presidential candidate. The Trump/Kelly dispute dates back to August, 2015, during an early Republican debate when the journalist grilled the political outsider on his attitude towards women, such as using language like “fat pigs” and “disgusting slobs,” as reported by CNN. Trump later described Kelly’s demeanor as similar to one in which blood was “coming out of her whatever…”
Trump notoriously commented on the appearance of failed Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, as reported by the Inquisitr.
“Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?”
“Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America — we’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults,” The Fox News statement was quoted. “As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job.”
In October, TV Newser reported on a previous attempt by Trump to start a boycott of Megyn Kelly’s show, The Kelly File. Perhaps somewhat similar to how Trump himself defied the predictions of political commentators to come to lead the race for the Republican presidential nomination, is Megyn Kelly’s garnering of a reputation as a pull-no-punches journalist when, previously, many Americans may not have recognized her name. Her ratings were said to have increased by 9 percent in the months following the August 6 debate. The momentum Kelly gained from the exposure lead to The Kelly File beating regular news viewership leader The O’Reilly Factor, hosted by Bill O’Reilly.
Previous to the release of the Fox News Megyn Kelly statement, the network had announced the cancellation of a Republican debate that it was planning to host in Utah at the Salt Palace Convention Center on Monday, after both Ohio Governor John Kasich and Donald Trump stated that they would not attend, according to CNN.
A second Kelly/Trump encounter almost occurred on January 28 in Des Moines, Iowa. Trump instead decided to skip the event and hold his own, predicting that television ratings for his would far surpass those of the Fox debate. In the end, Megyn Kelly and the Fox debate were able to attract over 11 million viewers, while Trump’s event drew 3.1 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kelly and Trump did finally meet again in early March, in Detroit, as reported by the Washington Post, Kelly was described as being Trump’s “toughest adversary,” asking questions that were “tough and well-researched.” Kelly is described as being praised by observers, as well as a range of political commentators, for engaging in thoughtful debate.
The reasons behind Trump’s latest call for a boycott of Megyn Kelly, as well as attempts to portray her as “crazy,” remain “not exactly clear.”
Though Kelly stated that she can “no longer” use Twitter on the Tonight Show in February, her account appears to be active once again. The journalist was referring to her receipt of an explosion of online taunts. A graphic with BGR demonstrates spikes in which specific insults were directed at Megyn Kelly on social media for one year, from March 2015 to March 2016.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) March 19, 2016
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]