Megyn Kelly wants everyone to know that she’s not going to turn into an opinion machine just because she’s moving to primetime.
“If you watch O’Reilly, you hear a lot about what Bill O’Reilly thinks,” she said of the type of coverage you can expect from her upcoming show. “Sean Hannity, same thing. But you’re not going to hear what I think.”
The Kelly File starts Monday, and the only real difference between that and her afternoon news show will be that “it’s going to be dark out,” she tells the AP. She continued that she doesn’t even really have an interest in punditry.
“I’ve never wanted to be an opinion host, and Roger Ailes hasn’t wanted me to be an opinion host,” she said. “I don’t think I’d be very successful anyway. I’m not an ideologue, and I think you have to be successful in a prime-time opinion-based show. I think I’m too moderate and reasonable.”
Indeed, its her disinterest in partisan coverage and willingness to take on conservative bastions of the right-leaning network that likely secured her new primetime spot as Fox overhauls its lineup for the first time since 2002. Just because she’s in the midst of heavy opinionmakers Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity doesn’t mean she’s going to fall in-line with that kind of programming.
“I’m not going to be the female Bill [O'Reilly],” she told the O’Reilly Factor host last week.
Her spot might be part of an initiative to bring an amount of moderate credibility back to the network. Fox’s “fair and balanced” tagline has always attracted criticism, with many left-leaning media watcher dedicated almost religiously to pointing out conservative bias among the network’s anchors and hosts.
Yet Kelly, like fellow Fox anchor Shep Smith, has always been a bit of a political enigma, notes the L.A. Times. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show once called Kelly his “favorite person over there [at Fox]” and some have even speculated that she is a closet liberal for the network, even as conservative observers have lauded her for her right-leaning perspective.
Though she doesn’t mind the speculation, she says that both camps are barking up the wrong tree. “I always say to them: You assume too much,” she said. “Nobody really knows my true feelings on a lot of issues.”
Megyn Kelly’s The Kelly File premieres tonight at 9 p.m.