Megyn Kelly responded tonight to the “Santa Claus is white” controversy, charging that some of her critics were “race-baiting.”
Kelly prompted a Twitter explosion when she declared that Santa Claus is a white male.
The controversy got started when Kelly and her The Kelly File panel on Wednesday evening were commenting on an article by Slate writer Aisha Harris who suggested that she couldn’t related to Santa as a fat, old white man, and he should be replaced by penguin Santa.
In tonight’s broadcast (she took the night off on Thursday), Kelly addressed the firestorm of criticism on social media and elsewhere in the news and entertainment media. Some critics labeled Kelly a racist and others mocked her based on the premise that she was supposedly unaware that Santa is a mythical character.
Kelly noted tonight (see embed above) that the segment in question was meant to be light-hearted and tongue-in-check: “Humor is what we try to bring to this show, but somehow that is lost on the humor-less.”
The “most commonly depicted image of Santa does have white skin,” she insisted.
She added the outcry would be funny if it wasn’t for the knee-jerk reaction by some haters to race-bait “and to assume the worst in people especially the people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel.”
Kelly rejected any implications of racism and suggested that she and the Slate writer were on the same page: “Neither my statement nor Harris’ I’m sure was motivated by any racial fear or loathing. In fact, it was something far less sinister — a lifetime of exposure to the very same ‘commercials, mall casting calls, and movies’ Harris references in her piece… we continually see St. Nick as a white man in modern day America.”
Concluded Kelly: “For me, the fact that an offhand jest I made during a segment about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin has now become a national firestorm says two things: Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country and Fox News and yours truly are big targets for many people.”
She did acknowledge, however, that she may have been wrong about what Jesus looked like.
Megyn Kelly has been crushing the cable news competition since she took over the 9 pm EST time slot on FNC from Sean Hannity. Whether you agree or not with Megyn Kelly’s Santa Claus response, and particularly that she was targeted only because she works for Fox News, her ratings will most likely continue to spike.