Is Bill O’Reilly jealous of Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly over that favorable press coverage that she receives?
Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly playfully bantered Monday night on The O’Reilly Factor about a New York Times Magazine profile called “The Megyn Kelly Moment.”
O’Reilly holds down the high-rated 8 p.m. Eastern time slot on FNC, with breakout star Kelly following him an hour later, having inherited Sean Hannity’s platform in October, 2013, on her show The Kelly File.
Kelly continues to make weekly appearances with O’Reilly in addition to her nightly show.
Referring to the what he called a “puff piece” in the Times, O’Reilly declared of the liberal publication that “I can’t remember them ever saying anything good about anybody on this channel.”
Disagreeing with the puff piece putdown, Kelly fired back immediately with “Jealousy is an ugly emotion, Bill.” O’Reilly then conceded that the Times likes Kelly because she’s “charming.”
To O’Reilly’s further astonishment as he pretended to experience a choking fit, Kelly praised reporter Jim Rutenberg for writing an article that was unusually fair to FNC, to her, and to Roger Ailes, the network boss. She also joked that Rutenberg made her “sound like a cougar” just for being eight months younger than her husband. See embedded clip below.
Whether you’re a fan or not, data shows that Fox News finished 2014 as the most-watched cable news network (for the 13th year in a row) and in fourth place in primetime viewership for all of basic cable.
“The Megyn Moment” so-called is an instance where apparently to the surprise of The New York Times, Megyn Kelly is willing to toss tough questions at such notables as Karl Rove or former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.
About Megyn Kelly’s success since taking over for Hannity, Rutenberg wrote in part.
The Megyn moment has upended the popular notion of how a Fox News star is supposed to behave, and led to the spectacle of a Fox anchor winning praise from the very elites whose disdain Fox has always welcomed. In the process, Kelly’s program has not just given America’s top-rated news channel its biggest new hit in 13 years; it has demonstrated an appeal to the younger and (slightly) more ideologically diverse demographic Fox needs as it seeks to claim even more territory on the American journo-political landscape … In fact, The Kelly File was the highest-rated nonsports program in her time slot in all of basic cable in 2014.”
The article has generated about 1,000 comments so far on the Times webpage, many of which were negative, which is no surprise given the Times‘ general left-leaning readership and its distaste for the right-leaning network.
In mid-January, Dish Network ended its blackout of Fox News when the two organizations reached a multiyear distribution agreement, but not before O’Reilly and Kelly cut a commercial suggesting that Dish was engaging in censorship.
Separately, about a week ago on The O’Reilly Factor, Megyn Kelly suggested that Selma director Ava DuVernay was not nominated for an Academy Award because it put liberal icon Lyndon Johnson, the 36th U.S. President, in a less-favorable light. O’Reilly disagreed, but added that Clint Eastwood was similarly snubbed for helming mega-hit American Sniper because of that whole empty chair episode at the Republican National Convention in 2012.
Apart from the good-natured, all-in-fun dialogue back and forth, do you think it’s possible that Bill O’Reilly might actually have feelings of jealousy over Megyn Kelly’s success in the media?