Megyn Kelly claims that there is an “absurd” amount of anti-Trump bias in the media industry.
At the same time, she claims the president has contributed to the prime-time news “snake pit” that convinced her to jump from FNC to NBC after after her “year of Trump.”
On Monday, September 25, Megyn Kelly Today premieres on NBC as the 9 a.m. Eastern hour of the Today franchise in front of a live audience. The show will primarily focus on entertainment and lifestyle content rather than hard news. Over the summer, there were reports that NBC execs were in total panic over how the new hour might fare, particularly given that Kelly’s Sunday night news magazine was pulled after just eight episodes apparently for lackluster ratings.
The host of The Kelly File exited the Fox News Channel in January and officially joined NBC News on May 1.
Megyn Kelly, 46, has been making a lot of appearances on various media platforms to promote her new gig. In an appearance on The Ellen Show, Kelly claimed her post-debate feud with candidate Donald Trump clarified her life choices, Variety explained.
“She said Trump’s controversial tweets about her — which he posted after her questions at a debate early in the campaign cycle — were just a clarification and confirmation that she didn’t want to live in the toxicity of the cable news environment.”
She also revealed that former Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly warned her that prime-time news was a snake pit. The Kelly File evolved from a segment of the same name on The O’Reilly Factor.
In an interview with AdWeek/TV Newser, Kelly claimed that the journalism industry has become far more polarized in the Trump era, while also alluding to the media bias issue.
“,,,It’s not the way it used to be, being a journalist today. [Trump] is effectively, and not just him, but his most ardent supporters, have made us players on the field instead of on the sidelines where we belong. That’s not to say there’s not media bias. There are so many reporters who are completely biased against Trump, it’s absurd…He’s right that they’re biased against him. They’re extremely biased against him. And some play right into it. They do themselves no service with that tactic. But that doesn’t change the fact that he puts them in a dangerous place by targeting them. You’ve got the alt-right stoking every divisive fire they can. You have conservatives who see their issues diminished regularly, or ignored, or mocked…”
She also lamented that the 2017 Emmy Awards broadcast had become politicized and that she, probably like many people at home, tuned in to escape from political issues and other serious matters of the day. Parenthetically, the Emmys hit an all-time low in viewership.
Kelly, who was a Fox News employee for 12 years, also noted that she would like the chance to interview President Trump on her Today platform at some point. After burying the hatchet with Trump, she did film a sit-down with him in May 2016 for her Fox broadcast network prime-time special Megyn Kelly Presents, which underperformed in the ratings.
Megyn Kelly’s remarks about media bias may surprise some Trump supporters in that The Kelly File featured a great deal of Trump criticism during the election season, unlike pro-Trump bookend shows then anchored by O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. (With Laura Ingraham soon to be taking over at 10 p.m., Hannity will now revert to his 9 p.m. perch, his original time slot before he made way for Megyn Kelly and The Kelly File.)
“Megyn Kelly frequently smeared Donald Trump during the 2016 election,” the pro-Trump Gateway Pundit website insisted.
Separately, some Megyn Kelly detractors contend that when the media personality and former corporate lawyer famously challenged Donald Trump during the above-mentioned August 2015 GOP presidential debate over his past disparaging comments about women (“only Rosie O’Donnell,” the future president famously quipped), it was more about careerism and auditioning for another network — which turned out to be NBC — than a legitimate journalistic inquiry.
The challenge for Megyn Kelly perhaps is that those Fox News viewers disillusioned with her over all the anti-Trump content on The Kelly File seem unlikely to follow her to NBC. On the other side of the coin, more liberal NBC viewers could be reluctant to welcome Megyn Kelly into their living rooms because of her FNC resume. Or, as an Inquisitr commenter previously observed about a perceived crossover-appeal deficit, “The left hates her and the right has disowned her.” Perhaps that’s all the more reason for the new Today offering to steer clear of politics.
Another potential challenge for Megyn Kelly is that the 9 a.m. presentation already poses a challenge for NBC, The Wrap explained. “For the full 2016-17 season, the show’s 9-10 a.m. hour pulled in nearly 2.67 million viewers on average — behind the Kelly Ripa-led Live (2.96 million), Ellen (2.91 million) and industry leader Dr. Phil (4.53 million total viewers),” although Ellen and Dr. Phil may air at different times depending on the market.
According to The Daily Beast, NBC has gone into “DEFCON 1” to try to give Megyn Kelly Today an advantage, including pressing into service about 200 affiliates around the country, “to complete Kelly’s transformation from hard-edged political impresario and Donald Trump scapegoat to approachable, down-to-earth daytime soul mate,” according to an internal network memo.
“The memo, sent in mid-June to ‘NBC Affiliate General Managers/Corporate Group Executives’…directs NBC-owned and affiliate stations to give up lucrative minutes of local advertising during Kelly’s 9 a.m.-to-10 a.m. time slot so that the network can sell the spots and pocket the revenue, thus rendering Megyn Kelly Today‘s balance sheet significantly more favorable than it otherwise might be…A veteran network news executive and daytime television producer, who spoke on condition of not being named, said it’s unusual if not unprecedented for a network to grab more than six minutes from its affiliates in a single hour of programming.”
Do you think that Megyn Kelly will make the third hour of the Today show a success for NBC?
[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]