Just two years ago, it seemed like Megyn Kelly could do no wrong. She was beating Bill O’Reilly in the rating for the 25-54 age group. Variety wrote an article on how Kelly became the star of Fox News.
“Megyn Kelly is bucking the conventional wisdom of what it means to be a Fox News anchor. The take-no-prisoners newswoman isn’t afraid to throw hardballs at Republicans. She recently lectured Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul over his penchant for arguing with female reporters.”
The article also noted that she asked brave questions to Jeb Bush about Iraq and debated Mike Huckabee for saying it was wrong for women to swear in public. She also told Dick Cheney how history had proven him wrong. But it was her standing up to Donald Trump that really put her star into the stratosphere.
As the Guardian noted after the first Republican presidential candidate debate, in 2015, Kelly really hammered Trump by reminding him that he has called women he doesn’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. After Trump said it was only Rosie O’Donnell, Kelly let him know that his misogynist words went far beyond O’Donnell. She then listed some of Trump’s victims and what he said.
Since then, Kelly was seen as the only likable personality on Fox News by those opposed to Republicans. But was this all an act? It’s hard to forget that Kelly publicly went after Britney Spears for her video “If You Seek Amy” in 2009 and basically slut-shamed the singer. While the video certainly is open for criticism, Kelly had never criticized sexual videos by male artists who have done far worse.
Then, as Politico reported, there was the late-2013 event in which Kelly assured her viewers that both Santa Clause and Jesus were white.
“On Wednesday night Megyn Kelly declared on her Fox News show that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Discussing a piece in Slate by Aisha Harris about a black versus white Santa, Kelly that ‘just because it makes you feel uncomfortable it doesn’t mean it has to change.'”
As others have noted, Santa is a fictional character. He could really be any color one wants him to be. And Jesus Christ is widely believed to be of Middle Eastern descent. Fox News defended Kelly over the debacle, which was soon forgotten.
As of late 2016, Kelly was a huge superstar. She used her status to write a book to further align herself as the hero of all women, and she claimed, as seen in a Vanity Fair article, that she was sexually harassed by Fox News chief Roger Ailes. While it would certainly be wrong to question Kelly on her claims, it’s not wrong to question her timing of all the revelations.
Then, last spring, Kelly announced her departure from Fox News and her move to NBC. Her new morning show has yet to air, but her Sunday news magazine show has been an absolute disaster. As the Hill reports, Kelly’s last show on July 16 drew a paltry 3.1 million viewers, which is about half of the viewers who tuned in for her premiere, which featured a much-criticized interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Now, according to Page Six, Kelly’s NBC morning show has been titled Megyn Kelly Today. Yet, as Twitter shows, not everybody is excited.
The main problem with Kelly is that she has alienated her conservative audience. Meanwhile, non-conservatives don’t consider the former Fox News star authentic. The next couple of months are certainly going to be an uphill battle for Megyn Kelly, but perhaps she has some surprises up her sleeve.
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