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Megyn Kelly’s “Fair and Balanced” Coverage of Notre Dame “Controversy”

Reported by Priscilla - April 8, 2009 -

The “Fox Nation” is very, very concerned about the University of Notre Dame’s invitation for President Obama to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at their school. Megyn Kelly provided even more coverage of the matter on Monday (April 6th). In keeping with the Fox meme that this event represents a violation of Catholic values while reinforcing the meme that Obama is pro-choice ergo he’s evil, Megyn Kelly provided a platform for more of the same. While like Greta Van Susteren’s questions, in her interview with two Notre Dame students who oppose the presidential visit, Kelly’s questions were legitimate - the whole thing was – not so much?

Kelly began her report by noting that “Catholics across the country are outraged” about the invitation. She showed video of a student protest at Notre Dame and noted that the “main points of contention are Obama’s position on abortion and stem cell research.” (It’s “embryonic” stem cell research, Megyn – get it right!) She noted that these policies “clash with Catholic values upon which the school was founded.” (Not according to the President of the University, Megyn) So if Fox were “fair and balanced,” you’d think that if they were looking for the student perspective, they would interview two students – one opposed and one against the visit. Think again because Kelly interviewed just one student, Kathleen Donahue. You probably think that she looks familiar. Well that’s because she was interviewed, along with another pro-life student, by Greta Van Susteren on March 25th. Well Donahue was back on Fox with more of the same old, same right wing talking points. Kelly did cite a NY Times article that said the majority of letters to the student newspaper were positive; but Donahue had reasons for why, she felt, that wasn’t a true reflection of student opinion. Kelly did mention the counterpoint that said that the answer to unpopular viewpoints is not to shut them down and that the invitation isn’t an endorsement of Obama’s abortion position. Donahue felt that the abortion views can’t be separated from the rest of his policies. Kelly did ask about Bush being able to speak at the University when he advocated capitol punishment. Donahue said that capitol punishment wasn’t as big a deal as abortion. Kelly’s other questions were “devil’s advocate” statements which, I guess, provided counterpoint; but at the same time allowed Donahue to do the talking points without rebuttal from another student with an opposing view. Kelly did not ask Donahue about the involvement of convicted anti abortionist Randall Terry who is working closely with these students and who attended the rally that Kelly spoke about. We did learn that Donahue was a former intern for Rick Santorum so her conservative Catholic creds are impeccable. At the end of the interview, Kelly described Donahue as "very articulate."

Comment: So far, the only opposition student voice, that I have seen, on Fox, has been in this video. As the video is just the comments of the student, with no other context, I don’t know which show this was on and if there was any panel discussion connected with it. I do wonder if Fox will report on Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George's recent statement that “he’s been misquoted as urging protests against Notre Dame’s invitation for President Barack Obama to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony” and that “The University should not disinvite the president.” But back to Megyn Kelly – “fair and balanced?” I’m not convinced. What about you?