Megyn Kelly has discussed at least three times the “question” about whether or not Republican attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are, as Kelly said with overt incredulity, “racially charged.” Although Kelly made a rather unconvincing stab at balance in the debate she moderated on the subject yesterday - with two white guys - the bigger question here is not Rice and race but why this would be considered such an important topic? Given how Kelly presented the question, it’s pretty clear that her real goal was to suggest that those questioning the racial motivations of attacks on Rice were playing the race card and looking for preferences. Coincidentally, that is a "question" Kelly has repeatedly raised about African Americans.
Guest Mike Gallagher offered up what Fox was obviously hoping to suggest without having to say so itself: Representative James Clyburn (the Democrat shown objecting to the “code words”) “is a long-time race baiter” who is trying to “squelch” criticism of race by “hiding behind this scurrilous, mean charge.”
Guest Alan Colmes argued that from a “purely, political strategic standpoint,” it’s not wise for Republicans to go after a young, African American woman as their first order of business after the election.
Kelly had not challenged Gallagher’s insult of Clyburn. But she now hinted that white people should be offended by Colmes' statement. She “asked,” “Is that mere comment dividing us by race?” In case you didn’t already know what Kelly was getting at, she added, with an unmistakeable sneer, “So Susan Rice, according to you, should be treated differently because of her skin color?”
When Colmes said, correctly, that he had not said such a thing, Kelly insisted otherwise. Colmes added that there’s a “perception” issue as Republicans keep attacking African Americans and Hispanics.
That was more cause for Kelly to jump in! “Are they going after blacks and Hispanics because they don’t like blacks and Hispanics, they don’t like the fact that they’re black and Hispanic,” she asked incredulously or was it because “there are more of those folks who are in positions of power in today’s day and age?” Once again, her tone of voice left no doubt where she stood.
Colmes answered that whether or not it’s real prejudice, it’s “perceptually wrong.” He further pointed out that using the words “Al Qaeda” “could have actually been a security risk to people we have on the ground. They were protecting the well-being of Americans by not calling it terror, by not calling it Al Qaeda, before they actually knew.”
Again, Gallagher voiced the suggestion inherent in the premise of the debate: “You’re suggesting that people of color should be given immunity from criticism.”
Near the end, Kelly did point out that Clyburn was in a position to understand “code words” and asked if Gallagher could “dismiss that outright.” But it was a little bit of balance quite late.
If Kelly really cared about African American sentiment on the subject, she would have hosted an African American who felt offended. Having two white guys debate does nothing except add speculative fuel to a fire Kelly was obviously trying to ignite. And while I might give her some benefit of the doubt here because I saw the same “issue” raised elsewhere on Fox, this is just the latest example of Kelly inferring that African Americans get unwarranted, preferential treatment.
By the way, Kelly's America Live show airs during what Fox calls its "objective" news programming.