For someone who insists she’s not an opinion host, Megyn Kelly showed an awful lot of opinion and bias last week during a discussion about President Obama's plan to deal with ISIS. First, she listened respectfully to Republican Marc Thiessen criticize Obama. Then came Democrat Penny Lee for a session of interrupting, shouting and, yes, opinions.
Before Thiessen, Fox reporter Ed Henry gave an update on the Obama administration’s strategy for ISIS. Near the end, Henry said that Obama planned to “take a time out” from the deliberations and go to Rhode Island for a Democratic fundraiser.
As if on cue, Kelly let out a loud, indignant, “What?” She shook her head with a disgusted look on her face as Henry finished explaining Obama’s plans.
Thiessen was supposedly there “to react.” But before he had a chance to say a word, Kelly offered her own reaction: “Really? He’s gonna take a time out from all the work he’s been doing in the Vineyard to go do some fundraising, while we consider whether we need to BOMB (her emphasis) Syria and perhaps put boots on the ground?”
Nevertheless, Thiessen was able to opine without impediment and without any of the hostility that Kelly dished out to her next guest who just happened to be Democratic Lee.
Kelly started out with hammy petulance toward Lee. “What’s he [Obama] doing, going to a Democratic fundraiser when we’re weighing whether we are going to bomb Syria?” she asked.
Lee tried to answer. “As you know The White House always travels with the president and wherever he goes…” she began.
Kelly rudely interrupted. “Oh, stop! Come on! Stop that! Get real!” The belligerence was a marked contrast to the respect she gave to Thiessen.
Lee, not the strongest Democratic advocate, capitulated: “Let me agree the optics aren’t good,” she said.
But that wasn’t enough for Kelly. She interrupted again and talked over Lee. “It’s not just the optics! It’s the actual behavior! Get back and start governing! Americans could die! They could die in executing those strikes. If they are not effective they could die back here in an attack on the homeland or our interests elsewhere. What’s he doing?!”
Lee again agreed. Without challenging Kelly’s tactics, Lee tried to argue that Obama is probably engaged in backchannel meetings about ISIS and how to combat it.
“Non-opinion host” Kelly again interrupted – and gave an opinion:
I’m not suggesting he’s not having those meetings. The reports today are that he is. But I think it might be a multi-day affair. I think maybe he should spend more than just a few days on it ‘cause he’s been on vacation all these weeks and he should actually spend Friday, even Friday, avoiding the Democratic fundraiser and deciding whether it is worth the risk to American lives to send military, our military over Syria.
Even without the opining, there are not many “neutral” hosts who spend much of an interview yelling and berating a guest, especially one who was as polite and respectful as Lee.
Watch what passes for a "non-opinionated" host's discussion on Fox, below.