After Donald Trump tried to take credit for Megyn Kelly’s sudden 10-day vacation, Fox News hit back with a ferocity we’ve not seen leveled at Trump so far.
Normally, Fox anchors briefly and cheerily announce upcoming vacations, something along the line of “I’ll be off next week. See you the week after.” So it was natural to wonder what was behind Kelly’s more dramatic announcement Wednesday night that actually suggested her contretemps with Trump following the Fox News debate at least partly influenced her decision:
KELLY: Well, It’s been an interesting week. And a long six months, without a vacation for yours truly, do you know that? It’s been six months since I’ve had a vacation. Yes, I know. Just ask my assistant. So I’ll be taking the next week and a half off, spending some time with my husband and my kids, trying to relax.
The big challenge is trying to put down the electronica and unplug it. Can you do it when you go on vacation? I am going to try. I am going to try to look at my little one’s faces and go for bike rides and play at the beach and not look at you.
And when I see you back here on the 24th, we’ll pick it all up again. Have a great week. See you soon.
There was speculation that Kelly had been put in a timeout after Fox News viewers erupted with fury at Kelly's gotcha questions for Trump and deluged Fox in support of him. As The Daily Beast noted, some of the Tweets in response to her vacation announcement were “downright churlish.”
Fox News claimed the vacation was pre-planned (even though Kelly suggested otherwise).
My own impression was that Kelly did not take kindly to Fox chief Roger Ailes' failure to stand up for her, especially given that she has branded herself (presumably with Fox’s approval) as an independent voice at Fox and as a “straight news anchor.” Furthermore, the debate questions were almost surely prepared under the watchful eye of Ailes.
But, not surprisingly, Trump tried to take credit for Kelly’s vacation. In an interview on Newsmax TV published yesterday, host Steve Malzberg asked, “Do you think there was any connection to have her go away for a while in the wake of what she did?”
TRUMP: Well, there probably was, but I wouldn’t know about it and I hope she’s well and I hope she’s feeling fine and I hope she comes back and she’s going to be fair and good and I’m sure that will happen and I’m sure Roger will make it happen ‘cause he’s a fair guy and he wants things to run smoothly. So yes, people were very, very surprised that, all the sudden, she decided to go away for 10 or 11 or 12 days, but that’s OK. Some people make those quick decisions.
“The conspiracy theories about Megyn Kelly’s vacation rank up there with UFO’s, the moon landing and Elvis being alive. Megyn is on a pre-planned, annual summer vacation with her family, which is much deserved. To imply otherwise as Donald Trump and his campaign operatives have is not only wildly irresponsible, but downright bizarre. Perhaps Mr. Trump thinks it’s advantageous to his poll numbers to keep talking about Megyn, but that doesn’t change the fact that Roger Ailes has fully supported her and her tough journalistic questioning since day one and is thrilled with the added exposure from the debate which resulted in even higher ratings of The Kelly File this week. Anyone who knows Roger is aware of how historically and consistently loyal he is to all of his talent and how he protects them at all costs. As Governor Terry Branstad said today, ‘when you’re a candidate, you’ve got to basically answer the questions. You can’t just attack the person asking the questions. That doesn’t work.’”
Trump also indicated that he was going to appear on Meet The Press and not Fox News Sunday this weekend is because of “the level of hatred” in host Chris Wallace’s debate questioning.
Get the popcorn going. A new episode of As The Trump Turns will surely be airing soon.
You can watch Kelly’s talking about her vacation and Trump’s interview, below.
Coming down the pipeline: A Fox “News” shocker!
Ironic coming from the network that likes to refer to President Obama as “the vacation president” . . .
Six months without a vacation. From her hard work of sitting in a makeup chair for a hour or so and reading off a teleprompter. My heart bleeds.
How many vacation days does the average Fox viewer get each year… much less every six months…?