After Jane Fonda made a quip about Megyn Kelly at her expense, Kelly took to the airwaves in a diatribe against Fonda with talking points that could have come straight out of Fox News.
In case you missed it, Fonda made a wisecrack about Kelly on the Today Show last week. During a light-hearted interview with Lily Tomlin, in which Fonda and Tomlin were discussing their long friendship, Tomlin cracked that the two had been friends “before your first face left.” Fonda turned to Tomlin and shot back, “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?”
Fonda was referring to an awkward moment, much talked about, when, during an appearance on Megyn Kelly Today promoting a new film, the host had repeatedly tried - and failed - to get Fonda to talk about her plastic surgery. In subsequent interviews, Fonda has been asked about Kelly and taken digs at her. For example, she told Variety:
“It wasn’t like I was upset. I was stunned. It was so inappropriate. It showed that she’s not that good an interviewer. But if she comes around and learns her stuff, sure [I’d go on the show again].”
As The Washington Post’s Elahe Izadi noted, the whoops on the Today set in response to Fonda’s jab at Kelly came from her own colleagues as did the Tweet from the show highlighting the exchange.
Jane Fonda had quite the response to Lily Tomlin's facelift comment pic.twitter.com/2qUUxReqiy— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 16, 2018
Even so, Kelly’s, three minute, thin-skinned response was an over-reaction that would have made Bill O’Reilly proud. Kelly began the rant by saying Fonda “appears to be fixated” on their exchange. After playing a clip of it, Kelly went on offense:
KELLY: When she first complained, publicly, after the program, and repeatedly, I chose to say nothing, as my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business. However, Fonda was at it again last week, including here on NBC and then again, elsewhere so it’s time to address the “poor me” routine.
Kelly explained her reason for asking about cosmetic surgery: “Fonda was on to promote a film about aging.” OK, fair enough. But instead of leaving it there, Kelly picked up the O’Reilly mantle. The only thing missing was an ambush interview! But maybe that will be next.
KELLY: If Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore. Fonda, herself, knows this. She knows this! And that is why, to her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show.
Kelly actually played video clips to prove this point. And she continued beating this horse:
KELLY: Apparently, when she came here, however – again, to promote her film about aging, I was supposed to discern that this subject was suddenly off limits.
Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well. And she rejected it. That’s OK. But I have no regrets about that question.
That two minutes was already 1:50 more than I thought the subject warranted. But then came the completely gratuitous attack on Fonda’s politics:
KELLY: Nor am I on the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is and is not appropriate. After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam War. Many of our veterans still call her “Hanoi Jane,” thanks to her radio broadcast which attempted to shame American troops. She posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our American pilots. She called our POWs “hypocrites” and “liars,” and referred to their torture as “understandable.” Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture, but not for the rest of it. By the way, she still says she is not proud of America. So the moral indignation is a little much. She put her plastic surgery out there. She said she wanted to discuss the plight of older women in America. And honestly, she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive.
Recently, there was a report that Kelly’s show is a “toxic work environment.” This harangue will do nothing to dispel that.
Watch Kelly demonstrate that you can take her out of Fox News but you can’t take the Fox News out of her below, from the January 22, 2018 Megyn Kelly Today.