Megyn Kelly scripted a YouTube moment for herself tonight as she forcefully took on Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson over his birtherism. But before you get a notion that Kelly really is the “straight news anchor” she claims to be, check out how she gratuitously attacked Hillary Clinton and the spokesman who was also a guest.
Things got heated when Kelly asked Pierson, “Why, for the love of God, won’t [Trump] just say that Barack Obama was born in the United States?”
Pierson was flummoxed. She dodged and deflected and tried to argue that the issue is “completely irrelevant.” And Kelly did a fine job of calling her out on it.
KELLY: It’s not completely irrelevant. You have a lot of people in this country, in particular, African Americans, who feel that that position was a racist position meant to delegitimize the president.
But then Kelly felt the need to reassure her (white) viewers that she wasn’t calling Trump a racist: “I’m taking no position on this. I’m relaying to you what they’ve said.”
Kelly went back to arguing her point, that Trump’s own campaign manager had said Trump had changed his position but “Now, when asked directly, he refuses to confirm that. Why?”
Pierson ridiculously responded by saying Trump now has 30% African American support in North Carolina and that “Hillary Clinton has insulted half the country.” She insisted that was not a dodge.
But after a fiery exchange, Kelly turned to Clinton spokesman Robert Zimmerman. He said the issue is about “honor and decency and show respect for the truth.”
Even though the discussion had nothing to do with Clinton, Kelly interrupted Zimmerman and started yelling, “Respect for the truth? You support Hillary Clinton! You’re talking about respect for the truth and you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter and the American people think that she is not truthful, to put it gently. […] I’m just saying you’re in a little glass house.”
One could say the same thing about Kelly, sitting there in a Fox News studio, but I digress.
Zimmerman asked to be able to finish his point and proceeded to blast Trump. Kelly let Zimmerman do it, though she did interrupt at one point to gratuitously praise Trump.
From the Media Matters transcript (with my edits):
ZIMMERMAN: We’re talking about Donald Trump refusing to recognize that President Obama is an American citizen and that reflects—despite what his supporters say, it’s disgraceful, it’s racist, and it’s dishonest. For that manner, with Pastor [Faith Green] Timmons, like a typical bully and coward, when he went to the church, Pastor Timmons stood up and defended him when he was being heckled and then when Pastor Timmons told him to respect the rule of what the church has asked him to do, he backed down, he did what he was told.
KELLY: He handled it very nicely in that church.
PIERSON: He was very respectful. He was very respectful.
ZIMMERMAN: And then when he left the church and was on Fox & Friends this morning, he lied about her, he called her a nervous mess like a typical bully, when he was confronted, he backed down and when on his own, he went out there and tried to antagonize.
One funny note: Pierson repeatedly called Robert Zimmerman “George.” Which shows what kind of people are on her wavelength.
PS: Kelly was wearing pants.
Watch the discussion below, from the September 15 The Kelly File.
I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts.
Trump is always walking the tightrope over the Republican shark tank.
He needs to attract undecided voters who are to varying degrees independent and disaffected Republican establishment types but his base is the most rabid of the rabid from the right-wing fever swamps.
So Trump is playing this game where his surrogates go on mainstream outlets spewing bulls—t how The Donald is a changed man on Birtherism. Meanwhile Der Furor refuses to mouth the words himself.
So NPR reported this morning Trump officially renounced Birtherism yet by lunch he’s personally claiming he never denounced it.
By the evening news cycle I expect Hair Hitler to pretend he never was a Birther at any point in his life and denounce the media as liars for suggesting it.
Meanwhile the press pretty much reports this stuff on its face value to normalize the monstrous (even by political standards) liar. Then the media segues into their standard Hillary is untrustworthy rant.
Let’s be clear as to what she’s actually doing. She’s absolutely a Republican booster and she wants to make sure that Donald Trump wins, since he is their nominee. Trump’s refusal to put the birther nonsense to bed is frustrating for Kelly and most other right wing pundits because it’s a blind alley that doesn’t benefit the GOP at this time. (They loved it when it was useful as an irritant to Obama, and when it could fire up their more racist base, but they don’t want that stuff on the campaign trail between Labor Day and Election Day.) So Kelly isn’t saying that she doesn’t support Trump or won’t support him. She’s saying that she wants him to focus on insulting Clinton.
As for her treatment of the other guest, that was her way of continuing to attack Clinton on the right wing meme that Clinton “just can’t be trusted”. Right. We’ve only had 25+ years of Rush Limbaugh spreading that around and now we have even left wingers falling for it. The reality is that the Clintons are career politicians, and that’s been known for decades. And so what, frankly? Just because they’re career politicans doesn’t make them liars or evil people. In the same way that you don’t hear the right wing normally condemning their own lions, even when those are career politicians too, like Bob Dole. Granted, people like Hannity and Limbaugh are trying to stake out even more extreme territory this year in a desperate bid to get more attention, but my instincts say that ploy will backfire badly in November. What do Hannity and Limbaugh do after Election Day, if things go the way they appear they will go? Do they declare the end of civilization? Likely, they’ll just throw the same tantrums they threw in late 2012, but it’s still all in bad faith.
If anything, the sheer viciousness of this campaign is breathtaking, and we knew it would be so. The abject hatred that the right wing has for Clinton is palpable enough to actually touch. There are right wing radio hosts openly rooting now for Clinton to collapse in the middle of the debate on the 26th, assuming that Trump shows up for it. They’re hoping to see Clinton faint on camera. Their shows are now filled with constant soundbites of Clinton coughing or gasping through one of her campaign appearances. Granted, they’re talking to people who already hate Clinton and would never vote for her, but it’s still quite disturbing to hear the viciousness get to this level. It’s at least on a par with all the people who were lynching Obama in effigy through 2009 and 2010.
Finally, I think we should keep in mind that the polling we’re seeing always includes Gary Johnson in the mix. That’s a crucial number. Because I don’t see Johnson being that much of a factor in the actual election. What we’re seeing is GOP dissatisfaction with Trump – I don’t see Johnson voters ever choosing to go with him. They may not vote for Clinton, but they absolutely won’t vote for Trump. Which means if that group mostly sits on their hands, the actual numbers between Clinton and Trump start to look a bit different. We’ll know more after the first debate, again with the assumption that Trump will actually show up. If things go the way they are headed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trump refuse to do the other debates.
I’m not going to waste a lot of time analyzing what Zimmerman says but his argument is weak and rambling. A perfect example of this is him diverting from Trump’s behavior to bring up Hillary’s honesty. It’s almost like he wanted to invite an attack on Hillary. Hmmmm… a Fox News liberal would never do that or would they?
Defending Clinton’s honesty is going to be a tough sell because Megyn has so many glib comebacks like email and pneumonia but the simple point here is Trump scores far worse in truthfulness than Hillary.
Yeah, it’s hard to be a surrogate and say Politifact rates the other guy as lying 3 times more because it’s an implicit admission to your gal lying. However, these folks are paid to be clever and Zimmerman – who I’ve seen countless times before on Fox News – isn’t particularly.
By the way, the endless twisting slime trail Trump is leaving behind on his ever-changing bulls—t on Birtherism did a ‘180’ this morning with NPR “Morning Edition” reporting Trump is now saying – presto change-o – he’s cured of his of his Birther fever as of this moment.
I don’t think Trump’s Birtherism is curable so I expect him to pick it up from the right-wing fever swamps again before election day.
Poor pet should sue Murdoch for breaching Occupational Health.