One highly visible night of challenging Republicans during Fox’s primary debate does not mean we should forget Megyn Kelly’s long history of promoting Fox News bias, anti-women rhetoric, race baiting and Donald Trump, too.
I’ve written before about how Megyn Kelly adeptly stages calculated-to-go-viral YouTube moments in which she appears to stray from Fox News orthodoxy – even as she continues to advance Fox News talking points and more or less reaffirms them. There’s no reason to think that Kelly’s viral Republican debate moments were anything other than more of the same.
For one thing, Kelly has been pretty darned positive about Trump in the past. When Trump was in the thick of it over his charges that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, Kelly announced she thought he had a point. In a friendly interview with him on the subject, she never asked about his sexism. When it was revealed Trump had hired actors to pose as supporters during his presidential announcement, Kelly defended him.
More importantly, Kelly has hardly been a strong supporter of women’s rights. Sure she had some splashy moments defending working mothers and women's sex lives. But she seems to relish discussing cases in which men are wrongly accused of sexual abuse. I must have blinked and missed her showing the same zeal for covering the very real problem of actual sexual abuse. She also smeared Sandra Fluke’s call for contraception coverage in health insurance as a sense of “entitlement” – while allowing a guest to slut shame Fluke.
Furthermore, despite Kelly's showy concern for the life of mothers in her abortion questions in the debate, Kelly has demonized abortion, used it as an issue to attack pro-choice Democrats and has even promoted the falsehood that ObamaCare covers abortion drugs, as a way of maligning it. Kelly has also viciously attacked Planned Parenthood despite the fact that the vast majority of its services go to protect the health of women.
Also, remember when Kelly made a crack about Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s looks?
Besides all that, Kelly is one of Fox News’ most reliable race baiters. As I wrote in a previous post:
I’ll take Kelly’s word for it that she lacks political ideology. But while she personally may not root for anyone, her willingness to push Fox propaganda couldn’t be more evident. Show me a segment where Kelly yelled at and disrespected a Republican as much as she did Rep. Al Green (D-TX) as he tried to discuss a Congressional Black Caucus “hands up, don’t shoot” protest over the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer for killing unarmed black teen Michael Brown.
Or, for that matter, show me where Kelly apologized for her utterly bogus (and now forgotten) accusations that former Attorney General Eric Holder condoned black voter intimidation of white people out of racial prejudice. Kelly abruptly dropped her attacks once she was confronted on the air for her race baiting a phony story. But she spent more than 3.5 hours and 46 segments hyping easily-debunked, racially inflammatory falsehoods. And she continues to present the same source as a credible pundit to attack Holder.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad Kelly challenged the candidates about sexism and abortion. And I was disgusted by Trump’s coarse attacks on her for doing it. But there were plenty of other important, timely subjects that Kelly (and her Fox colleagues) left out of their questions.
Don’t let them fool you.
Megyn Kelly graphic by DonkeyHotey
for any woman not
Anyhow, more on topic, Fox News moderators asking tough questions at the GOP debate shouldn’t be mistaken for fairness or balance. Media Matters floated the theory they behave better in front of a broader audience and any viewer of Fox News Sunday realizes the truth in that. While biased, Chris Wallace can’t behave like Hannity, O’Reilly, or Kelly who all love handling red meat.
That said, I think there’s a genuine attempt by Fox News to shake out the weak and undesirable candidates. So Trump (who establishment types like Ailes fret hurts the GOP) not only got the worst zingers, he seemed to be the target of more questions pitting other candidates against him. Which explains why The Donald got the most air time.
Meanwhile Fox News media creation and darling Huckabee got the best softballs which explains why many right-wingers are gushing he had the best night; Trump the worst.