Megyn Kelly told Charlie Rose it was a “dark moment” when colleague Bill O’Reilly let Donald Trump attack her on the air without defending her.
Kelly’s interview will appear on CBS Sunday Morning tomorrow. The New York Daily News reported:
Kelly, a frequent target of the billionaire’s blustering Twitter rants, called her coworker’s conspicuous silence as Trump railed on her in a Jan. 27 “O’Reilly Factor” interview “a dark moment” — and said if the roles had been reversed, she would’ve stuck up for her pugnacious pundit pal.
I think Bill did the best he’s capable of doing in those circumstances,” Kelly told Charlie Rose in a “CBS Sunday Morning” interview set to air this weekend.
Kelly also criticized CNN for airing Trump’s rival event after he backed out of Fox’s January debate:
There should have been a moment of solidarity among journalists that night to say, ‘We will not allow ourselves to be bullied by a presidential front-runner, even one as powerful and as ahead in the polls at that point as Trump was,’” she said.
“’This is about journalism and the First Amendment, and we will put the debate moderator out on the stage that we think is appropriate,’” she continued. “I think it’s a slippery slope when we don't stand shoulder to shoulder in those moments.”
I agree with Kelly 100%. As I wrote about that disgraceful interview:
It’s hard to know which is more shocking: a news host lecturing a presidential candidate that taking part in the network’s debate is good for his career or O’Reilly’s almost complete lack of concern that candidate Trump is trying to dictate to a news network or O’Reilly’s almost complete lack of concern for Trump’s attacks on and threats toward colleague Megyn Kelly.
But here’s the thing. I don't believe that Fox would have spent even a nanosecond hesitating to air Trump’s alternate event had he attacked a CNN moderator and backed out of a debate there. Fox would more likely have started crowing about its fairness and balance beating out the liberal bias of CNN without an iota of regard for journalistic solidarity.
I’d like to think that Kelly’s ordeal with Trump – which she has handled flawlessly, in my opinion – will have given her a real appreciation for an independent press and not just move her from pro-Trump propaganda to anti-Trump propaganda. Let's not forget that when Trump ejected Univision's Jorge Ramos from a press conference last August, which was after Trump had started attacking her, Kelly tried to discredit Ramos by "asking" him if he could “understand Trump’s side of it which is, ‘This is not the outlet I want to take these questions from ‘cause their mind is made up about me.’” However, Kelly had a much broader view of the situation last month when she conducted a friendly interview with Ramos. This time, she ominously noted that several other journalists had been barred and publicly humiliated during campaign events. "And the question is, what does this portend for a president Trump when it comes to the media in your view?" she "asked."
So my jury's still out on how Kelly will carry this experience forward.
Meanwhile, watch a preview of Kelly’s CBS interview below.
NOTE TO KELLY
Tell aging Ailes that either Billy goes, or you walk out of your contract at Fox “News” Channel.
…..and with Bill, it will be minutes, not days.