When Megyn Kelly interviews Donald Trump next month will she pull her punches and do a softball, as she usually does with conservative guests, or hold Trump’s feet to the fire the way she made a big show of doing at the debate last summer?
According to CNN, Trump will participate in Kelly's special, called “Megyn Kelly Presents,” on the Fox broadcast channel on May 17. The show will reportedly include other interviews.
In one of the most memorable episodes from the 2016 presidential campaign, Kelly set Trump off on a long jag of obsessive, sexist attacks on her after she confronted him about his sexism with this exchange from the August 6 Fox News debate:
KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides and in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like, “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
TRUMP: Only Rosie O’Donnell.
KELLY: No, it wasn’t. ...For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?
TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness and to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win any more, we lose to China, we lose to Mexico... we lose to everybody. And, frankly, what I say - and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding, we have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.
As I have repeatedly written, Kelly is great at creating YouTube moments for herself that make her look like an independent journalist at Fox News. But any observant viewer should easily see through the guise.
So will Kelly pull out her fake-independent persona and ask some splashy tough questions followed by softballs designed to reassure conservatives, the way she did with Dick and Liz Cheney or will she spend the entire interview playing nice with Trump, the way she did with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar?
Something tells me the grandstanding, argumentative Megyn Kelly that showed up during her extended interviews with Bill Ayers, the former 60s radical, will be nowhere in sight when she meets with Trump. Even though Ayers has long been an upstanding citizen and Trump is a racist, sexist liar who promotes violence.
Keep in mind that all came up early in the process. Recall Newshounds has been good at covering the internal strife within FOX News between the pro and anti Trump forces. Fast forward to today and Trump is trouncing all Republican opposition. Many GOP establishment types are starting to come to terms with Der Furor.
I’ve got to believe, as Ellen suggests, Megyn will play mostly nice to patch things over with Trump. FOX fanboys will expect no less.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if crybaby Trump doesn’t air some of his grievances of how Megyn was so unfair to him regarding his misogyny. She’ll probably take it too. Again, FOX fanboys will expect no less.
They waited until May because it’s a ratings sweeps month. It’ll be taped in advance, (I sat down earlier with) well rehearsed, heavily edited where both sides approve the finished interview to be aired.
Now begins the nauseating non-stop promoting to insure the highest possible ratings.
More power to them for seeing something others didn’t. The Kelly-Trump interview is the latest example. Although I seriously doubt if anything newsworthy will come of it, it will likely be a ratings blockbuster (by Fox’s standards). That translates into ad dollars.
I suspect this has been in the works for a while. (It may have been planned last summer.) The actors know their role. Let the show begin.
Roger has dedicated his entire life to promoting the Republican brand in his role as a right-wing media analyst. The guy’s been manipulating Republican messaging since the Nixon administration. More recently he’s getting a boner trying [and failing miserably] playing Republican king-maker.
Rupert has controversially pimped conservative politics internationally through his publications forever and it’s no coincidence he picked a dyed-in-the-wool partisan like Roger to head FOX News. He’s even been accused of tipping elections overseas.
Rupert and Roger could make more money doing light-weight entertainment fluff news. It’s certainly lower risk than the route they took. Nope. They took a huge risk making and marketing right-wing propaganda on American TV after Roger failed producing the Rush Limbaugh syndicated TV program.
It’s unclear to me how much Roger’s the in the weeds, micro-manager setting the show to show agendas. I’ve read mixed insider FOX News stories in this regard. Undoubtedly producers and hosts fear a phone call from Roger after a show he’s displeased with but…
One thing’s clear. The producers and in front of the camera talent at FOX News know their conservative audiences and they want to keep their jobs by keeping the right-wingers glued to the boob tube happy. Puppet-master above or no, they play the game the right-wing propaganda factory expects of them.
So don’t expect Megyn to be much of a journalist here and you won’t be disappointed. Never underestimate the ability for FOX News talent to softball conservatives.
Standards are a constant value that societies and organizations use to build a reliable structure on which they can depend. So when you throw out standards it frees up an organization. It liberalizes that organization.
Faux is a liberal network.