What kind of "straight news anchor" lectures a Republican presidential candidate with dos and don'ts about dealing with the media? The Fox News kind.
Kelly’s description of Paul was a series of jabs, cloaked as a “fair and balanced” introduction:
In the 24 hours since Republican Rand Paul joined the race for the presidency, he has taken a pounding from the press and the pundits. The question now: was it fair?
Clearly, Kelly and Fox wanted you to think the answer is “yes, very fair.”
KELLY: Reaction came almost immediately after the first-term senator declared his candidacy in front of a roaring crowd in Louisville, Kentucky. First, he was criticized on his former policy positions, then he was accused of flip-flopping and the Washington Post even went after the facts that he used in his rollout speech. But one of the more pointed criticisms came not from the left-wing media but from bestselling conservative writer and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer.
KRAUTHAMMER: Whatever name you want to put on Paul’s position – isolationist or non-interventionist - he is, without a doubt, the one Republican who’ll be running who is the closest to Obama in his view of foreign policy.
After Paul ran through a litany of how the “neocons” are closer to Obama’s positions than he, Kelly interrupted to ask, skeptically, if Krauthammer is a neocon. She also “wondered” if Paul can win the GOP nomination “by alienating” what she said was the 10% sector of Republicans who consider themselves neocons. “Straight news anchor” Kelly even began arguing snappishly on behalf of neocons as Paul explained some of the dangers of neocon policies. However, Kelly did allow Paul ample time to make his points.
But around 6:10 in the nearly 13-minute interview, Kelly interrupted to attack Paul over his media appearances. “Let’s talk about the rollout of your campaign,” she said. “Because you’ve already taken a hit for your behavior in a couple of interviews.”
Kelly played the now-viral clips of Paul’s condescending churlishness with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and CNBC’s Kelly Evans (whom he shushed).
It’s hard to imagine Fox ever using clips of the so-called “liberal media” to attack a Republican presidential candidate but hey, politics makes for strange bedfellows, even on Fox.
Even after Paul conceded “I do lose my cool and I do lose my temper sometimes and I should be better at that,” Kelly went after him.
KELLY: Those women were not yelling at you. They were not yelling at you. …Do you regret shushing the one reporter? …Savannah Guthrie’s not exactly known for her aggressive unfairness.
…The question some people are asking about you is, whether you are ready for prime time? Because it’s only gonna get worse. You know it’s only gonna get worse. It’s gonna get more contentious. When you get up on that stage for those presidential debates, you’re gonna get pounded. It’s gonna be ugly. That’s the way the process works now. And you told Hannity last night you can’t get overly emotional. Did you get overly emotional?
…The audience has got to be with you… They’ve got to be with you. And there’s a real question about whether you’re pulling this trigger too early in these interviews and whether you’re alienating people by being too defensive.
Media, we ask questions that are sometimes stupid, sometimes unfair. Your job as a politician is to give the answer you want to give and try to use your time on the national airwaves to make your points, right? I mean, people are accusing you now of being too thin skinned.
Yeah, that’s a straight news anchor for you. However, while Kelly may have been there to chastise Paul in general, she wanted to make it very clear his misbehavior has nothing to do with mistreating women.
KELLY: Chuck Todd came out and said you have to be careful because you attacked two prominent female interviews, the Guardian said you were condescending to female reporters. And I, as a female reporter, will say to Chuck Todd and the Guardian, we don’t need your help. Savannah Guthrie doesn’t need your help. Kelly Evans doesn’t need your help and you are entitled to push back on the interviewer just as much as you would if it were a man. So these male commentators can butt out. We can give as good as we get. …To me, it’s ironic that the people trying to step in and protect these female reporters are themselves being sexist – while they’re suggesting that you were sexist because you didn’t kowtow and you weren’t polite enough to your female interviewers. So there’s my two cents on it.
And I’m sure this has nothing to do with potential future attacks on Hillary Clinton.
Watch it below, from last night’s The Kelly File.
Or is Paul somehow going to just beam his message into voters’ minds via telepathy or some even more devious (and definitely counter-libertarian) method?
Oh, Bubbles, please remind us of the last time that Paul treated a MALE interviewer with the same level of disrespect he directed at Ms Guthrie. I can’t wait to see Paul try to pull that behavior on Bill O’Reilly. (And it’s not like Guthrie is that tough an interviewer in the first place.)
They immediately respond by accusing any criticism as “sexist”; if they, as M Kelly has stated, don’t need any help from male reporters to stick up for them, why do they play the sexist card?
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