Megyn Kelly has tried to defend herself from criticism for having withheld information about Donald Trump’s threats and possible collusion with Fox News until her book came out after the election. But Kelly’s explanation only makes her look worse.
As I have previously written, Kelly's new book suggests (which she now denies) that someone leaked her now-famous debate question to Trump. She also reveals in the book that he began attacking her before the debate, when she interviewed someone who wrote about his ex-wife's allegations of rape against him. This would have been information very relevant to the 2016 presidential campaign. But Kelly kept mum about it all until the release of her book after the election.
Media Matters caught Kelly being asked about that on the Today show this morning:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE (HOST): Some reviewers of the book who’ve seen it now say there’s some information in here about [Donald] Trump that she could have revealed before the election. Maybe it would have been in the public interest to do so, but instead, she saved it for her book. How do you respond?
MEGYN KELLY: I didn’t want to be the story, but Trump kept making me the story and I certainly didn’t want to add fuel to that fire. I didn’t want to run out there and do a boo-hoo, like look at what this is doing to my life. I just wanted to move on, wanted to stand him down, I didn’t want to aggravate his supporters anymore over whom Trump has an enormous effect. Anything I say in this book was not going to bring Trump down. If you think the Access Hollywood bus and the 12 female accusers coming forward and all the other stuff didn’t bring Trump down, you think my book would, I think you’re deluding yourself.
If nothing else, this should disabuse everyone once and for all of the notion that Kelly is some kind of “intrepid gal reporter,” as the New York Times described her. The reality is more “intrepid self-promoter ready and willing to toss journalism in the back seat.”
In a must-read column, conservative John Ziegler so perfectly explains what’s wrong with her explanation, I’ll have to quote him verbatim:
First, that’s not her call to make. A referee in a sporting contest doesn’t decide not to declare a clear penalty early in a game and claim later that the missed call wouldn’t have impacted the outcome of the contest (especially when Trump’s margin for error was very thin in both the primary and the general elections).
Second, she has no way of knowing that is true. If the narrative had been set in the fall of 2015 that Roger Ailes and Fox News Channel were doing dastardly deeds on Trump’s behalf, that could have had a serious impact on the still very vulnerable Trump campaign and diminished the network’s power to push him (similarly, if conservatives had known then just how deeply Breitbart.com was in the tank for Trump, many would have rightly discounted their reporting on the primaries completely).
Third, the idea that it is morally acceptable for a “journalist” to withhold potentially important information from the public because it might not be good for their career at that moment, or that they have rationalized that it wouldn’t have definitely impacted the outcome, is an incredibly dangerous precedent. I’m not nearly naïve enough to think that Kelly is remotely the first “journalist” to do this, but when it is this overt, and the potential consequences are so dramatic, it is extremely important for the entire industry to condemn this practice before it quickly becomes fully accepted as standard operating procedure.
Condemned or not, this will probably not have much impact, if any, on Kelly’s future employment in the news biz, especially not at Fox News, because she’s got star power. We may never be certain if she’s holding back pertinent information on any story but we can probably rest assured she will work as intrepidly as ever on manicuring her brand.
Look, I think I would like Megyn Kelly if I were to meet her. And I certainly sympathize with her ordeal with Trump. I have even admired some of her work on Fox. But if she really wants to be seen as the “straight news anchor” she holds herself up as, she’s got to come up with a better explanation than this. More importantly, she’s got to do a better job of walking the walk.
Watch her on the November 16, 2016 Today show below, via Media Matters.
“Ethics at this network (and for most of cable TV) is a non-issue. Just ask Howard Kurtz, who once had some as a respected reporter for the Washington Post … before he was seduced to be a well-paid spokesman for Fox.”
Dear David: The same goes for Whore-aldo — er, I mean — Geraldo Rivera as well. He too had ethics and credibility during his time at ABC before former Faux Spews head Jabba the Ailes and his media godfather boss Herr Goebbels II (i.e. Murdoch) made him “an offer he couldn’t refuse”.
With all my love,
There is no difference between Kelly, Hannity, O’Reilly and any of the other hosts on the network. They are there to promote their own agenda in whatever way works for them. As long as it also works for the network, they continue to get paid well.
The day Ms. Kelly’s agenda gets in the way of whoever is running the place, she is gone. Ethics at this network (and for most of cable TV) is a non-issue. Just ask Howard Kurtz, who once had some as a respected reporter for the Washington Post … before he was seduced to be a well-paid spokesman for Fox.
Faux is a factory where the quality assurance is either non existent or asleep at the switch with the factory’s blessings. And Megyn is one of their chief producers on the factory floor. If Megyn wanted to move to a real network she rightfully should have credibility problems.
She should content herself with her million$ at Faux. Poor baby.
You are so delusional in your coverage.
You wrote this piece as if Megyn Kelly actually was engaged in “journalism,” rather than merely spreading propaganda at her masters’ behest.
I’m not arguing that a journalist would never have sat on a truly damning piece, no matter the risk of “becoming the story” (though a journalist would’ve found a way to avoid that in the first place), but this is NOT a “journalist.” This is a FoxNoise talking head hack who was initially hired for one thing and one thing only. And it was NOT her mind.