Megyn Kelly went a bit rogue again last night when she hosted liberal documentarian Michael Moore for what was mostly a friendly, unbiased interview about his new anti-Trump movie, TrumpLand, that the Trump campaign has touted as pro-Trump.
As Fox's Trace Gallagher explained before Moore came on The Kelly File, Moore reaches out to Trump supporters in his film and lets them know he understands Trump’s appeal.
MOORE: Whether Trump means it or not is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting. And it’s why every beaten down nameless forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov cocktail that they’ve been waiting for. They’ve essentially lost everything they had except one thing. The one thing that doesn’t cost them a cent and is guaranteed to them by the American Constitution, the right to vote.
Although the Trump campaign has tried to use Moore’s film as an endorsement, in reality, Moore is trying to make common cause with Trump supporters in order to persuade them to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Nevertheless, Gallagher used his report to take some gratuitous swipes at Moore and promote Trump:
GALLAGHER: [Moore] even defended Trump supporters who he once called legal terrorists. Michael Moore is not a Trump fan but he makes a compelling case about why some people are.
After playing a clip from Moore’s film, Gallagher added, “Big question of whether he ginned up support for Trump.”
However, the following minutes with Kelly were decent. She asked a few probing, critical questions but they were fair. There was none of the partisan theatrics she has displayed with liberals such as Congressional Black Caucus member Al Green or ObamaCare architect Ezekiel Emanuel.
For example, there was this exchange:
MOORE: if we elect Donald Trump as president of this country, it won’t be the same country after four years. I’m absolutely convinced of that. This is the most vile disgusting candidate that has ever run for office in this country.
KELLY: How can you say that when you, you know, you understand the white working class.
KELLY: You know, you appeal to them time and time again.
KELLY: You understand. You outline perfectly why they’re attracted to him. They want him to blow things up.
And even when Kelly gave her viewers a winky-wink to let them know she’s still one of them, she allowed Moore to make his case:
MOORE: Right. So, I’m here and I’m here on Fox to appeal to people who are watching to not do that. I understand why you’re angry. You have every right to be angry. The system has failed you. But he is not the solution to this. And I make the case in the film—the film is sort of a humorous love poem to Hillary Clinton. Because—
KELLY: I can hear the ticket sales now.
MOORE: Yes. Well, it’s been number one on iTunes since last Friday.
KELLY: Thanks to Trump.
Moore even got in a little dig at Fox News after Kelly asked if he thought Trump’s promotion of TrumpLand was a mistake or deliberate.
KELLY: Do you think it’s knowing? Do you think it’s knowing? Or it’s just an error that they haven’t—
MOORE: Well, there is no error. No. It’s either they’re dumb and I honestly don’t think they are. Or they know they’re—
KELLY: That they’re misleading?
MOORE: Dumb like a Fox maybe. They’re misleading people because they’re counting on the fact that people who are in the working class are so desperate and so hurt by what has happened to them that all they’ll do is hear those few words and not hear the rest of my paragraph.
KELLY: But even before you articulated very well how they feel, they were with Donald Trump. He’s beating her by 33 points with the white working
KELLY: Thirty three points. I mean, it’s huge. They are attracted not just to the messenger but to the message too.
MOORE: Yes. That’s sad. Really sad.
No, I’m not going soft on Kelly. But when she deserves praise, I like to give it to her. More significantly, this segment speaks to the kind of work I think she wants to do as well as the fact that Fox is letting her do it. On top of all that, it was interesting.
Watch it below, from the October 27, 2016 The Kelly File.
(All transcript excerpts via Fox News.)
It’s Kelly’s hope that she will be paid what O’Reilly is paid as the star anchor of the network. I don’t know that Murdoch will give her that – I think he’ll go down the middle on the rate, given that O’Reilly didn’t get that much until he’d already been hosting the show for a certain number of years. I think Kelly will take a compromise deal where she gets regular increases that would take her to parity with O’Reilly in another few years, at which point, he’ll be gone anyway. (And I’m betting he’ll demand a high rate just for his Brit Hume status. One also has to wonder what they had to offer Hume to come back to the nightly grind for 3 ½ months…)
Kelly won’t leave Fox News, as much as she’s trying to make it look like she would. And Murdoch doesn’t want to lose her, as much as his surrogates are trying to play a little hardball about the negotiations. Fox News wants and needs a strong female face, particularly now when they are facing major fallout from the behavior of Roger Ailes. Kelly, for her part, will not be hired as an anchor by another network, simply because she’s spent too much time at Fox News parroting their propaganda lines. If ABC tried to put her on the nightly news, they’d be seen as hiring a right wing-leaning anchor who wouldn’t be able to cover the news in an objective manner. The best Kelly could get from another network would be an opinion slot where she could be a Brit Hume somewhere else (as “the right wing voice”) or perhaps an occasional interview show. Neither of those options would provide Kelly with the celebrity status or salary she clearly wants – so she’ll stay at Fox News where she can have both.
The real question to me is what the rest of Fox News’ primetime lineup will resemble over the next year. Assuming O’Reilly steps down in late 2017, he’ll still hold court along with Kelly. Does Hannity stay through 2017, or does he jump to Trump’s new network to be the main star there? Who do they put in Greta’s former spot once Brit Hume goes back to his usual once-a-week opining? I’m guessing they could plug in Perino and Stirewalt, who are at least a more informed duo, and a more appealing option than many of the other Fox News personalities. It’s obvious that Eric Bolling thinks he’ll be the heir to O’Reilly but I strongly doubt it – he’s way too stiff and his nastiness comes across in a particularly risible manner. O’Reilly has always been able to play off his boorishness as being a loudmouthed bar patron and “just one of the folks” – and for many viewers, this is a familiar sight that they’re comfortable watching on TV. Kind of an Archie Bunker of the right. Bolling doesn’t have any of that “one of the folks” feeling to him – he’s just an angry, condescending right wing voice. He’ll always have a slot with his “Cashin’ In” show and he’ll be part of “The Five”, but I really doubt anyone at Fox News will give him the big spotlight any more than they’ll give it to Juan Williams, who’s really there to be a more liberal foil. My instincts say that when Hannity leaves and O’Reilly retires, we’ll see new faces come in from the world of right wing radio – maybe not as rabid as Hannity or as boorish as O’Reilly, but still reliably conservative.
As for Michael Moore, I’ve had some real issues with him over the past decade. Just too much with the grandstanding and the moralizing and the talking down to everyone. This is the same man who predicted a President Romney and a President Trump, and did so from the point of view of “I know how middle America thinks and you don’t.” I empathize with his thoughts about how many of the middle class in this country have really been screwed over. I think he’s right that many farmers and industrial workers are absolutely infuriated about how they don’t make the money they used to make and how everything is more expensive and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. But he’s wrong if he thinks all those people are nasty and hateful too. Michael Moore is an effective gadfly, no doubt about it. He gets people to think, which is a good thing. But he is not a moral authority, and he loses credibility every time he tries to present a legitimate point (such as that people really do need to vote) in terms of an absolute panic.
I would argue that Moore’s appearance on Kelly’s show is mutually beneficial. Moore gets to promote himself and his movie and show he isn’t afraid to go on Fox News. Kelly gets to show that she’s willing to interview a liberal voice and not just cut his mike. Both believe it will help their credibility. I don’t know that it does – to me, it’s simply a promotional plus for them.
Megyn Kelly is thinking about her resume post election/Faux. Perhaps MM can peel off some voters from Trump. He’s right, it’s sad that white working class people feel that their fate is tied in with the Republican party. Chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.
Strange how someone who has cried long and loud about a “rigged election”, suddenly wants the election rigged in the form of being canceled outright . . .