The first night of Megyn Kelly’s new primetime show, The Kelly File, is in the bag and, overall, I’d give it a big yawn. As much as I dislike Kelly, I will say that her lead-off interview with Senator Ted Cruz was not bad. But the rest of the show? Unless you want to see a photo of her new baby or the video she sent to Fox that got her a job there or are curious about how The Five gets along with each other – well, it was kind of thin on substance as far as I'm concerned. But then again, I’m hardly her target audience. Oh, and in case you’re wondering… she just happens to have a see-through desk that shows off the short dress and her legs much like the old show.
If Cruz thought he was going to get the kind of puffball interviews he has probably become accustomed to from Fox, he may have been somewhat taken aback by some of Kelly's questions. But not to worry, Senator, Kelly is a master at giving the appearance of nonpartisanship, fairness and balance without really straying from the Fox News party line. So while I'll give Kelly points for asking some tough questions without being abrasive, let's not forget that Cruz is hardly a beloved guy among Republicans right now.
“Senator, what’s it like to be the most hated man in America?” Kelly asked with a big smile that I’m sure charmed most people in her audience. Then, to her credit, she insisted he answer. She also showed him a new poll that finds him with a 26% favorability rating. “The question is whether you are costing yourself and the GOP,” Kelly pressed.
Not surprisingly, though, Kelly didn’t utter a peep of challenge as Cruz pretended his game is to protect Americans from the evils of having more access to health insurance while the Democrats “will not talk, they will not negotiate.” This from the guy who engineered the “stand on principle and shutdown” hole that the GOP is now in and hates him for.
However, Kelly did note that public support is not only against the Republicans, their hold on the House of Representatives is now in jeopardy. Of course, it was all framed in a “whether or not this is good for the GOP,” as opposed to, say, whether or not it’s good for the country.
Cruz insisted that “winning this fight right now” is “the most important thing” that can be done to “see significant victories in 2014.” So what is “winning this fight?” Nobody said. But Kelly put on her most sympathetic “listening” face as Cruz went on to pretend the Republicans are doing all the compromising. “I think a victory is if we prevent some of the enormous harms Obamacare is inflicting on millions of Americans,” Cruz said, with a straight face.
Yes, just think of what a victory it would be if millions of Americans were saved from the awful harm of getting health insurance! And how did Kelly react? By saying with her most sincere face, “Senator Ted Cruz, we’re honored to have you as the very first guest on our inaugural broadcast.”
But after that flashy display of independence, Kelly made it clear she knows which side her bread is buttered on – and, believe me, she won’t forget. Later in the show, she sounded like any run-of-the-mill Fox host as she hosted a discussion – with four conservatives plus somewhat liberal Bob Beckel - about whether or not President Obama is deliberately making the government shutdown more painful.
Apparently, those odds weren’t good enough – so Kelly worked in an anti-Obama jab of her own. And it just so happened to be in synch with the Republican "we're saving the World War II Memorial from Obama's clutches" meme. Kelly said, “The memorials were not shut down during the last government shutdown. The ones that are open air, that you can just access with your feet or your wheelchair? They were not shutdown but now suddenly they are.”
She didn’t mention that the last shutdown was pre 9/11 and that maybe there’s a need for greater security than there used to be. But why wreck a good Republican meme on your first night? In fact, I’ll bet Kelly won’t be wrecking any Republican memes for as long as she’s on the air – even as she feigns objectivity.
But Kelly soon moved the discussion along to Miley Cyrus, sex after 40 and whether or not there have been any “hookups” on The Five show. Maybe that’s what passes for freshness and youth-appeal on Fox. But as far as I’m concerned, the best thing I can say about the show is I’m glad it’s only one hour and half the length of her last one.
First, my requisite (Ailes mandated) drool. Next, my requisite (Ailes mandated) Fux Nuze Skit. BTW, this is not about me!
If a person robbed a Bank and was still inside with hostages, would the media be questioning why law enforcement isn’t giving in to their demands to not be prosecuted for the crime and also to keep the money they stole?
Would it be reasonable to compromise by letting them keep the money? How about compromising to let them go free and just pretend it didn’t happen?
Would the robbers have the balls to say, as republicans have said, “we can’t walk away without getting something?”
Yeah, this is how I’m hearing it presented on several other FOX “news” shows too. Just this morning on F&F, Laura Ingraham noted that even if Boehner should decide to offer up a clean CR, it won’t help him/GOP in the polls. Um, Ingraham, it shouldn’t be about who/which party comes out ahead with a clean CR – it’s about what’s best for the country. But, as usual, she and F&F play it partisan and miss the larger picture.
As far as Kelly’s show, sorry, but I couldn’t get past her too dramatic, slightly manic show opener. I was just laughing too hard to keep watching so thanks for watching for me, Ellen. :-]
Btw, @jim jim – spot on.