It always seemed to me a no-brainer that once Donald Trump won election, Megyn Kelly's fate was sealed at Fox News. But I thought it was only because she would not be able to bring herself to join the Trump cheerleading squad. According to Newsweek’s Michael Wolff, at least part of the reason was that she was hated by her colleagues.
In a recent Newsweek article, Wolff wrote:
There is at any given time in the television news business invariably one person more mistrusted and reviled by all the other mistrusted and reviled people in the business. This is what’s called the Eve Harrington Syndrome, after the amoral and unscrupulous showbiz heroine in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 film All About Eve (the syndrome, of course, is not gender specific). At Fox, for star colleagues down to make-up artists and, seemingly, by common agreement throughout the television news business, Megyn Kelly is the era’s most hardcore Eve Harrington case—soulless, heartless, shameless, avaricious, etc. When Trump picked a fight with Kelly after the first Republican primary debate in August 2015, he cannily singled out a target who colleagues might hesitate to rally around. Indeed, he succeeded in splitting allegiances at the network—with many of her colleagues believing she had unfairly grandstanded in that debate. (“You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals….”)
According to Wolff, it was the ouster of Roger Ailes that did in Kelly:
Much of the wrath about Ailes’s ouster in an organization yet deeply loyal to him has been focused on Kelly, with few in Ailes’s wide and loyal circle taking her accusations at face value. This mistrust was only compounded by her very public victory lap—a rushed book and a contract negotiation carried out in the media
The Murdochs, though, were tenacious in their pursuit of her—with Lachlan almost playing the role of her body man—upping an original offer of $20 million a year that would have brought her even with Fox ratings superstar Bill O’Reilly, to $100 million over four years. At the same time, the internal mood at Fox toward her turned more toxic by the day. If there were resentments and guardedness before, by this past autumn she was all but shunned, showing up only for her segment and largely talking to no one. The Murdochs’ offer of $100 million and leadership of the network had become a hopelessly poisoned chalice, with Fox an environment in which it would have been impossible for her to work.
But even soulless, heartless, shameless and avaricious people have their limits and I’ll stick by my guns that Kelly would not have been able to bring herself to be the kind of Trump cheerleader that would have been required of her to stay on.
But it wasn't Trump's racism that turned Kelly off. Before Trump went after her, Kelly happily defended Trump when he went after Mexicans - by citing Ann Coulter, of all people. Watch how she was perfectly willing to stand up for Trump before he started attacking her below, from the June 29, 2015 The Kelly File.
It will be interesting to see how she does over at NBC.
Graphic of Megyn Kelly by DonkeyHotey.
I don’t doubt that she was despised at Fox – this usually happens when someone is that openly ambitious and is willing to say whatever the boss wants to hear in order to get the promotion. I also don’t doubt that she will not likely be popular at NBC – there are already rumblings about that.
Her conduct on the air was generally despicable in and of itself – occasionally she would say something halfway reasonable, but her usual approach was to demean non-conservative guests and to encourage Right Wing views.
I applaud her achievement in advancing her career, and I applaud her effort to move out of Fox News, but that does not change who she is or how she has conducted herself. Like Van Susteren at MSNBC, Kelly is setting herself up to be the “house Right Winger” so that NBC can assert that they’ve been fair to the GOP for the next four years. Her credibility is way too damaged for anyone to take her seriously as an objective reporter – I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see her return to Fox News in a few years, given the issues that Fox News tends to cause for its former employees seeking credible work elsewhere.
As for Faux, she was a convenient mouthpiece for them while it lasted. She would throw in one competent statement or opinion every three months, then spend the time til the next one by giving us Mark Fuhrman on race relations or whipping up race hysteria or some singled-out college professor who said something Faux didn’t like.
Like Eyes on Fox said below, lets see her attitude and slant when she starts up as NBC. Lets see if was all an act over there.
I have mixed feelings about Megyn I’ll save for another opportunity when I have the time. My short take on her is overwhelmingly she was a very useful tool of the right. We’ll see how much of it was an act to appease the Fox base in her new job.