Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.- Abraham Lincoln
The New York Times reports that
The Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has spent the better part of the last year living in the main gladiator pit of 2016, becoming as much a target for Donald J. Trump as any of his opponents and emerging as a pivotal figure in the forced resignation of the Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes, whom she accused of sexual harassment.
On Tuesday, she was in her office at the Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, taking stock, preparing for the next phase — a Trump presidency — and warning fellow journalists to look at her experience during the campaign as a potential cautionary tale.
“The relentless campaign that Trump unleashed on me and Fox News to try to get coverage the way he liked it was unprecedented and potentially very dangerous,” she said, casual but animated behind her translucent desk. If he were to repeat the same behavior from the White House, she said, “it would be quite chilling for many reporters.”
Until this week, Ms. Kelly had generally avoided interviews about her experience with Mr. Trump. New details she shares in her book, “Settle for More,” about what she describes as Mr. Trump’s attempts to harass and intimidate her, have raised questions from some critics about why she didn’t step forward sooner.
But Ms. Kelly said the general contours of Mr. Trump’s campaign against her — which she says included pressure on her bosses to rein her in and led to death threats from Trump supporters that forced her to take on a security contingent — were well known and she did not want to make herself an even bigger part of the story before the election by sharing the inside details.
“Trump wanted to make me a story line in the race,” she said. “I was trying for nine months to get myself off of the playing field and onto the sidelines, where a reporter belongs.”
She has emerged from it all as the most sought-after star in television news, entertaining annual salary offers that surpass $20 million as she contemplates whether to stay at Fox News or leap to a competitor when her contract expires in the summer. Her new book, and the publicity surrounding it, re-litigates her fight with Mr. Trump just as he begins to plan his inauguration.
Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, declined to comment on Ms. Kelly or her book.
But speaking broadly about Mr. Trump’s expectations for his relationship with the press as president, Ms. Hicks said that he would abide by “standard press protocols that are in place now, the traditions,” and that he saw his presidency as “a fresh start” for his relationship with the news media.
During the interview, Ms. Kelly said she feared the election sent a troubling message to women.
“There were a few themes that came out of 2016, and one of them is, as women, we have a long way to go, a long way to go,” she told me. Emphasizing that she takes “no position on the election,” she said the campaign showed “there is a tolerance for some considerable level of sexism and in some corners — let me underscore I’m not referring to Trump specifically, just what we saw this year — even misogyny.”
That morning her network colleague and rival Bill O’Reilly appeared to criticize her for sharing new details regarding her allegations that Mr. Ailes harassed her. Ms. Kelly wrote in the book that Mr. Ailes offered her “professional advancement in exchange for sexual favors,” and once implicitly threatened her job after she rejected a kiss.
The book was “making my network look bad,” Mr. O’Reilly said on “CBS This Morning.” Later, on his own show, Mr. O’Reilly suggested Ms. Kelly should have shown “allegiance” to Fox by taking her allegations to “human resources,” apparently meaning she should not have gone public.
Ms. Kelly declined to respond to the comments from Mr. O’Reilly, who facedsexual harassment allegations in 2004, which he settled. But later, on her show, she said she had support from her bosses to air her allegations against Mr. Ailes, adding that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
During our interview, she said of Mr. O’Reilly, “I never see him; we’re fine.”
Ms. Kelly wrote in her book that she had complained about Mr. Ailes’s harassment to an unnamed supervisor, who told her, she said, to avoid Mr. Ailes. After the Fox host Gretchen Carlson filed a harassment suit against Mr. Ailes this year, multiple other women stepped forward to lodge their own complaints against him, all of which Mr. Ailes has denied through lawyers.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Ailes said, “I categorically deny the allegations Megyn Kelly makes about me,” noting he “worked tirelessly to promote and advance her career.”
“Think of what would happen here at Fox if we had had a female C.E.O. and it was a C.O.O. who was harassing me when I got harassed by Roger Ailes,” Ms. Kelly said. “I think things would have wound up very differently, and perhaps 12 years of women wouldn’t have had to go through those experiences.”
Ms. Kelly has had her knickers in a twist since Donald J. Trump first announced that he was running for President of the United States of America.
Trump’s victory last Tuesday night has apparently exacerbated the situation.
During the Presidential Campaign, Newt Gingrich cut straight to the heart of the situation, regarding her attitude toward Trump as Breitbart.com reported at the time…
NEWT GINGRICH: Let me point out something to you: The three major networks spent 23 minutes attacking Donald Trump that night, and 57 seconds on Hillary Clinton’s secret speeches. You don’t think that is a scale of bias worthy of Pravda?
MEGYN KELLY: If Trump is a sexual predator, that is–
GINGRICH: He’s not a sexual predator. You can’t say that. You could not defend that statement.
KELLY: I have not taken a position on it.
GINGRICH: I’m sick and tired of people like you using inflammatory language that is not true.
KELLY: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, you have no idea whether it is true or not. What we know–
GINGRICH: Neither do you.
KELLY: I’m not taking a position on it.
GINGRICH: Yes you are. When you used the words, you took a position. It is very unfair of you to do that, Megyn.
GINGRICH: That is exactly the bias people are upset by.
KELLY: I think that your defensiveness on this speaks volumes, sir.
GINGRICH: Let me suggest to you —
KELLY: No let me make my point. What I said if if Trump is a sexual predator, than it is a big story. And what we saw on that tape was Trump himself saying he liked to grab women by the genitals, and kiss them against their will. Then we saw 10 women come forward after he denied it at a debate … He denies it all, which is his right. We don’t know what the truth is. My point to you is, as a media story, we don’t get to say the 10 women are liars. We have to cover that story.
GINGRICH: Sure, so it took 23 minutes for the networks to cover that story. And Hillary Clinton had a secret speech in Brazil to a bank that pays her $225,000 saying that her dream is an open border where 600 million people could come to America, that is not worth covering?
Do you want me to go back to the tapes of your show recently? You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.
KELLY: Me, really?
GINGRICH: That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.
KELLY: You know what, Mr. Speaker? I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office.
GINGRICH: And therefore, we’re going to send Bill Clinton back to the East Wing, because you are worried about a sexual predator. Do you want to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator?
KELLY: We on ‘The Kelly File’ have covered that story as well, sir.
GINGRICH: I want to hear you say the word. Say “Bill Clinton is a sexual predator.” I dare you. Say “Bill Clinton, sexual predator.”
KELLY: Mr. Speaker, we have covered that. We on “The Kelly File” have covered the Bill Clinton story as well. We’ve hosted Kathleen Willey. But he is not on the ticket.
Kelly ended the segment by telling Gingrich he needed to take his “anger issues” and “spend some time working on them.”
Pot meet kettle.
Megyn Kelly is a perfect example of the old proverb which admonishes us not to shoot ourselves in our own foot.
After becoming Fox News’ “Next Big Thing” and rising to the top of the Cable TV Ratings ,after being given Sean Hannity’s 8 p.m. Central time slot, Ms. Kelly started to read her own press clippings and grew to believe that she was the most important story out there and NOT the news which she was supposed to be reporting.
During the Presidential Campaign, her vitriol aimed at the Republican Candidate turned off those who had helped her to rise to prominence. Quite frankly, if they had wanted to listen to incessant attacks against Mr. Trump, they could have turned over to the Main Stream Media.
Since the Political Ascension of Donald J. Trump, she has chosen to eschew the “Fair and Balanced” Reporting that vaulted Fox to the top of the Cable News Ratings, instead, during the Presidential Campaign, opting to join the baying “newshounds” of the Main Stream Media in their quest to bring down the Republican Candidate by any means necessary.
Unfortunately for Ms. Kelly, her strategy has backfired on her miserably, costing her rating points and allowing Sean Hannity to take over the lead among Fox News’ Evening Programs. and making her look like a fool when Trump won the Presidency.
And now, her book has been panned so badly, that Amazon.com is have a hard time keeping up with their dutiful erasure of all of the one-star ratings that Ms. Kelly is receiving.
Just like the Internet Trolls, who invade Facebook Political Pages and Political Websites, in order to disrupt conversation and call attention to themselves, the MSM, including Ms. Kelly as well, through the creation of their own facts, have permanently damaged their own credibility, quite probably beyond all repair.
So, perhaps it is time for Ms. Kelly to move on from Fox News and join the rest of her Main Stream Media Colleagues.
She should go ahead and sign with CNN, like Former Fox and Friends Weekend Anchor Alisyn Camerota did. Then, like Ms. Camerota , she will be free to be the Liberal “Broadcast Journalist” that she longs to be, unfettered by any pressure to be “fair and balanced”.
Because, to put it quite simply, once you torque off the American Public, you never get them back.
Just ask the Dixie Chicks.
Until He Comes,