It's "R & R for Megyn Kelly," the Fox News channel announced last week on its website, followed by a gooey note from Kelly herself. Why was FNC broadcasting the vacation schedule of the Golden Goose that henpecked Donald Trump? Had Kelly been licked into shape by Trump? Was she off to lick her wounds?
Since the testy exchange between Trump and Kelly, at the first prime-time Republican debate, in Cleveland, Ohio, the anchor's eponymous TV show, "The Kelly File," has covered the meteoric rise of Mr. Trump sparingly. Perhaps Kelly has come to view herself as a kingmaker. Perhaps she thinks that should she choose not to report about a newsmaker; he'll somehow fade into obscurity.
Full disclosure: At first blush, I was impressed by the quality of Fox News' journalism, in Cleveland, writing too exuberantly that "the true stars of the debate were the ruthless, impartial, analytical" reporters. Better that Kelly be the one to ask foolish, fem-oriented questions of The Donald than future Dem moderators. It neutralizes the latter. Or so I reasoned.
Moreover, it's indisputable that compared to previous presidential debates overrun as they were by Democrat journos—Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace did a good job. No presidential debate should, however, be gauged by how it departs from debates in which questions such as these are posed:
"Senator Obama, how do you address those who say you're not authentically black enough?"
"Senator Dodd, you've been in Congress more than 30 years. Can you honestly say you're any different?"
"Congressman Kucinich, your supporters certainly say you are different. Even your critics would certainly say you are different … What do you have that Senators Clinton and Obama do not have?" [Wait a sec. I know the answer: a trophy wife.]
And how about this intellectually nimble follow-up?
"Senator Clinton, you were involved in that [how-am-I-different] question. I want to give you a chance to respond [to that how-am-I-different question]."
"Senator Obama, you were also involved in that [how-am-I-different] question, as well. Please respond."
The final crushingly stupid question to the 1-trick donkeys debating in the 2007 CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate was this:
"Who was your favorite teacher and why, Senator Gravel?"
The "journalist" pounding the presidential candidates was jackass Anderson Cooper of CNN.
Before she beat a retreat, Kelly had assembled a studio audience of Republican establishmentarian, to whom she directed another leading question: She herself knew nobody who'd call a woman a pig or a dog. Could they say the same? Kelly was alluding to the litany she had directed at Trump during her Cleveland performance (where she had cast herself as leading lady).
Kelly: "You've called women you don't like, 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs,' and 'disgusting animals."
Trump [in good humor]: "Only Rosie O'Donnell."
Megyn [bare-fanged]: "No it wasn't. For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O'Donnell. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on 'Celebrity Apprentice' it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?"
Still under the brain-addling spell of the Cooper-Candy Crowley brain trust, I thought no less of Kelly for that dumbest of questions. Her anti-individualist, collectivist feminism is news to her fans, but not to me. Kelly's vocabulary is of a piece with the nauseating vocabulary of third-wave feminism.
More irksome was the allusion to the dignity of The Office. A while ago, fancy pants Kelly joined Don Lemon (CNN), Cooper and Rachel Mad Cow to editorialize angrily at Obama for damaging the dignity of The Office. These celebrity journos were, in fact, green with envy over GloZell Green, a YouTube sensation to whom president Obama granted an interview. Good for him.
Our TV narcissists—they live not for the truth, but for a seat at the Annual White House Sycophant's Supper, or alongside the smarmy Jon Stewart (or his unfunny South African replacement), or next to the titillaters of The View, or on the late-night shows—were jealous. Dented was the vanity of the egos in the anchor's chair.
Besides which the American presidency was pimped out a longtime ago—well before the current POTUS and FLOTUS held soirees sporting disco balls and the half-nude, pelvis-grinding Beyoncé.
Kelly herself has fast succumbed to the female instinct to show-off, bare skin, flirt and wink. She now also regularly motormouths it over the occasional smart guest she entertains (correction: the one smart guest, Ann Coulter). At the same time, Kelly has dignified the tinnitus named Dana Perino with a daily slot as Delphic-oracle.
Trump, on the other hand, has proven he can be trusted to beat up on the right women. Exhibit A is Elizabeth Beck, a multitasking "attorney," who once deposed Donald Trump while also waving her breast pump in his face, demanding to break for a breast-pumping session. "You're disgusting. You're disgusting," the busy billionaire blurted in disbelief.
And she was. Still is. Accoutered for battle, Beck recently did the rounds on the networks. In addition to a mad glint in the eye, Beck brought to each broadcast a big bag packed with milking paraphernalia.
Had she cared about boundaries and propriety, Kelly would have asked Trump how he kept his cool during a legal deposition, with an (ostensible) professional, who insisted on bringing attention to her lactating breasts. Writes
Fred Reed, who regularly tracks our malevolent matriarchy's "poor sense of social boundaries":
Not quite in the league of Elizabeth Beck yet, Megyn Kelly was, nevertheless, in need of a dressing-down and a time-out.