All that good will that Megyn Kelly basked in over the past few months as she was attacked by Donald Trump, all of the sympathy she garnered from feminists, liberals and progressives for holding her head up while Trump viciously maligned her week in and week out, all of it vanished in a puff of smoke Tuesday night.
As many expected, Kelly revealed her true colors, or more accurately, tossed off the disguise she’d been wearing since August. During her much-hyped primetime special on Fox, the Fox News host delivered a fawning, softball-laden interview with the man who labeled her a “bimbo” and directed his followers to harass her for months. Rather than pepper him with tough questions regarding his long history of misogyny, especially as it related to her, she chummed it up with the presumptive GOP nominee, coming across as Barbara Walters 2.0 and not the hard-hitting reporter and journalist she likes to pretend she is.
But perhaps more disturbing than her rolling over for Trump — she is a Fox News employee after all — is the fact that she used the broadcast to hype up an upcoming book. A book in which she promises to spill all of the beans regarding the Trump feud and how it really made her feel. A book that won’t be released until November 15th — one week AFTER the election! I mean, we can’t hurt The Donald before then, right?
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple had the following to say regarding this revelation:
What was missing from this interview was Kelly getting personal about what Trump had done to her. She came close with this question: “Have you given any thought in this position to the power that your messaging has on the lives of the people you target and the millions of people who take their cue from you?” Trump responded that he was indeed cognizant of his power.
Deference is generally appropriate in these situations — Kelly’s ordeal at the hands of Trump’s Twitter offensive is still pretty fresh, so she’s entitled to deal with it on her own schedule. Unless that schedule…is dictated by a book launch. At the end of “Megyn Kelly Presents,” the host said this: “In addition to the ‘Kelly File,’ I’ve been working on a project: A book which I’m unveiling right now. It’s called ‘Settle for More,’” said Kelly. In the book, continued Kelly, “For the first time, I’ll speak openly about my year with Donald Trump. You can pre-order it now wherever books are sold.”
No problem, right? If the book comes out in a couple of months, readers can get the full story detailing the impact of Trump’s sexism on the life of one of American journalism’s biggest names. They can then use the information to assist them at the voting booth! Oh, wait: The election is Nov. 8, and the publication date is Nov. 15.
It’s unfortunate enough that Kelly apparently withheld details of her ordeal in a performance that assisted Trump with his general-election pivot. It’s downright scandalous that Kelly, Fox News and the publishing company that gave her the multimillion dollar contract — HarperCollins, a unit of News Corp., part of the Fox News extended corporate family — appear poised to postpone the whole Kelly-Trump story until after the election.
Exactly! Not only did she help Trump out with one of his bigger PR issues coming up in the general election — his over-the-top misogynistic attacks on her — but she’s also holding off on publishing her book until after the election. Yet, that won’t stop her from promoting it and asking people to pre-order it. And she’ll definitely tease the details on primetime television, letting us believe that there are all kinds of juicy details in it.
If anyone thought Megyn Kelly had any personal or professional pride, they haven’t been paying attention these past few years. She’s Roger Ailes’ special project. Fox News has gone all in on Trump this election. And Kelly is the vessel in which they’ll make it all seem legit and above the board.