After Donald Trump Attacks Megyn Kelly Again, Will Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Sit Idly By?

After Donald Trump Attacks Megyn Kelly Again, Will Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Sit Idly By?

After a planned 11-day vacation, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly was back on the air Monday night hosting her highly-rated primetime program The Kelly File. Prior to her taking a break during the dog days of summer, when most cable news personalities take breathers, she found herself in the middle of a feud with one Donald J. Trump. As you may recall, The Donald did not take kindly to Kelly asking him a tough question at the first GOP primary debate earlier this month. This led to Trump criticizing her non-stop, culminating in his infamous “blood” comment.

After Trump spent three days attacking Fox and Kelly, Fox News chief Roger Ailes reached out to Trump to clear the air. He told Trump that he’d be able to appear on Fox News programming again if he would stop the personal attacks on Kelly. While Trump made it appear on Twitter that Ailes apologized to him, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported after the fact that Ailes essentially gave Trump an ultimatum and that he’d declare war on the GOP Presidential frontrunner if he continued insulting the network that helped make him a political powerhouse.

Over the past two weeks, Trump has been relatively quiet about Kelly. He did reference that he believed she took a vacation because of him and needled her a bit over the GOP debate, but hadn’t really gone after her in typical Trump fashion. That all changed on Monday night as the reality TV star felt he needed to fuck with Kelly and Fox once more. Perhaps it was the fact that the news cycle was concentrating on the stock market, Joe Biden’s potential run and Jeb Bush’s latest unforced error that made Trump decide that he needed to go cyber-bully on Kelly Monday night.

While her show was airing, Trump sent out the following tweets ridiculing her. He also retweeted some of his fanboys’ sexist comments.



One has to wonder if Ailes is going to sit idly by and allow Trump to just go after one if his top talents and the person he considers the real face of the network going forward. While he knows Trump is ratings gold for Fox and all of cable news, and last time around Trump fans bombarded the network with hate mail over Kelly’s ‘unfair’ treatment of Trump, Ailes isn’t someone who is going to allow himself to be bullied. Not when he considers himself the alpha dog of the playground.

Business Insider’s Jay Yarow figures Ailes is going to have to go “nuclear” on Trump after this latest tirade.



Regardless of what Ailes decides, you have to think this kind of behavior will eventually backfire on Trump. More than a year before an election and during the typically dead part of the summer, Trump has brought attention and excitement to cable news and the GOP race with his outrageous and obnoxious actions. However, how long can you continually act like a raging 8-year-old before the act gets old? What kind of shelf life does this second-rate reality programming really have? Two months? Three? I guess we’ll see.


UPDATE: Apparently, Ailes will not quietly let this go. He released the following statement on Monday calling on Trump to apologize to Kelly:

“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.