Tuesday, June 02, 2015


Remember that gushing New York Times Magaine profile of Fox's Megyn Kelly? The article that defined the term "Megyn moment"?
For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, a Megyn moment, as I have taken to calling it, is when you, a Fox guest -- maybe a regular guest or even an official contributor -- are pursuing a line of argument that seems perfectly congruent with the Fox worldview, only to have Kelly seize on some part of it and call it out as nonsense, maybe even turn it back on you. You don’t always know when, how or even if the Megyn moment will happen; Kelly’s political sensibility and choice of subjects are generally in keeping with that of the network at large. But you always have to be ready for it, no matter who you are.
"But you always have to be ready for it, no matter who you are." Well, apparently that's not true for everyone:
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly warned viewers Monday night that her upcoming, exclusive sit-down with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar might not be as “tough” as the hosts of The View and others have predicted it will be.

“I’ll take that reputation as a tough but fair journalist,” Kelly said. “However, this isn’t going to be a cross-examination of a family. It’s going to be an interview. I want to hear their story. And I think America wants to hear their story now.”
“Nothing is off limits,” Kelly said of the Wednesday night interview. But, she added, “I don’t plan on getting into the specific details about what was done, because my understanding is the victims don’t want to discuss that either.”
Well, Megyn, if you're already telegraphing that you "don’t plan on getting into the specific details," then you've clearly put something "off limits" -- namely, "the specific details."

So what are Kelly and the Duggars going to talk about? I mean, besides the assertion Kelly made last nightthat reporters covering the story have been mean to Republicans?
KELLY: ... And what’s been remarkable to me as, I admit, somebody who doesn’t watch this show, is to see how many in the media have handled it. From jumping to “They’re the worst, the house of horrors, this family’s sick, sick, sick” to people like this woman on CNN trying to make this the problem of the Republican presidential field.

... Bill Clinton was accused of rape! He has been accused by several women of sexually assaulting them! But the fact that a presidential candidate has posed with some random member of the family that’s going through this issue is somehow a problem for the GOPers?
I assume a lot of the interview is going to be about the "war on Christianity." It's a favorite topic of Kelly's:
Fox News host Megyn Kelly believes President Barack Obama's recent comments about the "less-than-loving expressions by Christians" could have a chilling effect on those who want to speak out against ongoing religious persecution of their religious brethren.

"I mean, the question is whether those comments do real damage not just to morale among Christians about what their own president thinks of them, but… that they feel he won't stand up for Christians who are under threat," Kelly said last night on "The Kelly File" ...

Kelly was reacting to off-script comments made by Obama to an audience at Tuesday's Easter Prayer Breakfast in which he reflected upon his own faith....
It's a subject she's previously raised when another Christian family was allegedly victimized by the heathens who run reality TV:
On May 6, Right Wing Watch reported that David Benham, who along with his brother Jason was slated to star in a fixer-upper reality show called Flip It Forward, had an extensive record of anti-choice, anti-gay, and anti-Muslim activism. David Benham ... has ... compared the anti-gay marriage fight to the struggle against Nazi Germany.... he has declared that "Islam takes life and enslaves it" and protested in front of mosques while shouting "Jesus Hates Muslims."

Faced with a public outcry, HGTV announced on May 7 that it had "decided not to move forward" with Flip It Forward.

During the May 8 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly ... suggested that ... the Benhams were being punished because, unlike gay people, Christians' rights aren't as "protected and recognized in this country":
KELLY: If HGTV had a couple of hosts who are about to launch a TV show and it came out that they were gay and then they pulled the plug on them because they're gay, the backlash would be enormous in this country, and that's because gay rights are more and more protected and recognized in this country. Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much.
And, last December, Kelly posed this question the Reverend Franklin Graham during a "war on Christmas" segment:
What are we to make now, today, of a world in which you've got the in-your-face sexuality of public figures like Miley Cyrus, the sex-tape stardom of people like Kim Kardsahian, this culture where we have, you know, certain songs with the filthy lyrics that are put in our face on the Grammys when we watch with our children, this sort of gangsta fashion where they're doing sort of gun signs as some way of communicating with their fellow human beings, you know, folks in this country -- and yet a Christmas tree, a nativity scene, is too offensive?
Yes, I think we're going to hear more about the parlous state of the godless world than about Josh Duggar's sexual offenses.


aimai said...

The fantasy that anyone in Fox's stable,who is paid to shill for their agenda, has any authentically radical or liberal moments is absurd. There was never any way that Kelly would grill the Duggars unless her paymasters wanted her to and they would never want her to unless they thought their own viewers and the Duggars followers had entirely turned against them and their entire Christianist agenda. That is never going to happen. So she was never going to be hard on them.

Steve M. said...

She's had occasional moments of asking seemingly tough questions, as has Chris Wallace. Usually these involve political figures. But the "Megyn moments" (and Chris Wallace moments) have always struck me as an attorney putting a friendly witness on the stand who has one embarrassing fact to reveal -- in that case, the attorney wants to be the one to bring out that fact, and to control how it's brought out. Kelly and Wallace seem to be offering Republicans "safe spaces" to respond to charges they've faced elsewhere in the press. However, occasionally the Republicans being interviewed fail to respond well (see, e.g., Jeb on the Iraq War). But that's their fault. Kelly or Wallace made the question look tough, but the opportunity is always provided for a carefully crafted rebuttal. Neither one is going to hammer away.

See my post about Kelly's allegedly tough Dick Cheney question.

Victor said...

'“I’ll take that reputation as a tough but fair journalist,” Kelly said...'

Who, outside of that NY Times sycophantic puff-piece writer, her FOX colleagues, the Gob-shites in the DC media village, and (DUMB)FUX "news" viewers ever said she was that?

Steve, I think you've got it with that lawyer bit. I only watch her in snippets from liberal blogs, so I can't say I'm an expert.

I can't watch, because I'll want to throw something at my TV.

Never Ben Better said...

The interview will be a holy steamroller of woe and devotion over persecution and redemption. I wouldn't be surprised to see* the victims trotted out to publicly "forgive" their brother once again -- after all, it's their Christian duty as dutiful females in the Duggar clan.

*Not that I plan to watch.

Professor Chaos said...

The ability of right-wingers to paint themselves as the victim in every situation never ceases to amaze me!

Nefer said...

"And I think America wants to hear their (Ma and Pa Duggar) story now.”
Whatever put that stupid notion in her foxified head? Even right-wingers (ordinary people, not big name people) have expressed disgust at the Duggars. Huckabee did not get a positive response to his piece defending Josh the molester.

Aunt Snow said...

Yes. Why is it THEIR story? What's the narrative, Ma and Pa Duggar turned a blind eye to their son molesting their daughters, until they were forced to get him out of the house? I think that's a story America would recoil from.

marindenver said...

That whole brouhaha about HGTV "persecuting" the homophobic brothers by nixing their fix and flip show was a joke. HGTV is very inclusive in the people who come on their shows. There was no way they were going to spotlight a couple of open bigots. But of course it's the Xtians who are always the victims.