Megyn Kelly Is Leaving Fox News, But She’s Still Terrible
First, the obvious: Megyn Kelly is doing a good thing by leaving Fox News Channel, particularly for herself.
The 46-year-old is leaving her reported $15 million salary at Fox to join NBC for a role that is more suited to her lifestyle.
She'll have a daytime television show, anchor a Sunday-night news program and be a key figure in NBC's political coverage.
She'll even have the time to take her kids to school and have dinner with her husband, the New York Times reports.
Good for her. Also, none of that changes how genuinely terrible she's been at times over the years.
Don't get me wrong. Kelly's really talented, and the new deal does seem like yet another recent event that'll make her more likable to people who weren't fans before.
Just a recap: First, there was her "standing up" to Donald Trump during a debate. Then, there was her "standing up" against sexual assault at Fox News. Now, there's her leaving the network altogether.
But this is still the woman who so often went out of her way to pursue shamelessly and irresponsibly specific narratives related to some of the country's most important and sensitive issues.
Need an example? Let's start with an issue Kelly feels comfortable critiquing herself: nitpicking stories.
During the March 12, 2015 edition of "The Kelly File," on a day that two Ferguson police officers were shot, the host implied other media members had disproportionately covered the incident.
You would think the risks they're facing is the focus of the national conversation today... you would be wrong. Today, the conversation consisted of a quick expression of sympathy for the injured officers, followed by a long justification for a protest movement based upon a lie.
The irony? It was around this time Kelly herself had so transparently and so passionately gone out of her way to focus on the issue of whether or not Michael Brown was shot with his hands up or not.
Never mind the fact the same Department of Justice report that questioned whether Brown had his hands up showed a culture of racism within the Ferguson police department.
Never mind the fact the same report showed the Ferguson's practice of racial profiling and ticketing was used to generate a stream of consistent income.
Never mind the fact the DOJ's report had, at the very least, given important perspective on the very reason why protestors showed up to Ferguson and why they'll continue to show up in Charlotte and Baltimore and New York saying the same "don't shoot" she so ignorantly and naively claims is just about Michael Brown.
It's because there has been a suspicion for decades that law enforcement preyed upon black people.
That the DOJ had vindicated those suspicions was an event that was years in the making and by far the most important revelation to come out of the department's Ferguson report.
But not for Megyn Kelly. During one panel discussion on the DOJ's Ferguson report, she asked,
There are many problems according to this report with the Ferguson police department, but one of those problems is not Darren Wilson and many are asking, on his behalf, where do you go to get your reputation back?
Don't get me wrong. It's more than fair to question what happened in the specific event that led to Darren Wilson shooting Michael Brown.
However, it'd be intellectually dishonest of me to sit here and pretend that very clear details of insidious, systemic racism in a city didn't cause the people of a town to suspect their police.
It'd also be intellectually dishonest of me to act like that systemic racism is less important than the reputation of a man who attracted thousands of dollars in donations for his troubles.
Intellectual dishonesty, though, is Kelly's game, and she's played it so much that she has a highlight reel to her name.
New NBC hire Megyn Kelly built her career on race-baiting, chicanery, and imbuing propaganda with legitimacy: pic.twitter.com/CgchEBnk4b — Media Matters (@mmfa) January 3, 2017
No amount of tough talk against Donald Trump will erase that fact.