Fabulous, Controversial Megyn Kelly!
|Megyn Kelly. This is the picture that Megyn uses for her Twitter account.|
Megyn Kelly (born 1970) is an on-air personality on the Fox News cable channel. She once hosted a top-rated interview show, "The Kelly File," which typically led its time slot among cable shows in prime time. She since has moved on to other projects but remains a top television interviewer. However, it is the other things she has done that have raised Megyn Kelly's profile, some in controversial ways.
Kelly is from Syracuse, New York and went to Syracuse University. She began her career at an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She joined Fox News Channel in 2004.
At first, Megyn was a contributor at Fox, and sometimes filled in for other hosts. She took over her own show, "America Live," in 2010. It did well, and soon she was moved to a prime spot in the evening.
While anyone on tv that gets high ratings needs to be respected for that, Megyn Kelly has a tendency to stick her foot in her mouth.
For instance, she got into all sorts of controversy for claiming that Santa Claus, a fictional/mythical character, is "white":
"For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white, but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it."She later admitted that the skin color of Jesus is "far from settled."
Then, she got into a major snit with leading Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump when she served as a moderator at the first debate of the 2016 campaign season.
Mr. Trump, Kelly said in a question to him, had called women various names such as "pig" and "dog," and she wondered what he had to say about that now.
Mr. Trump actually had quite a bit to say about that, it turned out. He immediately riposted that he was just referring to Rosie O'Donnell, a line which brought raucous applause and laughter from the audience. When Kelly unwisely pressed the issue, it gave Mr. Trump the chance to launch into a general attack on political correctness which some thought was the highlight of the evening. It also played to one of the major themes of The Donald's campaign, that the media was against him and reporters could not be trusted.
Kelly explained afterward that she is a registered Independent who asks tough questions of everyone. She adamantly refused to apologize for what many perceived as a tabloid-style question at a serious proceeding. She did, however, immediately take a week off after the incident and did not renew her contract with Fox.
A petition was launched the next day to exclude her from future Republican debates. It quickly gathered over 50,000 signatures. Kelly's boss, Roger Ailes, had to call Mr. Trump a few days later to smooth everything over.
The controversy did not seem to hurt Mr. Trump, who retained and even grew his lead in the polls. It also did not hurt Kelly, whose show remained the leader in its timeslot. So, the controversy worked for everyone - particularly President Trump.
Megyn grew unhappy at Fox after the incident. She abruptly took a two-week vacation right after the incident, then refused to renew her contract at the station. Megyn Kelly since has moved on from Fox News to NBC, but the going there has not been easy.
Megyn's highly touted Sunday Night program received a poor reception, and a high-profile interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin was widely mocked. Megyn now is on the morning "Today" program, which always is in a big fight for ratings in the competitive morning timeslots. Megyn's big presence there, NBC figured, would work well in the looser format of a morning program.
|Jane Fonda has a bit of difficulty with Megyn Kelly.|
Megyn, though, got into trouble with Hollywood legend Jane Fonda right away. La Fonda basically told Megyn to buzz off after some of her questions, particularly the one about her cosmetic surgery. While Megyn remains part of the NBC morning lineup, she essentially has had to adapt to that format rather than bringing in anything new.
But, there is more to the story. While working as a serious journalist on "fair and balanced" Fox News and venerable NBC, Megyn also poses for cheesecake-style photos, as in a notorious Vanity Fair editorial.
|A shot from Megyn Kelly's notorious Vanity Fair photoshoot.|
The story of Megyn Kelly remains a work in progress. She has had some successes, such as an interview with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, but that also engendered some controversy over the questions that Megyn asked and how NBC edited the interview. Love her or hate her, Megyn Kelly has become a household name, and, as Jack would say, "That ain't beanbag!"