When the FOX News sex scandal exploded in 2016, I wasn’t too surprised. I had heard it was an extremely sexist environment, but I was shocked to hear about the fraternity-like shenanigans that were going on at the network that claims it stands for “family values.” I’ve never seen antics like that in Corporate America. Tales of former CEO Roger Ailes keeping a female staffer as a sex slave were mind-boggling.
Megyn Kelly, one of FOX News’ battalion of short-skirted news models, seemed to come out of the fiasco smelling like roses. Former FOX News commentator Andrea Tantaros lost a sexual harassment lawsuit and has disappeared from the news media. And Gretchen Carlson, who blew the lid off the scandal, is semi-retired from the news business and is now a women’s rights activist.
However, Kelly helmed some of the network’s worst segments. She once said Jesus was white. But after she left FOX, she still managed to snag a multi-million dollar deal to host a daytime show on NBC. Kelly also debuted a new warmer and cuddlier on-screen persona which was designed to appeal to the largely, female daytime audience.
I wondered how long she could keep up the mask of normalcy. Some of us still remember her stint on FOX where she promoted race-baiting stories about the Obama administration’s failure to go after the New Black Panthers. According to Media Matters, she ran 45 segments on the New Black Panthers non-story. Kelly also enthusiastically promoted other right-wing claptrap. She did several segments disparaging feminism, immigration, police violence against African Americans and also bashed Muslims.
In 2016, she did a piece on the European refugee crisis, where she asked “If Germany was over” because it was being flooded by “large groups of Muslims who have no desire to assimilate.”
It hasn’t taken long for her to show her colors on daytime TV. Although Kelly’s audience is mainly women, she stood behind Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been dogged by sexual assault and rape allegations. She recently said some of the accusations against Kavanaugh should be dismissed.
“Brett Kavanaugh is entitled to due process, but he’s not necessarily going to get it. [Ford is] not going to be believed by the Republicans, no matter how credible she may seem,” said Kelly at the Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. “So the whole thing is a farce. It was set up to be a farce. There was no impartial arbiter in that Senate hearing room.”
She also said that women who accused men of rape and sexual assault can’t always be believed. At the same time, she has reported on former “Today” show host Matt Lauer’s sexual harassment accusations, much to the ire of her co-workers.
But this isn’t surprising. Kelly showed her moral flexibility on FOX News. Although she exploited her sexuality on FOX, including doing a lingerie photoshoot, she jumped on the sexual harassment bandwagon when it was convenient.
Kelly claimed that Ailes sexually propositioned her several times. But she only said this after she left the network.
Kelly hasn’t been a good fit in daytime TV. Apart from her neo-fascist side occasionally reappearing, she’s not beloved by her colleagues.
“She’s milking the #MeToo movement. People are counting down the days until she’s gone,” said an NBC insider, according to The New York Post’s Page Six column.
Hopefully, NBC and Kelly will soon part ways. Then she can go to neo-fascist CRTV, the dumping ground for other right-wing hacks such as former FOX News commentator Eric Bolling, who was fired for sending unsolicited nude pictures to co-workers. She’d fit right in.