Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly supposedly left the undenied champion of cable news because she secured a daytime spot so that she could spend more time with her kids. While that’s admirable, the evidence would point more toward her having to leave while she still had any leverage to get a new gig.
Kelly’s less than Fox-friendly attitude toward President Trump prior to his election was just one of the issues at play in her downfall. Many believed she was far too liberal to be such a big part of that network. But Kelly obviously missed getting to hang out with the alt-right since one of her first interviews at the new gig with NBC was to have extreme right radio host and Info Wars main man, Alex Jones.
Apparently, Kelly’s choice of how to deal with Jones was not what the network was looking for since this is the response it got:
NBC Sources: "We didn't pay her $15 million for this" https://t.co/nFJ7Psi8bi
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) June 18, 2017
Rough day to be Kelly.
While the reports of her job loss are yet to be verified, the landscape doesn’t look good. The issue caught the attention of Vanity Fair who decided to cover it (I guess because Kelly is pretty and they consider that their domain).
Via Vanity Fair:
Backlash to the announcement of Kelly’s interview with Jones had been swift, and worsened after a smiling selfie of Jones and Kelly emerged, with some questioning Kelly’s decision to give a platform to a virulent conspiracy theorist who has called 9/11 a hoax and accused the government of staging the Sandy Hook shooting. Connecticut’s NBC affiliate said it would not air the segment. Making matters worse, Jones leaked parts of a pre-interview conversation he had with Kelly, as well as a bit of the actual interview, designed to embarrass the network and discredit his interviewer. (“It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that,” Kelly says in the pre-interview conversation). “You alone will be the jury as to who’s fake news and who stands for America,” Jones told his audience before Sunday’s show aired.
If you're unfamiliar with Alex Jones, and are watching this Megyn Kelly report, hard to imagine you walk away believing anything he says.
— Kyle Blaine (@kyletblaine) June 18, 2017
Honestly, so far this is like a very thorough primer on @RealAlexJones for ppl who don't know about him. Not a TON of Alex's voice so far
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) June 18, 2017
The interview with Jones, while not disastrous or embarrassing for Kelly, still caused NBC execs a week of grief and handed control of the narrative to Jones. Still, Kelly is not nearly as easy on Jones as critics had perhaps anticipated in the 20-minute segment: she asked Jones about a scandal he had with yogurt maker Chobani, which he baselessly accused of being connected to both a rise in tuberculosis and the 2016 sexual assault of a child. “You don’t sound very sorry,” Kelly said to Jones when he told her he apologized to the yogurt-maker). “Do you consider yourself a journalist?” Kelly later asks Jones. “I’m just trying to figure out what the vetting process is.”
If the goal was to expose Jones, it only seemed to give him more oxygen. Jones provided his own counter-programming on Sunday night, watching Kelly’s show live and providing his own commentary for more than 100,000 viewers. NBC, meanwhile, appeared uninterested in giving the radioactive story a longer half-life than it had already generated, with the network doing less promotion for the interview than it did for Kelly’s debut with Putin.
If you haven’t already, you can get an idea of the tone of the interview from this teaser put out before the piece actually aired:
While all of this may sound crazy to you, there is one little fact that might put it into perspective. Kelly is a former corporate defense attorney, turned political commentator, however, what she wants, is to be the next Oprah. That interview makes a whole lot more sense if you imagine Ms. Winfrey delving into the mind of what many consider to be an overt conspiracy theorist.
Whether she’s got the chops to pull it off or not, it’s not sounding like NBC shares her dream for the future, and to be honest, Kelly’s got just a bit more edge than the beloved Oprah.
Not that I’d discourage someone from philanthropy, but she might have wanted to be clear with her bosses before she signed the $15 million contract.
(Source: Vanity Fair)