When I make a mistake, it's a beaut. And here's the beaut. Not a beauty, but a beaut.
It was announced this past week that Megyn Kelly, the Fox News Channel's biggest star, was leaving that right-wing network for NBC News, for which she will likely be doing coverage of political stories, hosting a Sunday night news program (opposite "60 Minutes?"), and hosting a new daytime program to replace the third hour of the "Today" show. (Because of contractual issues with Fox News, she may have to wait awhile before she gets on NBC's airwaves; her last appearance on Fox was on January 6.)
Megyn Kelly on NBC News . . . sounds pretty good right? Now Kelly can get on a real network news team that deals in facts and show what an accomplished newswoman she really is.
Not so fast. A week and change ago, I wrote that Kelly "has proven to be formidable newswoman, the one good thing to come out of [the Roger Ailes sex] scandal." I based this on the fact that Kelly has grilled some Republican politicians about their positions and put them to shame by trying to get the truth of the matter. But the truth of the matter is that, despite all that, Kelly is one of those straight white people whose takes on the issues are so reactionary and lunkheaded that she makes straight white people look even dumber. It's not just her onetime insistence that Santa Claus, a fictional character, is white, which she made in response to the equally stupid suggestion from a black female journalist that Santa Claus be replaced with a race-neutral Christmas penguin. It's little tidbits that Matthew Ingram of Fortune magazine recently cited, such as her fear-mongering accusation that the Obama administration was forcing racial diversity on white neighborhoods (it wasn't) and her dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement by doubting that the recent rash of police shootings had anything to do with race.
And then there's this bombshell about the bombshell that Ingram pointed out: "Kelly has also made critical comments about gay and transgender issues on a number of occasions, according to the left-leaning media watchdog group Media Matters, and has repeatedly hosted anti-gay groups such as the Family Research Council, which believes that homosexuality is a sin and that gay men routinely recruit children to be homosexual."
Dear Matthew Ingram: Thanks for setting me straight (no pun intended) about Megyn Kelly. I appreciate it.
It's not that Megyn Kelly is changing or moderating her views. It's that NBC News - which runs MSNBC also - is looking for a more conservative bent. Because that's where the money is, and also because the Fairness Doctrine that guarantees diversity of thought in news reporting was done away with years ago.
By the way, Kelly may even replace the likable Savannah Guthrie on "Today."
And oh yes, I retract my earlier statement about Kelly's "formidable" journalistic chops.
Is she the only odious ex-Fox News personality to join the NBC family? No - Greta Van Sustren is joining MSNBC.
Bearing all this in mind, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Joy Reid should be getting pinks slips with their pay checks very soon. Personal note to Rachel, Chris and Joy: You're f--ked.
Although I suspect that Joy Reid may resign from MSNBC in protest of these two NBC News hires before MSNBC boss Phil Griffin even gets the chance to sack her . . .