Topic: Media Research Center
Megyn Kelly is leaving the Fox News for NBC -- and that means she's now a target of the Media Research Center.
You might recall that the MRC wouldn't defend Kelly in the face of Donald Trump's sexist attacks on her after her tough questioning of him during Republican presidential debates, yet neither would it criticize her or take Trump's bait about Fox News being biased -- Brent Bozell and Co. were more interested in preserving its seat at the Fox News table (read: TV appearances). It even gave a platform to Kelly to claim against all evidence that Fox News is "fair and balanced."
But now that Kelly has left the protection of Fox News employment, the MRC is letting her know she's on the hit list.
The MRC's first reaction to Kelly's new job was a post by Tim Graham already writing her off as a liberal:
How much will Kelly have to shift to the middle or even the left to fit in at NBC News? The last nightly host to leave Fox was Paula Zahn, and she quickly became a liberal cog at CNN like every other host. A similar right-to-left pattern happened with former Fox & Friends hosts Kiran Chetry and Alisyn Camerota.
Graham doesn't consider the possibility that Kelly was forced to shift to the right to work at Fox News and might simply become an actual fair-and-balanced anchor.
On Twitter, meanwhile, Graham sneered: "I first started thinking 'Yeah, Megyn Kelly's de-Foxifying' at the NY Times Book Review interview on her book choices on November 13."
In a Jan. 6 post, Graham got mad that a NPR host pointed out Kelly's long history of offensive out of touch comments about minorities," like her insistence that Santa Claus is white, declaring it to be "Fox-hating leftist commentary." He then described the Twitter argument he had with NPR media critic David Folkenflik (as he is wont to do), this time over Folkenflik's claim that Kelly is "desperately hoping to get away from ideology" by going to NBC and engaging in soft-focus interviews like "the model of Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, a Charlie Rose at CBS."
Kyle Drennen then complained that NBC's "Today" show "welcomed Kelly with an online article recalling her six 'finest moments' during her tenure at FNC. Strangely, those moments focus exclusively on Kelly taking on Republicans – not a single instance was featured of her going after liberal guests," further huffing that none of them included "Kelly’s routine hammering of the press over its blatant liberal bias throughout the 2016 campaign."
Geoffrey Dickens, meanwhile, lamented that Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple "reminded his readers of FNC’s controversies," including Trump's sexism toward Kelly, reminding us again that protecting Fox News is Job 1 at the MRC.
At MRCTV, Craig Bannister groused that "NBC has earned a reputation for journalistic bias and baloney that might be hard for even Kelly to overcome."
The hardest shot came in a Jan. 5 CNSNews.com column by Leesa K. Donner, an ex-journalist who now writes for the far-right American Thinker, headlined "It’s All About Me: The Cult of Megyn Kelly." While denying that her column was "a hit piece on Ms. Kelly," it reads like one anyway; she declares that "Ms. Kelly’s stardom as a “journalist” is emblematic of a serious problem within the broadcast journalism industry that has metastasized into an Ebola-style plague across the airwaves," that of broadcast journalism becoming "a vehicle for self-discovery" and "a sick cult of personality." Donner concludes:
So, perhaps an Oprah slot on daytime TV across from the soap operas is precisely where Ms. Kelly belongs. Any which way you look at it, the mainstream broadcast news industry should reflect upon this little sideshow with Kelly and learn that when you feed the hungry monster of ego, sometimes you find you can get eaten by the very monster you have created.
You can be assured that CNS would not have publichsed the column had Kelly decided to stay at Fox News. But she's out of that bubble, which means she's now fair game for the boys at the MRC.