Diary

It's all about Megyn.

FLASH FOR FOX NEWS: Don’t flatter yourself. Trump’s boycotting of the Thursday evening debate is not disrespectful to the people of Iowa. It’s a message to FOX and Megyn Kelly, in particular, that he won’t be used by FOX or any one of its hosts who hope to boost their own egos at his expense. It’s a message to FOX and FOX alone.

Megyn Kelly is probably a very nice person, but she has demonstrated on her show that she harbors a deep dislike for Trump, personally and because of this she should not be a panelist on the debate, Thursday, Jan 28.

It’s basic journalism 101: Megyn Kelly has become part of the narrative for this controversy and for this reason alone, she is too tied to the outcome of the story to be viewed as neutral or fair. She should remove herself as a moderator.

After her provocative and inappropriate smearing of Donald Trump in the last presidential debate where she  sat as moderator, and after her repeated badgering of Donald Trump on her own evening show, The Kelly File, where her personal jihad against Trump is evident, she really doesn’t deserve a second chance and shouldn’t be given one, not in this type of a forum.

Looking back, let’s review her opening question in the first debate: “You’ve called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,”  she asked, barely able to conceal her own contempt for Trump — and please, don’t say that that was hard journalism — it wasn’t! She wasn’t looking for an answer to the question as much as a chance to make a name for herself. She worked on that question and she worked on her follow-up. It was crass self-promotion. She planned it and likely figured it would elevate her standing at FOX. This was going to be her chance to shine, or so she thought.

Nevertheless, I suspect Trump thought it was a curve because his answer was irreverent, “Only Rossie O’Donnell,” he answered.

In perfect Candy Crawford style she shot back: “For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.” And with that, the inevitable slide into the mud began with Kelly sloshing around in the ring of celebrity opportunity relishing the opportunity to expose more comments he made about some women — selectively leaving out all the men he went after in the past. Really, why single out women?

Actually, it’s not the question(s), so much as it was the accusatory tone, the underlying flirtation with mischief, the confrontational delivery, and the pandering for headlines that I suspect millions of others saw right through, and didn’t like.

If Trump’s answer was problematic; Kelly’s style of delivery and opportunism was evident.

That one question and her follow up is what told me she was anything but ready for a panelist position on a channel that prides itself on being “fair and balanced”. This wasn’t her own prime time show, where such outbursts can be written off as hot-headed commentary. She was a co-chair in a national presidential debate. She was a panelist ostensibly there to assist the American public in better understanding where the candidates stood on issues of importance to them.

Instead, she planned her first question to sound exactly as it sounded and clearly saw the opportunity to make headlines with it, and she took it. She played the misogyny card which, by the way, no serious person believes is actually true about Trump. I mean, really, do we honestly think that Trump believes all women are “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals”. Really? All women? Megyn knows better. We all know better.

Had MSNBC or CNN opened with that question FOX would have been all over them — and they know it. Instead FOX defended the indefensible and doubled down in its defense ever since. Shame!

It is true that those kinds of crude comments, limited as they were to certain individuals, are nonetheless unbecoming of a presidential candidate. Trump should know better. But many of those comments were made before he announced. The point is this: if the object of the question was to elicit a clarification, why wasn’t the question phrased more as a question as opposed to an accusation. It’s kind of like: Well Mr. Trump, answer yes or no; do you still beat your wife?

As I see it, with that one question and its follow-up, Kelly demonstrated an inexcusable lapse in journalistic integrity by failing to point out that Trump’s been equally harsh on men as well. Why didn’t she bring that up? It seems a fair point to me. The reason she didn’t bring it up is because she was shamefully pandering to the feminist left and playing the gender card with glee. It was crass self-promotion. The question and tone was more fitting of a host on Good Morning America or some other network slaughter fest aimed at republicans.

I strongly suspect Trump has made a lot more derogatory comments about male opponents in business and in politics. So what! Indeed, the likelihood that Trump may view some women in a negative, unflattering light should not surprise anyone, given his annoying habit of being crudely  blunt — a habit he really needs to get under control. But those occasions do not carry over to all women, which Ms. Kelly’s question suggested, and was designed to lead us to believe, did.

As for as this writer is concerned when you open that can of worms, and Megyn Kelly unapologetically took us there in the first debate, you lose a second chance, until you demonstrate that you know that what you did, not how he responded, was wrong. As of this writing, Ms. Kelly hasn’t demonstrated that she has a clue or even cares, and  FOX news, ever proud of its host, is standing firm, supporting her style of journalistic integrity.

FOX, not Trump, owes us all an apology for defending the indefensible. As for Trump’s boycott, of the FOX presidential debate I suspect the American people are fed up with media elitism and smarmy “questions” designed more to instigate a fight between candidates and boost fragile media egos than get to the heart of what troubles Americans most.