During Wednesday evening's edition of The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel, host Megyn Kelly wound up clashing with guest D. L. Hughley -- a black author, political commentator, radio host and stand-up comedian -- regarding the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by police officer Jeronimo Yanez on July 6 in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
While Kelly tried to keep the discussion civil, Hughley got angry and tried to slam the network when he sarcastically stated: “The only place racism doesn't exist is Fox News and the Police Department.”
“You just insulted millions of people watching this channel,” Kelly responded sternly.
“And you know what? I'm insulted by the things I hear on this network, so we're even,” he claimed. “I could care less about insulting people that insult me on a daily basis.”
The interview came just after the host discussed the incident with Mark Fuhrman, a former detective with the Los Angeles Police Department who commented on remarks from Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds.
When Kelly welcomed Hughley to the program, the author of the book Black Man: White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years stated that he wasn't aware Fuhrman would also be on the program.
“What did you make of that because you were shaking your head?” the anchor asked.
“I think that cops have a different perspective,” Hughley replied. “It was interesting to hear Mark Fuhrman -- who actually got in trouble for perjuring himself -- calling somebody a liar. Ridiculous.”
“But what do you make of the fact that she had inconsistencies in her story?” Kelly pressed.
“I think the cop had inconsistencies in his, too,” the guest responded.
“So then you let the evidence play itself out?” she asked.
Hughley then stated:
Here's my problem: It is my belief that no matter happens, no matter what we see, the cops are given the presumption of innocence.
If that same tape showed a suspect doing something, that would be all the prosecution would need, and they would say “The evidence is all right here.”
“We can see somebody being shot to death, but we don't know what happened before, we don't know what happened after,” the guest continued.
Kelly replied: “But you're making assumptions because we don't know what happened. All we have is her testimonial, which doesn't capture the actual event. Do we know whether she's credible?”
“We know this,” Hughley stated: “We know he had a permit to carry a gun.”
“But that doesn't answer any of the questions,” the host asserted.
“That absolutely answers the questions,” the guest replied. “When you get a permit to carry a gun, they tell you exactly how to act when a police officer pulls you over.”
“But that doesn't mean he didn't threaten the officer,” Kelly noted.
“You're willing to give him the presumption of innocence,” Hughley stated..
“The law gives him the presumption of innocence,” she responded. “We don't know the facts. When we saw this happen with Michael Brown in Ferguson--.”
The guest then interrupted and startled Kelly by asserting: “And we still don't know the facts there, We have the police officers' word and the grand jury's word.”
“We have the Department of Justice's word,” the host stated.
“Before the insults,” Kelly indicated, “the point you started to make is true, and we can talk about that, that whites perceive the situation when a cop--.”
Hughley interrupted: “I think a lot of people on this network think that black men deserve it.”
“Let me finish,” the host said. “Could you hold the insults for a second so we can have a productive conversation?”
Kelly then noted:
You were going to make the point that whites see certain incidents differently than blacks do, and we saw that in the O. J. Simpson case, when the verdict came down.
I'll give you that. Most reasonable people will give you that, but you know what shuts down all reasonable dialogue is throwing out the term “racism” before it's been proven.
“In 2006, the FBI came up with a report that said that police departments were rife with white supremacists – [they] said it, not me,” the guest stated, “so why wouldn't I believe” that since “I don't know a black man that hasn't had a run-in with a police officer from the highest to the lowest.”
“It's very dangerous when you get to the point where you paint an entire group with the same brush based on the bad actions of a few,” Kelly asserted.
“That is amazing to hear on this network,” her guest concluded. “That really is.”
Obviously, Hughley doesn't watch Fox News enough to have a valid opinion of the channel. Here's hoping he does that, and it improves his ill-informed viewpoint.