Slate Writer: ‘Fundamentally Dishonest’ Megyn Kelly Feeds ‘Red Meat to Her White Base’

December 6th, 2016 4:28 PM

Megyn Kelly is a journalist, but she’s also a sort of actress, suggested Slate’s Isaac Chotiner in a Monday review of her new book, Settle for More. To Chotiner, Kelly’s a conservative who plays a nonpartisan on TV. She has “done her best to cloud her real agenda.” And it’s worked: she has “wide-ranging respect and admiration among a press corps generally (and rightly) suspicious and dismissive of Fox News.”

Chotiner is much less respectful and admiring. “The Kelly File is quite clearly ideological and very rarely ‘open-minded,’” he argued. “It is guilty of the same race-baiting and fearmongering that the rest of the network practiced throughout the election, and indeed over the past two decades.” Moreover:

[Kelly] comes across in Settle for More as a fundamentally dishonest person because she is misleading about what she actually does every night of her show, with its obsessive focus on black people committing crimes and the New Black Panther Party’s threat to our way of life. Kelly’s ability to seem reasonable and dogged, while simultaneously feeding red meat to her white base, is the reason for her outsize success.

(Regarding that “obsessive focus” on the New Black Panther Party, a Nexis search found that the NBPP has been mentioned only once on The Kelly File in 2016, on July 8 in reference to the shooting of five police officers in Dallas.)

Even though Kelly’s had high-profile clashes with the president-elect, Chotiner thinks she’ll do fine in the age of Trump:

There was a time several months ago when the America of Donald Trump and Roger Ailes seemed to be drifting away, with the Republican Party in chaos as both men battled allegations of sexual misconduct and Hillary Clinton comfortably ahead in the polls. That America was a place where women could be treated however old white men desired, a place where nasty rhetoric and race-baiting were condoned. For all the disgust that she claims to feel for the misogyny and male entitlement of this soon-once-again-regnant America, and for all the personal harm it caused her, our bleak future is one in which Megyn Kelly is likely to find herself right at home.