Megyn Kelly Dispenses With That Whole Journalism Thing

Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

If Megyn Kelly wants people to pretend that she is a journalist, can't she at least try to play one on TV?

Kelly, of course, is a touchstone of the so-called "news division" that puts the "news" in Fox News.

It was in that role last year that Kelly eagerly promoted "explosive new allegations" that the Obama Justice Department was racist, as evidenced by their supposed refusal to protect white voters from intimidation at the hands of minorities. Kelly bragged how she helped Fox News drag the rest of the media "kicking and screaming" to cover the preposterous claims being pushed by right-wing activists with an axe to grind. Kelly alone hyped the story during 45 segments in 2 weeks, covering 3 hours and 39 minutes of airtime.

Earlier this week, an internal investigation concluded that there was no evidence to support the phony New Black Panthers scandal. As Salon's Alex Pareene correctly notes:

I imagine Megyn Kelly, for one, will not return to this particular scandal -- a scandal that she has been hyping with obvious relish for some time now -- very often in the future.

Indeed. In four hours of on-air coverage since the new developments broke, Kelly has reported on kids who got stuck in the mud, a YouTube video of two girls in a fistfight, a missing cobra, AARP's support two years ago for health care reform, and - I'm not making this up - explosive new charges that the Obama administration is insufficiently transparent. The closest Kelly has come to the New Black Panthers was a report on controversy surrounding Oscar-winning film The Black Swan.

Kelly seems content to cover everything except an investigation that essentially discredited the non-scandal she flogged over, and over, and over again last summer.

To be clear: there has never been a single reason to take any of this seriously.

Claims that Justice Department officials sought to protect their allies in the New Black Panther Party from voter intimidation charges under a policy of racially charged law enforcement came solely from right-wing activists.

It was, in fact, during the Bush administration that attorneys first acted to narrow the charges sought against a few New Black Panthers filmed outside a Philadelphia polling booth on Election Day 2008, one of them holding a nightstick.

And in securing judgment against New Black Panther King Samir Shabazz for carrying a weapon outside a polling station, the Obama DOJ acted far more aggressively than their predecessors in the Bush administration. It is undisputed that the Bush administration declined to pursue charges against members of the Minutemen who appeared outside an Arizona polling station with a gun on Election Day 2006.

Christopher Coates - one of the key witnesses accusing the Obama DOJ of race-based justice - explained why the Voting Rights Section did not pursue a complaint against those Minutemen:

The investigation, as I recall, determined that he did not draw the pistol.

In addition, it is in no way disputed that the Obama administration asked a federal court in Mississippi to prevent local black leaders from acting in a way that was expected to discriminate against white voters

Given these very simple facts, it's laughably stupid to treat as credible the accusations from Bush-era DOJ officials that Obama administration are acting out of "hostility" toward "bringing cases on behalf of white victims for the benefit of national racial minorities." Abigail Thernstrom, a voting rights expert and Republican vice-chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said that the commission's investigation stemmed from a "wild notion" that conservatives had to "bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president."

Perhaps we can now once and for all dispense with the wild notion that Megyn Kelly is part of a news division at Fox.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.