Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly debuts a new Sunday newsmagazine show on NBC on June 4. Kelly has promoted the show as an opportunity to show viewers “a range of emotion and personality” in a way that “wasn’t possible when I was in prime-time cable news." Media Matters has spent years chronicling what we did see from Kelly at Fox; here are the worst moments.
Megyn Kelly is set to begin “kinder, gentler” NBC newsmagazine show on June 4
Megyn Kelly to anchor her own daytime news and Sunday evening shows on NBC. NBC News first announced on January 3 that Fox News host Megyn Kelly would join the network and “become anchor of a new one hour daytime program that she will develop closely with NBC News colleagues.” She will also “anchor a new Sunday evening news magazine show and will become an important contributor to NBC’s breaking news coverage as well as the network’s political and special events coverage,” the network announced. The Sunday evening newsmagazine show, Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, is set to debut on June 4. [NBC News, 1/3/17; USA Today, 5/31/17]
Kelly’s first NBC appearance was a botched Today report from Russia. In her first segment for NBC News, which aired on June 1 during the Today show, Kelly interviewed Sergey Brilev, described only as a “Russian broadcaster,” who criticized claims that the Russian government influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While Kelly’s viewers might have come away from the segment thinking that Brilev is an independent journalist, he’s actually a top executive at a state news agency who played a key role in one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda efforts. [Media Matters, 6/1/17]
Kelly on the new Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly: “People will really get to know who I am in this job.” In an interview with The Daily Beast promoting the premiere of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, the new NBC anchor explained that she hoped the Sunday program would allow viewers to see her “authentic self”:
Megyn Kelly—whose public fireworks with Donald Trump and, behind the scenes, with Roger Ailes, launched her into the mega-celebrity stratosphere—is embracing a kinder, gentler aura now that she’s the shiniest star at NBC News.
“It’s allowed me to open up more and show more of who I am through my interview subjects,” Kelly told The Daily Beast in a phone chat to tout Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, her magazine show which premieres this Sunday at 7 p.m., in advance of Kelly’s weekday morning show planned for the fall.
“I just feel like people will really get to know who I am in this job,” the former Fox News anchor said. “It wasn’t that I wasn’t my authentic self when I was at Fox. I would say quite the contrary. But this just allows me to show a range of emotion and personality and sides of me that wasn’t possible when I was in prime-time cable news.” [The Daily Beast, 5/31/17]
- Kelly frequently hosted hate group leaders and extremists on her Fox News show
- Kelly often made race-baiting comments
- Kelly repeatedly mocked and dismissed transgender people
- Kelly fearmongered and pushed lies about Islam
- Kelly used her Fox News platform to fearmonger about immigration
- Kelly played host to climate science denial
- Kelly criticized sexual assault prevention measures and minimized survivors
- Kelly pushed harmful misinformation about reproductive rights
- Bonus: More terrible Kelly commentary that defies all categories
Megyn Kelly hosted anti-LGBTQ hate group leader Tony Perkins at least 34 times on Fox News’ The Kelly File. Kelly regularly invited anti-LGBTQ hate group leader Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council (FRC), to speak as a “captain of the religious right” on her Fox News program. FRC was labeled an anti-LGBTQ “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2010, a designation given to anti-LGBTQ organizations that either intentionally spread misinformation to advance their agenda or have worked to criminalize LGBTQ people. Perkins has called pedophilia “a homosexual problem,” claimed that gay men “recruit” children into homosexuality, and endorsed a Uganda law that would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality. Kelly has described FRC as “a group whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and culture from a Christian worldview.” Kelly has also peddled Perkins’ talking points that “Christian beliefs and Christian rights” are being trampled as LGBTQ rights increase, lamenting that it must be “alienating” for him to be criticized for his anti-LGBTQ beliefs. Kelly also hosted Perkins to promote his book No Fear. According to a Nexis search, Kelly hosted Perkins at least 34 times on her show The Kelly File. [Media Matters, 4/11/16, 9/10/15; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Kelly gave anti-immigrant extremist Ann Coulter a platform at least 13 times. Ann Coulter, whom SPLC refers to as a “white nationalist in the mainstream,” repeatedly appeared on The Kelly File to promote her extremist anti-immigrant views. According to SPLC, Coulter’s quotes are “strikingly similar” to “things [that] have been uttered by neo-Nazis and hardcore white nationalists.” In one of Coulter’s appearances, Kelly laughed off Coulter’s suggestion that then-presidential nominee Donald Trump should arrest undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. According to a Nexis search, Kelly hosted Coulter at least 13 times on The Kelly File. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 5/27/15; Media Matters, 7/23/15; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Kelly hosted numerous other leaders from anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant hate groups on her Fox show. A Media Matters analysis found that Megyn Kelly also hosted leaders from “virulently anti-gay” extremist group Focus on the Family, and other SPLC-designated hate groups, including the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel; the anti-Muslim ACT for America; and the nativist, anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies multiple times each on The Kelly File. [Media Matters, 1/6/17; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 6/2/17]
After Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a police officer in 2016, Kelly hosted a discussion on her show about his unrelated criminal record. In the fall of 2016, Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a police officer in North Carolina. In the wake of protests about the death of another unarmed black man, Kelly hosted an entire segment devoted to reporting on Scott’s criminal record, which was unrelated to his death. [Media Matters, 9/28/16; NBC News, 11/30/16]
On The Kelly File, Kelly and Mark Fuhrman agreed that black people’s grievances with police are overblown. In a July 2016 discussion on The Kelly File with former Los Angeles Police Department Detective Mark Fuhrman (who was revealed to have repeatedly used the N-word on duty during the O.J. Simpson trial), Kelly and Fuhrman agreed that black protesters’ grievances with police officers are overblown, and that “a lot of these folks paint with a very big brush” based on a “couple of shootings.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/8/16]
Kelly questioned why Philando Castile’s girlfriend didn’t do more to help him. In another July 2016 segment of The Kelly File, Kelly questioned the actions of Philando Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was seated in a car next to Castile and filmed the aftermath of his shooting by police in Minnesota. A guest reminded Kelly that Reynolds was in fact held at gunpoint by an officer at the time. The night before, Kelly had hosted Fuhrman to comment on the death of Alton Sterling at the hands of a police officer in Louisiana. Fuhrman concluded on the show that Sterling “has to take responsibility” for his own death. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/7/16, 7/6/16]
Kelly questioned whether it was “appropriate” for a black protester to glare at a cop during a peaceful protest. On the November 24, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly denounced a young African-American protester photographed glaring at a police officer during a peaceful protest in Chicago following the announcement of charges against a police officer for the first-degree murder of an African-American teen. When guest Richard Fowler questioned why the young man’s actions were a problem, Kelly commented that it was “not a question of what [the protester’s] constitutional rights are. It’s a question of what’s appropriate.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/24/15]
Kelly questioned whether education, marriage, and employment are “valued in the black communities.” During The Kelly File’s September 4, 2015, “Black Lives Matter Protests” special, Kelly questioned whether education, marriage, and employment are “valued in the black communities, in the inner cities.” Kelly also bemoaned the “anti-cop,” “them versus us” culture where “it’s cool” to “be somebody who doesn’t necessarily prize being there for your family.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 9/4/15]
Kelly on incident where police officer violently manhandled a black teen: “The girl was no saint either.” On the June 8, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly questioned whether a white Texas police officer's excessive use of force while arresting a 14-year-old black girl at a pool party was a “race thing,” asking, “What is the evidence that it is a race thing, as opposed to excessive force thing?” Later, despite calling the police officer’s takedown “brutal,” Kelly partially faulted the 14-year-old, claiming, “The girl was no saint, either.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/8/15]
Kelly on Sandra Bland's arrest: “Even if you know the cop is in the wrong, comply and complain later.” On the July 23, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly and Fox regular (and now potential Trump Department of Homeland Security official) David Clarke found fault with black motorist Sandra Bland's response to the white police officer who pulled her over, with Kelly saying, “Even if you know the cop is in the wrong, comply and complain later.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/23/15]
Kelly warned that Obama planned to force communities that are “too white [and] too privileged” to embrace diversity. On the June 11, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly warned that the Obama administration plans to force “too white [and] too privileged” communities to embrace diversity “whether the communities want it or not” :
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): They don't want, quote, “unequal neighborhoods.” Unequal neighborhoods. They think too many communities are too white, too privileged, with too many big McMansions. And they want to diversify the communities whether the communities want it or not. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/11/15]
Kelly claimed racist emails circulate at most companies in an attempt to downplay DOJ's Ferguson report. During the March 9, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly downplayed a Department of Justice (DOJ) report that found racial bias and stereotyping in the Ferguson Police Department in Missouri. Kelly said it is unfair to “tar the entire organization” as racist because “there are very few companies in America” where “you won't find any racist emails [or] any inappropriate comments.” [Media Matters, 3/10/15]
Kelly: “I'd like to know the proof” that the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner had “anything to do with race.” On the December 4, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly discussed nationwide protests in the wake of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown with National Urban League president Marc Morial, asking several times for “evidence” that the deaths of Garner and Brown had "anything to do with race”:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): All right. So, let's start with this, what is the evidence that what happened to Eric Garner and what happened to Michael Brown has anything to do with race?
KELLY: I get that. You're entitled to your opinion on that and to push for an additional investigation. And that's absolutely your right. But to say that this is a racist situation as Al Sharpton has suggested, as Mayor de Blasio has suggested, as many others have suggested, requires evidence.
MARC MORIAL: What would it take for you to acknowledge -- what would it take for you to acknowledge that race is an issue? Maybe you don't want to acknowledge that race is an issue.
KELLY: I'd like to know the proof. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/4/14]
Kelly: “Santa just is white” and “just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change.” During the December 11, 2013, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly infamously insisted that Jesus and Santa Claus were “white,” brushing past then-Fox host Jedediah Bila's suggestion that a non-white Santa Claus figure makes non-white kids feel included in holiday celebrations. Kelly continued, “Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” adding, “Jesus was a white man too.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/11/13]
Kelly devoted 45 segments over two weeks to pushing a conspiracy theory that the Obama administration was intentionally allowing voter intimidation. During the summer of 2010, Kelly repeatedly tried to scandalize an investigation about a New Black Panther Party member who stood outside a polling station on Election Day 2008, allegedly intimidating voters. Kelly devoted 45 segments, totaling more than 3.5 hours, to the investigation in a two-week time frame. Kelly claimed that her sources would shed light on the Obama administration's “decision to not pursue serious charges against members of the New Black Panther Party” and said that “politics and race” were potentially to blame. [Media Matters, 6/30/10, 7/16/10, 7/22/10]
Kelly: Accepting transgender children causes “confusion” for other students. After a Texas school reportedly fired two staff members for refusing to recognize the gender of a transgender boy in November 2015, Kelly questioned whether there was “any consideration given to the confusion this was going to cause the rest of the children.” Kelly continuously misgendered the child throughout the segment, asking, “With all sympathy and empathy for that child and what she is going through, was there no consideration given to what this would put the other children through?” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/10/15]
Kelly misgendered a transgender prison inmate and trivialized her plea for necessary medical treatment. On the April 4, 2013, edition of Fox News’ America Live, Kelly repeatedly misgendered an incarcerated transgender woman and suggested that taxpayers shouldn’t be required to cover the costs of her “elective surgery.” Kelly also mocked the suggestion that the inmate should be housed with other female inmates, lamenting that she would get “a get-out-of-male-prison-free card.” Transgender inmates face high rates of sexual assault and violence when not placed in appropriate facilities. [Media Matters, 4/4/13]
Kelly and Bill O’Reilly mocked a transgender inmate’s appearance. During the January 11, 2013, edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Kelly and host Bill O’Reilly mocked a transgender inmate’s appearance and repeatedly misgendered her. Kelly laughed at O’Reilly’s criticism of the inmate’s looks, adding, “I bet he looks pretty good” being “in a male prison.” She continued, “The surgery hasn’t been performed yet. … He only has breasts and the hair now.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 1/11/13]
For more on Kelly’s history of disparaging comments about the LGBTQ community, click here.
While moderating a Republican presidential debate, Kelly pushed for profiling Muslims. While moderating the January 28, 2016, Fox News Republican presidential primary debate, Kelly pushed then-candidate Chris Christie to change his stance against Muslim profiling. Kelly asked, “You have said we should not profile. How do you square that with the San Bernardino case?” After Christie rebuked the idea of profiling, Kelly doubled down on the question, asking whether seeing Muslim people entering a garage with packages is “enough to call the cops.” [Fox News, Republican Presidential Primary Debate, 1/28/16]
In 2016, Kelly called Muslim civil liberty organization CAIR “an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist trial.” On the January 12, 2016, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz if it was a “mistake to allow” Democrats to “show up with representatives of [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] at the State of the Union tonight.” Although CAIR is the largest Muslim civil liberty group in America, Kelly identified the group as “an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist trial.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 1/13/16]
Kelly on immigration by Muslim communities: “Is Germany over as we know it? Is Europe?” On the January 7, 2016, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked whether Germany and Europe were “over as we know it” because they allowed an influx of immigration from predominantly Muslim countries. Kelly suggested that “the culture there is being forced to conform to the refugees,” asserting that Germany has “large groups of Muslims who have no desire to assimilate.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 1/7/16]
In 2015, Kelly responded to breaking news of a shooting at a movie theater by baselessly speculating about connections to ISIS or “radical Islam.” Responding to breaking news that a gunman had opened fire in a Louisiana movie theater, Kelly baselessly speculated on whether there was “any reason to believe there might be a connection to ISIS, or radical Islam” on the July 23 edition of The Kelly File. Initial reports described the shooter as an “older white man,” and he was later determined to be a man from Alabama described by Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft as “kind of a drifter.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/24/15]
For more on Kelly’s past comments about Muslims, click here.
Kelly: Jeb Bush can't be “hostile” toward immigrants because he is “married to a Mexican immigrant.” On the July 7, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked how then-Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush could be considered hostile toward immigrants when he is “married to a Mexican immigrant.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/8/15]
In 2015, Kelly used Ann Coulter’s nativist book to defend Trump’s comments calling Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists.” On the June 29, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly cited Ann Coulter’s racist, anti-immigration book Adios America to defend then-GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s disparaging comments in which he called Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists.” Kelly said, “Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. … She cites data that does support the fact that some obvious immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals.” Coulter’s book calls immigrants “criminal[s]” and argues that immigration is a “war technique” to change America. In the past, Coulter has described immigrants as “people from backward, primitive cultures,” and said that immigrants are a bigger threat to America than ISIS is. [Media Matters, 7/2/15]
Kelly also didn't push back as Trump called Mexican immigrants “killers” in an appearance on her show. On the June 25, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly hosted Trump and allowed him to defend himself against criticism of his anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican rhetoric. Kelly did not push back on Trump's assertions that Mexican immigrants are “killers.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/25/15]
Kelly repeatedly asked GOP guests on her show if they would “impeach” Obama or “defund” agencies over executive actions on immigration. In November 2014, Kelly repeatedly pushed the narrative that the Republican Party might seek to impeach President Obama or defund agencies like the Department of Justice over executive actions that expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program. On the November 3, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly baselessly suggested that Obama’s executive action on immigration might be granting “blanket amnesty to 11, 12 million illegal immigrants after these midterms.” Kelly went on to ask guest Andrew Napolitano what Obama would “have to do to make it an impeachable offense.” On November 6 she asked guest then-Sen. Jeff Sessions whether he would consider a “possible impeachment of the president for what many would consider lawless actions if he goes too far” with his executive actions, suggesting it would be “an abuse of power.” In another segment the following week, she hosted Sessions again and asked if he “would seek to defund things like the Department of Justice, other departments” to stop the executive orders. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/3/14, 11/6/14, 11/12/14]
For more on Kelly’s history of fearmongering about immigrants, click here.
Kelly hosted the co-founder of The Weather Channel to push a series of fringe beliefs about climate change. On the October 28, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly hosted John Coleman, co-founder of The Weather Channel, to promote his belief that “man-made global climate change is a myth.” During the segment, Coleman falsely claimed that the scientific consensus that human activities drive climate change is based on “bad, bad science” and repeated the falsehoods that an increase in Arctic ice disproves global warming and that polar bears are doing just fine. He also blamed Al Gore for making it difficult for a climate skeptic to “get on TV.” Kelly responded by joking that The Weather Channel is now going to “be pushed out of existence since [Coleman has] taken this position.” [Media Matters, 10/28/14]
Kelly cut away from an Obama address on climate change to host a climate denier backed by the fossil fuel industry. On the June 25, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly cut away from an Obama address on climate change, claiming that the president's statement that “the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it” is “not the full story.” Kelly cast doubt on climate science, saying that “the planet has heated far less than the climate scientists had predicted, and it is in danger now, it’s in danger of making them look like scientists who cried wolf.” Kelly also failed to disclose her guest Chris Horner’s financial ties to Koch Industries and other fossil fuel interests. [Media Matters, 6/25/13]
In 2007, Kelly called it “ironic” that a climate change hearing was canceled due to a winter storm, implying that the storm indicated global warming trends weren’t real. On the February 14, 2007, edition of America’s Newsroom, Kelly reported on the cancellation of a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on climate change due to severe winter weather conditions in Washington, D.C. Kelly deemed the turn of events “ironic,” suggesting that cold weather and snow in February cast doubt on the existence of global warming. [Media Matters, 2/15/07]
Kelly equated reports of sexual assault by Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as a “character issue.” A week before the 2016 presidential election, Kelly asserted that Hillary Clinton’s email use was “a character issue” on par with the “way you look at Trump, and his alleged history with women.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/1/16]
Kelly: Helping rape survivors “is a laudable cause” but has “eliminated due process for any accused man on college campuses.” In 2016, Kelly criticized the Obama administration for sticking “its nose into college campuses” in an “unprecedented” way. She argued that “they wanted to help rape victims, which is a laudable cause, but in doing so, they have eliminated due process for any accused man on college campus.” Kelly expressed sympathy for a man accused of sexual assault because he was “deemed a sexual predator” and he “cannot go to another university because of this label.” From the April 22, 2016, edition of Fox News’ The Kelly File:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): So this, just so the viewers understand, we're talking about the administration, which has stuck its nose into college campuses in a way unprecedented. They wanted to help rape victims, which is a laudable cause, but in doing so, they have eliminated due process for any accused man on college campus, which brings us to you, Grant, and this ridiculous situation where for a couple of moments, which you then rectified with the woman with whom you were having consensual intercourse, you have been deemed a sexual predator, who was suspended from the university, and now you cannot go to another university because of this label. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 4/22/16]
Kelly: “It has gotten to the point of ridiculousness where now they want verbal consent every step of the way.” Kelly mocked the movement to “diminish sexual assault on college campuses,” claiming that “it has gotten to the point of ridiculous where now they want verbal consent every step of the way.” Kelly also slammed “consent contracts” and argued that supporting them is “going in a direction … where we completely -- we almost entirely eliminate the rights of men.” From the July 7, 2015, edition of Fox News’ The Kelly File:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Everybody wants to diminish sexual assault on college campuses. But it has gotten to the point of ridiculousness where now they want verbal consent every step of the way.
KELLY: Here is the reason it is so concerning. Because it is important to improve the rights of women who are victims of sexual assault on college campuses. But we are going in a direction, and we have been covering this repeatedly on The Kelly File, where we completely -- we almost entirely eliminate the rights of men. And there is a presumption now on these campuses, thanks to the Obama administration, of guilt. There's a presumption of non-consent. And if you are a young man who gets accused, it is your burden to go in there and prove consent and we are getting to the point now where you have to have a contract. And if you don't you are going to be presumed a rapist. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/7/15]
Kelly: “What is it about the [Obama] administration … that they are ready to throw young college-aged men out the door with no thought to what their rights are?” In June 2015, Kelly castigated “new rules ordered by the Obama administration,” asking, “What is it about the administration or some who are so committed to protecting them that they are ready to throw young college-aged men out the door with no thought to what their rights are?” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/16/15]
Kelly: “Reporters [are] bending over backwards to talk about, you know, women’s rights … with nary a word about the young men.” In April 2015, Kelly criticized media outlets that are “showing some support for Rolling Stone” because, as they say, “even though the story as fabricated … it shed light on an alleged epidemic of rape on college campuses.” She lamented that there were “still reporters bending over backwards to talk about women’s rights, and female victims on campus, with nary a word about the young men whose lives are being ruined.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 4/7/15]
Kelly defended anti-Planned Parenthood smear videos with blatant falsehoods. Kelly defended former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's much-debunked claims that those who watched deceptively edited smear videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) would see “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Kelly conceded on the November 30 edition of The Kelly File that Fiorina “made a claim ... that was a bridge too far” by “sort of meld[ing] two different sets of videos,” but added, ” In Fiorina's defense, she did not see on those tapes, because it didn't exist, the live fetus having its organs harvested. The reason the fetus wasn't alive is because it had just been killed by a Planned Parenthood doctor." In reality, none of the videos released by CMP shows an abortion procedure, a fact even CMP leader David Daleiden admits. CMP did misleadingly insert in one of its videos an unrelated image from a woman's stillbirth and a separate undated, unsourced video from an unknown miscarriage. Neither of the inserted materials had any connection to Planned Parenthood or abortion procedures. [Media Matters, 12/1/15]
Kelly: “Some women abused" late-term abortions. Kelly claimed that a proposed 2014 Senate bill that would have prohibited burdensome state restrictions on abortion would “open the door on late-term abortions.” She asserted that “some women abused” the right “and would get a doctor to say, yes, her health requires a late-term abortion.” Kelly invoked the case of Dr. George Tiller, a physician who was murdered for providing abortions, saying, “He was providing late-term abortions based on health concerns, when you had a viable fetus, a baby, growing in the third trimester” before he was killed, and “no one really wants to return to those days.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/15/14]
Kelly mocked law student Sandra Fluke’s advocacy for greater contraception access. Kelly mocked law student Sandra Fluke on the June 30, 2014, edition of The O’Reilly Factor for advocating for greater access to contraception, claiming that women like her “started saying, ‘I’m entitled. Oh my God, I never realized how victimized I was all those years when I was paying for [birth control] on my own.’” Kelly defended Hobby Lobby's challenge to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception mandate, calling the mandate part of a “war on the religious right.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/30/14]
Kelly did not correct a Fox analyst who absurdly claimed ACA contraception mandate covers “euthanasia.” Kelly did not correct or disagree with Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano when he appeared on the March 24, 2014, edition of The Kelly File and asserted that the ACA’s contraception mandate “means contraception, euthanasia, and abortion.” In fact, the preventative coverage includes “FDA approved contraceptives,” and “abortion coverage is specifically banned from being required as part of the essential benefits package. [Media Matters, 3/24/14]
In 2015, Kelly mocked students protesting astronomical college costs, suggesting they were asking for “the 1 percenter to pay for your life.” On a November 2015 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly and Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade diminished student concerns about affordable loan payments, then pivoted to listing the cost of tuition at several private, four-year colleges and suggesting that if students are accepted to those schools but cannot afford the sticker price, “Guess what? Maybe you can’t go. You have to go to a college that you can afford, and you work your way up.” Kelly cited her own college experience, arguing, “I took out loans. I paid them back. That’s how it works in this country.” Kilmeade agreed, saying, “It’s unbelievable.” Throughout the segment, Kelly repeatedly mocked student protesters, suggesting they were asking for “the 1 percenters to pay for your life,” and asking, “Why do they even have to buy a crib? It’s unfair.” In 1992, when Kelly graduated from college, the average sticker price (tuition, fees, room, and board) for a full year of full-time attendance at a private research university like her alma mater was $17,572, which amounts to $30,166 in 2016 when adjusted for inflation. [Media Matters, 10/12/16]
In 2014, Kelly called the gender pay gap a “meme.” During an April 2014 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asserted that the gender pay gap was a “meme,” stating that “feminists” think you’re “anti-woman if you question that meme about equal pay.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 4/4/14]
Kelly: Pepper spray used on Occupy Wall Street protesters by police was “a food product, essentially.” After police officers used pepper spray on nonviolent Occupy Wall Street protesters at the University of California, Davis, in November 2011, Kelly joined Bill O’Reilly on his show to dismiss the violent police action by calling the pepper spray “a food product, essentially.” [Media Matters, 11/21/11; Gawker, 11/21/11]
In 2011, Kelly helped clean up an absurd proposal from Newt Gingrich that schools pay local students to replace the unionized janitorial staff. When Newt Gingrich was running for president in the 2012 election cycle, he made an absurd proposal at a campaign rally that schools “ought to get rid of the unionized janitors” and “pay local students to take care of the school.” At the same event, he also called child labor laws “truly stupid.” After these comments made headlines, Kelly attempted to sanitize and backtrack Gingrich’s comments for him, repeating the same talking point (that kids would just be assistants to the janitors, cleaning the school and being paid for it) the candidate also used to walk back the absurd proposal. [Media Matters, 12/2/11; Fox News, America Live, 12/2/11; The Washington Post, 11/21/11]