In her past role at Fox News, new NBC News hire Megyn Kelly has invited onto her show a number of extremists and hate group leaders who spread and espouse anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant views, statements, and lies. Will she continue her practice of hosting bigotry in her upcoming daytime news and Sunday evening programs?
NBC News Hires Fox News’ Megyn Kelly As Daytime News Anchor And Prime-Time Magazine Show Host
Megyn Kelly To Anchor Her Own Daytime News And Sunday Evening Shows On NBC. NBC News announced January 3 that Fox News host Megyn Kelly will 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.” NBC News said details about her shows will be released in the coming months. [NBC News, 1/3/17]
Kelly Invited Onto Her Prime-Time Fox Show Hate Group Leaders And Other Extremists Dozens Of Times
Megyn Kelly Has Hosted Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins At Least 34 Times. Kelly has regularly hosted anti-LGBTQ hate group leader Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council (FRC), to speak as a “captain of the religious right.” 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. [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. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 5/27/15; Media Matters, 7/23/15; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Kelly Has Hosted Anti-Muslim Hate Group Leader Brigitte Gabriel At Least Six Times. Kelly has repeatedly invited anti-Muslim leader Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT for America, to discuss terrorism on her show. SPLC reports Gabriel’s ACT for America floods “the American public with hate speech demonizing Muslims," and notes that it claims a “‘secret Islamification’ of the West” is occurring. SPLC also reports ACT once held a conference featuring a speaker who called news outlet Al Jazeera “the voice of Islamic terrorism.” Gabriel herself has called Arab people “barbarians,” claimed a practicing Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America,” and wrote, “In the Muslim world, extreme is mainstream.” [Media Matters, 6/16/16; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 1/5/17, 2/17/16, 8/24/11; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Kelly Hosted Jordan Lorence, VP Of The Anti-LGBTQ Group Alliance Defending Freedom, At Least Three Times. Kelly hosted a leader of the Alliance Defending Freedom at least three times. Established as the Alliance Defense Fund in 1994, ADF was founded by religious right leaders including Focus on the Family's James C. Dobson and Campus Crusade for Christ's Bill Bright. According to ADF's website, the organization changed its name to Alliance Defending Freedom in 2012 to highlight its “enduring mission to gain justice for those whose faith has been unconstitutionally denied in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” ADF's relentless legal campaign against LGBTQ equality led SPLC to describe the organization as “virulently anti-gay.” SPLC proved instrumental in exposing an aspect of ADF's efforts that the organization chooses not to tout on its website -- its international work to criminalize homosexuality. After a New Mexico photographer who refused to serve a same-sex couple unsuccessfully appealed to the Supreme Court, Kelly invited ADF vice president Jordan Lorence -- who was representing the photographer in court -- on her show to stoke fears about the case, asking Lorence whether a loss for his client could lead to “a lawsuit by a gay couple” against a Catholic church. [Media Matters, 12/4/13; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Kelly Hosted CIS’ Mark Krikorian, Part Of The “Nativist Lobby,” At Least Twice. Kelly at least twice hosted Mark Krikorian, head of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) -- founded by notorious nativist John Tanton -- which SPLC reports was created to give think tank-like credibility to the anti-immigrant “nativist cause.” SPLC also reports CIS releases studies with conclusions that are often biased to “blame immigrants for all of the U.S.'s problems” and claims that “are either false or virtually without any supporting evidence,” noting that “CIS is not interested in serious research or getting the facts straight” and that it has “never found any aspect of immigration it liked.” Kelly hosted Krikorian twice in mid-2014, once to talk about President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and once to ask him about witnessing a terror attack in Nice, France. Both times she introduced him as “the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies” without noting its problematic ties or studies. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 1/31/09; Media Matters, 1/17/13; Nexis, accessed 1/4/17]
Kelly Hosted Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver At Least Twice. Kelly has at least twice hosted the leader of Liberty Counsel, which is on SPLC’s list of active anti-LGBTQ extremists. SPLC wrote of its leader: “Mat Staver, the group's president, co-founder and former dean at the Liberty University School of Law, has claimed that with full marriage equality, everyone will decide to be gay and society will ‘cease to exist.’ (He also has linked homosexuality to rampant increases in disease, falsely linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claimed that homosexuality is the result of childhood sexual abuse.)” Kelly twice hosted Staver in September 2015 while he was representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her legal battle for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [Media Matters, 9/11/15; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Kelly Hosted Anti-LGBTQ Activist James Dobson At Least Twice. Kelly at least twice hosted activist James Dobson, who, along with his Focus on the Family organization, is well-known for his extremist anti-LGBTQ views, according to SPLC. Focus on the Family is one of a “dozen major groups” that “help drive the religious right's anti-gay crusade,” it's a strong supporter of so-called ex-gay therapy, and Dobson has written that the “homosexual activist movement” is bent on “overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia” and that same-sex marriage would cause the fall of Western civilization. Kelly twice hosted Dobson and his wife in mid-2014 to talk about the National Day of Prayer event. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 6/22/16, 4/28/05; Nexis, accessed 1/3/17]
Methodology: Media Matters searched Nexis transcripts for guest appearances on Fox News’ The Kelly File by select individuals and representatives of hate or extremist groups that have been profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The search was filtered by editions hosted only by Megyn Kelly.
Images by Sarah Wasko.