Media Laud Megyn Kelly's Debate Questions, Ignore Her Record Of Misinformation And Fearmongering

Media Laud Megyn Kelly's Debate Questions, Ignore Her Record Of Misinformation And Fearmongering

››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

Prominent media figures are cheering Megyn Kelly's performance as a moderator in the January 28 Fox News Republican presidential debate as "brilliant," while lauding her for asking "the toughest questions" and"throwing fastballs." Such praise ignores the conservative myth-filled questions Kelly has a history of asking guests on her show the rest of the year when she's not in the presidential debate spotlight.

Media Cheer Megyn Kelly For Asking "Some Of The Toughest Questions"

Time: Megyn Kelly "Asked Some Of The Toughest Questions." In a January 29 article, Time magazine's Daniel White wrote that Megyn Kelly "asked some of the toughest questions at the seventh Republican debate, including two cross-examinations of Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz that used old TV interviews to trip them up":

Thanks to Donald Trump, one of the key themes of Thursday's debate was whether or not Megyn Kelly asks unfair questions. But if it bothered her to be thrust into the spotlight by the Republican front-runner, she didn't tone down her questions in response.

In fact, the Fox News anchor asked some of the toughest questions at the seventh Republican debate, including two cross-examinations of Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz that used old TV interviews to trip them up. [Time, 1/29/16]

NY Times' Haberman: "Kelly Is Throwing Fastballs Tonight." In a January 28 liveblog of the debate, New York Times presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman wrote "Megyn Kelly is throwing fastballs tonight."

Haberman [The New York Times, 1/28/16]

Politico: Kelly "Was Far And Away Praised For Her Tough Questions And Follow-Ups." In a January 29 article, Politico's Hadas Gold noted that Kelly was "praised for her tough questions and follow-ups," by figures from media outlets including The New York Times and Time magazine:

Kelly, showing she wasn't intimidated by Trump, was far and away praised for her tough questions and follow-ups.

"Megyn Kelly is throwing fastballs tonight," wrote New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

"This is a brilliant part of the debate. Megyn Kelly's accountability project," wrote radio host Erick Erickson.

"Just gonna say it: Megyn Kelly's a badass," Time Magazine's Dan Hirschhorn wrote. [Politico, 1/29/16]

CNN's Bill Carter: "There Wasn't Really A Star On The Stage, Except Maybe Megyn Kelly." On the January 29 edition of CNN's New Day, CNN media analyst Bill Carter stated that "there wasn't really a star on the stage" in the debate "except maybe Megyn Kelly." CNN host Brian Stelter echoed Carter, saying Kelly has "been getting very high marks" for her performance as moderator:

BILL CARTER: You could argue that without [Trump] there wasn't really a star on the stage, except maybe Megyn Kelly, which is sort of ironic.

BRIAN STELTER: She's been getting very high marks this morning. [CNN, New Day, 1/29/16]

Kelly Has Repeatedly Been The Subject Of Misplaced Praise And Laudatory Profiles That Underplay Her Bigotry And Right-Wing Misinformation

Megyn Kelly Has Been The Subject Of Many Laudatory Profiles That Underplay Her History Of Problematic Coverage. Megyn Kelly has repeatedly been extoled by media figures as the "brightest star at Fox News," and praised as a "feminist icon of sorts," who "buck[s] the conservative party line." Such praise and laudatory profiles often ignore her history of problematic coverage. [Media Matters, 1/4/16, 1/28/16]

But When She's Not Moderating A Debate, Kelly Has A Record Of Asking Myth-Filled Questions On Her Show

Kelly: "How Do You Just Revise" Santa's Legacy To Change Him "From White To Black?" On December 11, 2013, Kelly asked "how do you just revise" the "legacy" of Santa to change him "from white to black," responding to the suggestion that depictions of Santa should be more racially inclusive. Kelly went on to assert that Jesus, like Santa, "was a white man too... that's a verifiable fact." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/11/13]

Kelly On Muslim Immigration: "Is Germany Over As We Know It? Is Europe?" On the January 7 edition of her show, Kelly asked whether Germany and Europe were "over as we know it" because they allowed an influx of Muslim immigration. Kelly amplified rhetoric suggesting "the culture there is being forced to conform," asserting that Germany has "large groups of Muslims who have no desire to assimilate":

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Joining me now, Soeren Kern, a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, which is an international policy group and think tank. Soeren is a dual German and U.S. citizen who lives in Europe. Soeren thank you so much for being here. So I am hearing people today say things as dramatic as Europe is lost. Suggesting the culture there is being forced to conform to the refugees and large groups of Muslims who have no desire to assimilate. Your thoughts?

SOEREN KERN: Yeah well this process has been going on for many years. But it's really been fast-tracked over the last six months with this massive migration of more than a million people coming into Germany. Mostly from Muslim countries. Approximately 80% of the migrants that came into Germany are Muslim. And these groups are very, very difficult to assimilate. A lot of these younger people that are coming into the country are not employable. They are essentially shiftless and many of them are getting involved in petty crime and essentially the German government has completely lost control over the security situation in the country as we've seen.

KELLY: Do you feel -- you look at this, is Germany over as we know it? Is Europe? [Fox News, The Kelly File, 1/7/16]

Kelly: Jeb Bush Is "Married To A Mexican Immigrant" So "How Do You Say He Is Hostile" Towards Immigrants?" On the July 7 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly asked how Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush could be considered hostile towards immigrants when he is "married to a Mexican immigrant":

KELLY: Ok, now the problem for her on that ... is Jeb Bush, who is considered to be the favorite by many polls, is married to a woman who is from Mexico. He has children who are half-Mexican. He -- Hostile towards immigrants? How's that going to fly?

[...]

KELLY: He is married to a Mexican immigrant. How do you say he is hostile? [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/7/15]

Kelly: Why Is Marco Rubio "Not Entitled To His Opinion That" Hillary Clinton "Lied" In Her Benghazi Testimony, Even If It's Not True? On October 30, 2015, Kelly asked why Rubio is not "entitled to his opinion" that Hillary Clinton "lied" during her testimony to the House Select Committee On Benghazi, despite the fact that Rubio's claim was debunked:

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): So, it's interesting that [Glenn] Kessler comes out and decides -- of The Washington Post -- decides to fact check this because it wasn't long ago that The Washington Post, and the same person, gave Susan Rice the "Two Pinocchios" for her claims about whether the Benghazi attack was pre-planned or not.

[...]

KELLY: That's the thing, is that there's been such a huge debate about whether, you know, what they knew and when they knew it. And why, Alan, is he not entitled to his opinion that she lied, which millions of Americans happen to believe as well? [Fox News, The Kelly File, 10/30/15]

Kelly To ACORN Spokesman: "You're Going To Send Child Rapists Out To Conduct The Census?" In a March 19, 2009 interview on America's Newsroom, Kelly asked a spokesman from ACORN if his group was planning on sending "child rapists out to conduct the Census":

MEGYN KELLY: Forced to do background checks in New Mexico because nine of your employees had felony records, including child rape. Is that what's going to happen? You're going to send child rapists out to conduct the Census? [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 3/19/09]

Kelly: Is The Indictment Against The Creators Of The Deceptive Videos Smearing Planned Parenthood A "Political Hit Job?" On the January 25 edition of Fox News'The Kelly File, Kelly asked whether the grand jury indictment against the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, the group that created the deceptive smear videos used to falsely attack Planned Parenthood, was "a political hit job," even after numerous investigations debunked the videos' claims and cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing:

MEGYN KELLY: Developing tonight, a Texas grand jury bringing criminal charges, recommending them, against the filmmaker who shot a series of hidden camera videos targeting Planned Parenthood. David Daleiden -- I can never pronounce that, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress was indicted on charges that he tampered with a government record and purchase and sale of human organs, he was the guy making the videos. Another colleague of his was also charged. Planned Parenthood was not charged. Joining me now, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano. Now Judge, what does this mean?

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: This means that a political prosecutor has injected herself in a very serious issue about whether or not Planned Parenthood was profiting from the abortion of babies by selling body parts. Here's the backstory, the Lt. Governor of Texas, the new Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is a very very serious pro-life advocate, was before he was Lt. Governor and is now. He asked this prosecutor to investigate whether or not these tapes were real. Was Planned Parenthood really offering to sell body parts and did they in fact reference that they had sold body parts?

KELLY: Which they deny.

NAPOLITANO: Which they deny. And anybody that watches these tapes can come to their own conclusion. I submit that if you watch them you will conclude that they did sell body parts and were willing to sell them in the future.

[...]

KELLY: So does this sound like a political hit job? Or what is this? [Fox News, The Kelly File, 1/25/16]

Kelly On The Deaths Of Several Black People Killed By White Police Officers: "What Is The Evidence" That It Had "Anything To Do With Race?" On December 14, 2014, Kelly repeatedly asked for "evidence" that the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two black men among several people killed by white police officers at the time, had "anything to do with race":

KELLY: 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?

MARC MORIAL: Well, it's surprising to me that in both of these instances, Prosecutor McCullough and the Staten Island prosecutor, deviated from what most lawyers know and understand -- and I am one, who spontaneous practicing law including criminal law deviated from standard procedure when it comes to managing a grand jury. And that is to present evidence and make a recommendation to the grand jury as to what charge should be brought. Then secondarily, both in Ferguson asking in Ferguson not even asking but releasing secret grand jury testimony into the public sphere. And here in Staten Island asking a judge for the release of such testimony. The judge for the most part denied that request allowing a release of only a limited --

KELLY: All right. It's the release, it's a request by the prosecutors for release of information. That plus the fact in Ferguson the prosecutor did not specifically ask for an indictment. Is that your evidence that these two cases have something to do with race?

[...]

MORIAL: So, let's look at these cases at hand. The cases at hand did not yield justice. And that's why I am pleased at the Department of Justice and the Attorney General --

KELLY: I get that.

MORIAL: I'm going to conduct --

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.

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 To A GOP Senator: "Any Chance You Would Seek To Defund Things Like The Department Of Justice" Or "Other Departments" Over Executive Action On Immigration? On November 12, 2014, Kelly asked Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) if he "would seek to defund things like the Department of Justice, other departments" to stop President Obama's executive action on immigration:

MEGYN KELLY: Last time you were here you said, of course the Republicans are about to take over control of the Senate and you will run the Budget Committee, which is a powerful committee. And you said we can stop the funding of this, because we're not going to issue the funding for these cards. We're basically going to try to tie the president's hands financially. And yet, some including Andy McCarthy and others at National Review have said that may or may not work. I mean, he's got his own money that he can use already, you know, syphoned off for other purposes. And so that may not stop this.

[...]

KELLY: Any chance you would seek to defund things like the Department of Justice, other departments that might participate in this plan? [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/12/14]

Kelly: "What's So Promotional About Religion" In "Acknowledg[ing] The Role That God Has Played?" In an April 16, 2010 interview with Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, on America Live Kelly asked "what's so promotional about religion" and celebrating a National Day of Prayer as a day "we acknowledge the role that God has played in the formation of this country and its laws?":

BARRY LYNN: Prayer is religious. It's nothing but that. There is no secular purpose here. This isn't like declaring Christmas a holiday, which the federal government does, because that's got not just religious rituals, but now glommed onto it all these secular rituals. National Day of Prayer is only about religion. There is nothing secular about it.

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Why can't it be a day where people acknowledge not just prayer, but they are encouraged to meditate as well, which is not necessarily prayer? And why can't it be a day where we take a moment and we stop and we acknowledge the role that God has played in the formation of this country and its laws? What's so promotional about religion there? [Fox News, America Live, 4/16/10]

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