A Comprehensive Guide To Megyn Kelly’s History Of Right-Wing Media Misinformation
Research ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN
Megyn Kelly, the host of Fox’s The Kelly File, is often billed as a “straight news” anchor known for occasionally "bucking ... the conservative party line" on Fox. Here’s a look back at some of her most egregious misinformation campaigns and out-of-touch comments regarding race, LGBT issues, gender, reproductive rights, Islam, immigration, climate change, and Hillary Clinton.
Megyn Kelly Has Been The Subject Of A Series Of Laudatory Profiles
Megyn Kelly Has Been The Subject Of A Series Of Laudatory Profiles, Praising Her For Occasionally “Bucking ... The Conservative Party Line.” Megyn Kelly has been the subject of a series of laudatory profiles that bill her as a voice of reason at Fox, including in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Variety, and Elle, and on CBS Sunday Morning. Vanity Fair’s Evgenia Peretz praised her “occasional, yet highly entertaining, bucking of the conservative party line,” and during an interview with Charlie Rose, Kelly said that she’s “a journalist, not “an opinion maker.” [Media Matters, 4/3/16; 10/8/15; Vanity Fair, February 2016; Variety, 6/22/15; The New York Times, 1/25/15; Elle, 1/20/14; The Washington Post, 12/11/13]
Belittling Minority Concerns And Discrimination
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 Fox News’ The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly insisted that Jesus and Santa Claus were "white," brushing past Fox host Jedediah Bila's suggestion that a non-white Santa Claus 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 Warned That Obama Planned To Force Communities That Are "Too White [And] Too Privileged" To Embrace Diversity. On the June 11 edition of Fox News' 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 Called Protesters In Missouri "Angry Black Students." On The November 11 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly referred to students protesting about racial issues at the University of Missouri as “a small group of angry black students.”
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Breaking tonight, new evidence that what started with a campus protest in Missouri may be spreading to more colleges and universities as small groups of students use complaints about race and diversity in a big play to rewrite the rules for everyone. And now this is becoming an issue for the 2016 race for the White House
It started with a remarkable series of events at the University of Missouri. In a period of roughly 72 hours, a small group of angry black students managed to force the resignation of the two highest ranking officials at that school, complaining they did not show enough concern about racial issues at the school, including the self-defense shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson last winter. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/11/15]
Kelly Claimed Racist Emails Circulate At Most Companies 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" 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]
Black Lives Matter And Police Brutality
Kelly On Incident Where Police Officer Violently Manhandled A Black Teen: "The Girl Was No Saint Either." On the June 8 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, 7/28/15]
Kelly Questioned Whether Education, Marriage, And Employment Are “Valued In The Black Communities.” During The Kelly File’s September 4 “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 Called Black Lives Matter Protesters “Obviously Beyond The Bounds Of Decency.” In a January 27 article, Vanity Fair’s Evgenia Peretz wrote that Kelly had a “pointedly firm” perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement. Kelly told Peretz that the protesters were “obviously beyond the bounds of decency” when “they’re going out there and yelling in the cop’s face ‘Pigs in a blanket. Fry ‘em like bacon.’” [Vanity Fair, 1/27/16]
Kelly On Sandra Bland's Arrest: "Even If You Know The Cop Is In The Wrong, Comply And Complain Later." On the July 23 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Kelly and Fox regular 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: White House Is Sending The Message That If You Don’t “Riot” Or "Burn Anything," You Will Be Ignored. On the July 13 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly accused the Obama administration of sending the message “if you take a civilized route … you get ignored.” Kelly suggested the White House chose to ignore Kate Steinle's murder by an undocumented immigrant because there weren't riots or protests like those that happened after the deaths of Freddy Grey and Michael Brown. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/13/15]
Kelly Questioned Whether It Was “Appropriate” For A Black Protester To Glare At A Cop During A Peaceful Protest. On the November 24 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly denounced the image of a young African-American protester staring into the eyes of 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 replied, “look at him,” and suggested it was problematic for the protester to glare at the cop. 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: "I'd Like To Know The Proof" That Race Had Anything To Do With The Deaths Of Several Black People Killed By White Police Officers. 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 via Nexis]
The New Black Panther Party
Kelly Devoted 45 Segments Over Two Weeks To Pushing A Conspiracy 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 timeframe. 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]
Attacking Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Kelly Misrepresented Sotomayor's Commencement Remarks, Claiming "Reverse Racism." During the May 26, 2009, edition of Fox News’ America's Newsroom, Kelly described then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's remarks at the University of California, Berkeley as "reverse racism." In a speech, Sotomayor stressed the importance of diversity on the bench by saying, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." [Media Matters, 5/26/09]
Kelly Questioned Whether Sotomayor's "Infamous Temper" Would "Flare Up" During Confirmation Hearing. On the July 13, 2009, edition of America's Newsroom, Kelly asked if Sotomayor would “be able to handle the pressure” or if her "infamous temper" would “flare up” during her confirmation hearing. Kelly also suggested that Sotomayor's work with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund could "pose a roadblock" in her confirmation. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 7/13/09]
Discounting Transgender People
Kelly And Bill O’Reilly Mocked And Laughed At 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 that she “bet[s] 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.”
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): My question is, in the promo, couldn't they do a better job for a million bucks than this guy? Look, there he is. For a million you figure he might look like Annette Funicello or somebody. I don't know.
MEGYN KELLY: Listen, let's not forget.
KELLY: He's in a male prison.
O'REILLY: All right, but I don't think he's in any danger --
KELLY: I bet he looks pretty good.
O'REILLY: No. Even in a male prison, he doesn't. But for a million bucks, that's what we get? I don't know. All right.
KELLY: The surgery hasn't been performed yet, Bill.
O'REILLY: It hasn't.
KELLY: He only has breasts and the hair now.
O'REILLY: I think that might be a little bit too much information. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 1/11/13]
Kelly: Accepting Transgender Children Causes "Confusion" For Other Students. After a Texas school reportedly fired two staff members for refusing to accept a transgender boy as a boy, Kelly questioned on the November 9 edition of her show 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, 11/9/15]
Kelly Misgendered A Transgender Prison Inmate And Trivialized Her Plea For Necessary Medical Treatment. On the April 4, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly repeatedly and inaccurately referred to a transgender inmate as a male 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]
Defending And Hosting Tony Perkins, The Family Research Council, And Other Anti-Gay Extremists
Kelly Regularly Hosts Anti-Gay Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins. Kelly has repeatedly hosted anti-gay 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-gay “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010, and 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 LGBT rights increase, lamenting that it must be “alienating” for him to be criticized for his anti-LGBT beliefs. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/19/13; 5/8/14; 3/31/15; 4/7/15; 6/26/15; 9/25/15; 1/16/16; 2/2/16; Media Matters, 8/7/14]
Kelly Told Perkins He Has “Been The Subject Of Attacks” By Pro-Gay Activists Who Are “Very Willing To Pass Judgment, Alienate, Attack.” During the April 8, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly invited Perkins to discuss the reaction to the suicide of right-wing pastor Rick Warren's son. Near the end of the segment, Kelly asked Perkins how he felt about being "the subject of attacks" over his opposition to marriage equality, suggesting that pro-gay activists “who want tolerance and acceptance … are very willing to pass judgment, alienate, attack, and go about it in a way that may be undermining the very thing they seek.”
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): A lot of people thought, think, that Pastor Warren is on the wrong side of the gay marriage issue. You can relate to him in this way -- not the being on the wrong side, I'm not passing a judgment on that -- but you also oppose gay marriage and have been the subject of attacks, and it seems like some, not all, but some of those who want tolerance and acceptance, in their effort to get it, are very willing to pass judgment, alienate, attack, and go about it in a way that may be undermining the very thing they seek. [Media Matters, 4/9/13]
Kelly Suggested That HGTV Punished Anti-Gay Benham Brothers Because Christians’ Rights Aren’t As “Protected And Recognized In This Country” As Gay People’s Rights. On the May 8, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly invited Perkins to comment on HGTV's decision to cancel a program that would have starred a pair of brothers with extremist anti-gay views. Kelly suggested that while HGTV would have been condemned for canceling a show featuring gay stars, the Benham brothers were being punished “because gay rights are more and more protected and recognized in this country. Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much”:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): If HGTV had a couple of hosts who are about to launch a TV show and it came out that they were gay and then they pulled the plug on them because they're gay, the backlash would be enormous in this country, and that's because gay rights are more and more protected and recognized in this country. Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 5/8/14]
Kelly Defended Anti-Gay Hate Group Family Research Council As An Organization That Advocates For “Strong Christian Values.” During the June 4 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly defended the Family Research Council and Perkins as supporters of “strong Christian values.” [Media Matters, 6/5/15]
Kelly Has Regularly Hosted Some Of The Country’s Most Extreme Anti-Gay Activists. In the first seven months after The Kelly File launched in October 2013, Kelly hosted Tony Perkins (six times), the far-right legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and the Benham brothers, the home renovators whose anti-gay activism led HGTV to cancel their planned reality show. Kelly invited ADF to defend anti-gay business discrimination on her program, and she called the backlash to the Benham brothers’ anti-gay activism "incredible," asking them to enlighten viewers on their "more traditional views." [Media Matters, 5/21/14]
Kelly Defended Ben Carson’s Anti-Gay Comments Comparing Gay Marriage To Bestiality And Pedophilia. On the March 29, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly defended Dr. Ben Carson’s anti-gay comments comparing gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia. Kelly noted that Carson “is not alone” in comparing gays and lesbians to groups such as the North American Man/Boy Love Association, a pedophile advocacy organization, because “there’s not a long list” of other groups that support relationships “outside of a man and woman.” [Fox News, America Live, 3/29/13]
“Religious Freedom” Laws
Kelly Accused LGBT Activists Of “Exploiting” Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Law” To “Prove Their Bona Fides.” On the March 30, 2015, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Kelly called Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” law, which allows businesses to refuse to serve gay customers, “not that controversial,” arguing that the law allowed “just an avenue to object” for religious individuals. Kelly blamed the media for “making it sound like this is totally anti-gay and totally anti-lesbian” and concluded that pro-gay-rights people are “exploiting” the law to “prove their bona fides” on LGBT issues. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 3/30/15]
Kelly Inaccurately Suggested That An Anti-LGBT Indiana Law Was Similar To Federal Law And Other State Laws. On the March 30, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly suggested that Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” law was similar to federal law and other state laws. In fact, the law’s definition of a “person” who can cite the law in a dispute is much broader than in other laws. The ACLU of Indiana called differences between the laws “virtually without precedent” and argued that Indiana's was much more expansive than other states’ measures. [Media Matters, 3/30/15]
Kelly Inaccurately Claimed That Anti-LGBT Indiana Law Wouldn’t Further Discrimination Against Gays. On the March 31, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly inaccurately claimed that Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” law would not further discrimination against LGBT people because discrimination was already legal in Indiana due to a lack of statewide protections against anti-gay discrimination. In fact, the "religious freedom" law threatened to trump municipal nondiscrimination policies that cover sexual orientation, including one in Indianapolis. [Media Matters, 4/1/15]
Gender Pay Gap
Kelly Called The Gender Pay Gap A “Meme.” On the April 4, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly called the gender pay gap a “meme,” claiming that “feminists” think you’re “anti-woman if you question that meme about equal pay.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 4/4/14]
Feminism And Reproductive Rights
Kelly: "Feminist Movement Goes Wrong" With Pro-Choice Platform. On the February 8 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly said the “feminist movement goes wrong” with its pro-choice platform, calling it “alienating”:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): You tell me whether I'm wrong. This is where the feminist movement goes wrong. Why does pro-choice or anti-abortion, whatever, why does that have to be part of the feminist platform? You know how alienating that is? Half of the women disagree. Half the women in this country are pro-life, half are pro-choice. If you make that a part of the platform, you -- you're doing what Gloria's doing, alienating half of the American population, the female population. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 2/8/16]
Kelly Claimed Women "Abused" Late-Term Abortions. On the July 15, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly said that a proposed Democratic Senate bill that would have prohibited burdensome state restrictions on abortion would "open the door on late-term abortions." Kelly claimed 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 killed for providing abortions, saying, "He was providing late-term abortions based on health concerns" before he was killed, and "no one really wants to return to those days." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/15/14]
Kelly Asked Whether Indictment Against Center For Medical Progress Was A "Political Hit Job." On the January 25 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked her guest whether the indictment of David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and source of a series of deceptively edited smear videos against Planned Parenthood, was a “political hit job.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 1/25/16]
Kelly Defended Anti-Planned Parenthood Smear Videos With Blatant Falsehoods. On the November 30 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly defended former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's much-debunked claims that those who watched CMP’s videos 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 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." None of the videos released by CMP shows an abortion procedure, a fact even 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 nor abortion procedures. [Media Matters, 12/1/15]
Kelly Mocked Sandra Fluke’s Advocacy For Greater Contraception Access. On the June 30, 2014, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Kelly mocked law student Sandra Fluke for advocating for greater access to contraception, stating 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 contraception mandate, calling the mandate part of a "war on the religious right." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/30/14]
Kelly On Muslim Immigration: "Is Germany Over As We Know It? Is Europe?" On the January 7 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked whether Germany and Europe were "over as we know it" because they allowed an influx of Muslim immigration. 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]
Kelly Attacked DNC Chair For Inviting A Muslim Representative From CAIR To The State Of The Union Address. On the January 12 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 CAIR [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, 1/12/16]
Kelly Criticized Attorney General Loretta Lynch For Promising To Address Violent Anti-Muslim Rhetoric. On the December 4 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly criticized Attorney General Loretta Lynch for “sending a message to Muslim groups” that “she will make sure that any hateful rhetoric against Muslims is looked into” in the wake of the San Bernardino, CA, terrorist attacks. Kelly concluded, “By the way, we do have the First Amendment.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/4/15]
Kelly Pushed Chris Christie To Change His Stance Against Muslim Profiling During A Republican Presidential Debate. While moderating the January 28 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]
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 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, 7/23/15]
Kelly Criticized Attorney General Eric Holder For Highlighting Work Combating Threats Against Muslims. On the April 29, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly attacked Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech commending the Anti-Defamation League for its work fighting anti-Muslim bigotry. Kelly questioned, "Has there been backlash against Muslims in the wake of Boston? And is this a time for the attorney general to be effectively scolding Americans not to be bigoted and not to be ignorant?" [Media Matters, 4/29/13]
Kelly Used Ann Coulter’s Nativist Book To Defend Trump’s Disparaging Comments About Immigrants. On the June 29 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly cited Ann Coulter’s racist, anti-immigration book Adios America to defend 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. [Media Matters, 7/2/15]
Kelly Didn't Push Back As Trump Called Mexican Immigrants "Killers." On the June 25 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: Jeb Bush Can't Be "Hostile" Towards Immigrants Because He Is "Married To A Mexican Immigrant." On the July 7 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked how then-Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush could be considered hostile towards immigrants when he is "married to a Mexican immigrant":
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): 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 Asked A Republican Senator If He Would Impeach Obama Over Executive Action On Immigration. On the November 6, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked guest Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 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.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/6/14]
Kelly To GOP Senator: "Any Chance You Would Seek To Defund Things Like The Department Of Justice, Other Departments" Over Executive Action On Immigration? On the November 12, 2014, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked Sessions if he "would seek to defund things like the Department of Justice, other departments" to stop President Obama's executive action on immigration. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/12/14]
Kelly Falsely Claimed A Senate Bill Could Have Allowed Immigrants Convicted Of A Felony To "Receive Special Consideration" To Stay In U.S. On the June 17, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly claimed that under a comprehensive immigration reform bill being debated in the Senate, immigrants who have been convicted of felonies and are deportable could "receive special consideration" to stay in the country legally if they have dependents in the United States. In fact, the bill toughened provisions for those seeking legal status, explicitly barring criminals who committed “any felony (other than state or local status-based immigration offenses)” and “aggravated felony.” [Media Matters, 6/18/13]
Kelly Questioned At What Point Obama’s Actions On Immigration Could “Offend” Republicans “Into Impeaching Him.” 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 her guest what Obama would “have to do to make it an impeachable offense.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 11/3/14]
Kelly Cut Away From Obama’s Climate Change Speech To Host Climate Denier Chris Horner. On the June 25, 2013, edition of America Live, Kelly cut away from Obama’s 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 casted 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]
Kelly Called It "Ironic" That A Climate Change Hearing Was Canceled Due To A Winter Storm. On the February 14, 2007, edition of America’s Newsroom, Kelly reported on the cancelation 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 Hosted The Co-Founder Of The Weather Channel To Vehemently Deny Climate Science. 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]
The Kelly File Spent Nearly 1.5 Hours In Two Weeks Hyping Michael Bay’s Benghazi Film As A “Threat To” Hillary Clinton’s Campaign. According to a Media Matters study, from January 4 through January 19, The Kelly File devoted 1 hour and 22 minutes to discussing Michael Bay's myth-filled Benghazi movie, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi of coverage. Kelly kicked off a segment about the movie on her January 4 program by touting an "exclusive" report on "the gripping new film that may pose a threat to Hillary Clinton's hopes for the White House." She made that same point -- that the film might have an impact on Clinton's presidential run -- in seven segments. The show also revived multiple debunked myths, including that Clinton dismissed the deaths of those killed in the Benghazi attack, that Clinton and senior White House officials deliberately lied about the attackers’ motives, and that the Obama administration issued a “stand down” order during the attacks. [Media Matters, 1/21/16; 1/21/16]
Kelly Asked Whether Clinton’s 2012 Concussion Was Just An Excuse Not To Testify At The Benghazi Hearing. On the December 17, 2012, edition of America Live, Kelly and Fox contributor Monica Crowley discussed Clinton’s concussion after fainting due to illness. Kelly asked Crowley, "What's really going on? I mean, she fainted sometime last week and can't show up this Thursday for a previously scheduled testimony? I mean, there was speculation, I want all the viewers to know, about whether she'd really go" to the Benghazi hearing even before her illness. Kelly added, "I'm not suggesting she didn't get a concussion. But there is a legitimate question about, is -- do we believe this is an excuse and that she really will show up to testify?" [Fox News, America Live, 12/17/12]
Kelly Pushed The False Claim That Clinton Intentionally Misled The Public On Benghazi. On the October 22 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly parroted the false claim that Clinton intentionally “told the public a video was to blame” for the terrorist attack in Benghazi while she “privately … knew that this attack had nothing to do with a video, nor with a protest.” Clinton has repeatedly explained that incomplete intelligence led her to go “back on forth on what likely happened, who did it.” Additionally, the intelligence community, the suspected attackers, and eyewitnesses all linked the inflammatory anti-Islam video to the attacks. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 10/22/15; Media Matters, 10/21/15; 10/22/15]
Kelly Defended Marco Rubio’s Debunked “Opinion” That Clinton “Lied” During Benghazi Testimony. On the October 30 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly promoted former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)'s debunked claim from the October 28 CNBC presidential debate that Clinton "got exposed as a liar" during her October 22 day-long testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The Washington Post's Fact Checker gave Rubio's remark "Two Pinnochios," and the senator was unable to defend his claim when pressed during interviews with CBS and CNN. Kelly, however, defended Rubio’s debunked claim, questioning why Rubio is not "entitled to his opinion that she lied." [Media Matters, 10/30/15]
Kelly Gave Disgraced Anti-Clinton Activist Roger Stone A Platform To Peddle His Book Of Debunked Benghazi Smears. On the March 12 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly hosted disgraced anti-Clinton activist Roger Stone to promote his book of debunked Benghazi smears. In 2008, Stone created an anti-Clinton group called Citizens United Not Timid, which also went by the acronym C.U.N.T. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 3/12/14; Media Matters, 3/12/14]
Kelly Pushed The False Claim That Clinton Emails Revealed Names Of Undercover Operatives. On the February 5 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly falsely claimed that emails from Clinton's server contained "actual spy intelligence, information, identification, sources, methods, and people in these documents." In fact, NBC News reported that "contrary to some published reports, three officials said there was no email on Clinton's server that directly revealed the identity of an undercover intelligence operative." [Media Matters, 2/5/16]
Kelly Parroted The Flawed Comparison between Clinton And David Petraeus. On the August 4 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly parroted the flawed comparison between Clinton’s use of a private email server and Gen. David Petraeus’ illegal mishandling of confidential information. Kelly claimed that “we saw General Petraeus arrested and charged for less than what she’s being accused of.” In fact, Petraeus admitted to knowingly mishandling classified information by giving his biographer “highly classified” black books and pleaded guilty to “unlawfully and knowingly” moving classified materials “with intent to retain such documents … at unauthorized locations.” Clinton was authorized to use a personal email account, and there has been no evidence that Clinton intentionally or knowingly emailed information that was marked classified. In addition, numerous classified materials experts have dismissed the comparison. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 8/4/15; Media Matters, 8/4/15]
Kelly Fabricated Felony Charges Against Hillary Clinton, Baselessly Accused Her Of Destroying Evidence. On the March 17, 2015, edition of The Kelly File, Kelly, citing no independent legal authority, argued that “protocols” required Clinton to sign a separation form (OF-109) upon leaving office certifying that she had turned over all official documents. She also failed to mention that no evidence shows that former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice signed the form. Kelly also baselessly insinuated that Clinton destroyed documents to conceal perjury, claiming that the separation form "suddenly disappeared," and argued that Clinton was "committing a felony" by keeping email on a private server, which Kelly claimed amounted to concealing federal records. [Media Matters, 3/18/15]
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