It's interesting to see Fox News host Megyn Kelly get riled up over progressive policies like the Family Medical Leave Act. Of course, that might be because she just wrapped up a few months of maternity leave herself.
After calling radio host Mike Gallagher a "pinhead" for comments he made back in May on the air with Chris Wallace, Kelly sets him straight on the value of maternity leave, the fact that it's not a "racket," that men are also eligible for it, and that this country actually has more restrictive laws than other countries.
Despite the somewhat tongue-in-cheek tone in this clip, Kelly really nails him on the idiocy of his statement about the FMLA being a "racket" and not extending to men. She gave a passionate and clear defense of why the policy exists and even why it's weaker than most other countries' maternity leave policies.
How progressive of her! Seriously, it really is. Now if she could only wrap her head around the fact that the Family Medical Leave Act is only part of a larger picture that includes things like Medicaid, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and Social Security, she might understand that social safety nets are something that constitute true family values. Still, it was refreshing and even a little shocking to hear such a passionate defense of progressive values from a Fox News commentator.
I wonder if she knows FMLA was passed by a Democratic Congress with a Democratic President. Maybe she's realizing that the real "family values" voters are Democrats. Hmmmm.
GALLAGHER: And she does a good job, she really does -- and Megyn's still on maternity leave, right?
WALLACE: Well, are you complaining? She's bonding with her baby.
GALLAGHER: What a racket that is. I mean, men don't get to bond --
GALLAGHER: Well, how much time does she get off, to have to --
WALLACE: Three months.
GALLAGER: That's unbelievable. You think you get three months off? How much time did you get off when your kids were born?
WALLACE: Let me tell you. When my children were born, one week was all I could stand.
KELLY: Nice, Chris. Okay. At least he attempted a defense to begin with. Would you care to explain those remarks, Mr. Gallagher? Maternity leave? It's a racket?
GALLAGHER: Well, first of all, everybody on your show, they're rats and traitors. I kept saying when this first hit the fan, I said, please tell me I want to talk to Megyn, did she hear it, is she aware of it? No response, it was crickets. So everybody on that show --
KELLY: Not only that but I gave a couple of interviews over the summer to some publications and the reporters all asked me about it, saying "How about this pinhead, Mike Gallagher?" and I'd say "Yeah. He is." Right. What a moronic thing to say.
GALLAGHER: Well, there is -- are you going to disagree...Now. I'm a ---
KELLY: Are you doubling down? No, no, no, no. Are you not taking those remarks back? Is maternity leave according to you a racket?
GALLAGHER: Well, do men get maternity leave, Megyn? I can't believe I'm asking you this --
KELLY: Guess what, honey? They do. It's called Family Medical Leave Act. If a father would like to take three months off to take care of their newborn baby, they can.
GALLAGHER: All right, let me give you an explanation. I was drinking that day.
KELLY: Now you're more along the path I expected. Just in case you didn't know -- just in case you didn't know, Mike, I want you to know that the United States is the only country in the advanced world that doesn't allow paid -- doesn't require paid maternity leave. I happen to work for a nice employer that gives me paid maternity leave but virtually no -- the United States is virtually the only advanced country that doesn't require paid leave. If anything, the United States is in the dark ages when it comes to maternity leave and what is it about getting pregnant and carrying their baby nine months that you don't think deserves a few months off so bonding and recovery can take place, hm?
GALLAGHER: I even think one of the people on your staff said "Oh, Mike, she didn't even notice. Megyn isn't even aware you said this. I said, well let's not bring this to her attention, shall we?
KELLY: You can't answer the question because there is no answer, my friend. And by the way, the studies show that women who spend less time with their babies after they're first born are more likely to get depressed and be unhealthy. And I leave it at that.