Did Charlie Rose or anyone at CBS This Morning do any fact-checking about Megyn Kelly before holding her up as “independent” and allowing her to claim that Fox News is “fair and balanced?”
In another admiring interview of Kelly in the "liberal media," Rose announced, “Her two million-plus viewers tunes in to see a self-described ‘independent’ with a reputation for asking tough questions to anyone, Democrat and Republican alike.”
Rose didn't bother to report on whether or not Kelly's self-description was correct. Had he bothered to take a closer look, he should have noticed that Kelly’s “tough questions” depend a lot on which side she’s promoting. For example, while she’s understandably critical of Donald Trump’s stubborn defense of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was just charged with battery of a reporter, Kelly let her feelings fly with friendly questions for an anti-Trump guest and argumentative ones for a Trump supporter.
That pales in comparison to Kelly’s shockingly rude, disrespectful treatment of an African American congressman who protested the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. Later in the show, she was all chummy with a sheriff who slammed the Obama administration’s handling of Ferguson.
Heck, Rose didn’t even seem to know that Kelly endorsed Donald Trump’s bigotry before she turned against him.
Kelly said, without challenge during the interview, “I don’t wanna take anybody down, but if you come on the show and lie or obfuscate or spin in a way that’s dishonest, there I am to stop you.”
That is, except when she doesn't. Kelly repeatedly promoted a right-winger's bogus racial claims against Attorney General Eric Holder, e.g. She also acted like a defense attorney for the Duggar family when she interviewed them. She also gushed over two videographers whose sting videos about ACORN had been discredited and even broke the law.
Maybe Rose thought his wimpy “challenge” about Fox News bias would camouflage his suck ups but if you ask me, it only made them more glaring:
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ROSE: You believe there’s a right wing bias at Fox?... A conservative bias?
KELLY: No, I don’t. I think that Fox News is fair and balanced. And I think the conservatives who are on air here make no bones about their ideology.”
ROSE: But does Fox News have a closer relationship with Donald Trump, with the Republican Party, than it does with liberals and the Democratic Party?
KELLY: Well, I think that’s obviously true, because you see Trump on our air every day.
So right there Kelly acknowledged that Fox is not as balanced as she had just claimed. Yet Rose did not follow up. He didn’t even note the inconsistency.
There’s no question in my mind that Kelly has handled Trump’s attacks on her flawlessly. It can’t be easy given that she said she worries someone will try to hurt her. She said that the way Trump “gins up anger among so many… manifests in my life in several ways.”
Nobody deserves that. But has Kelly ever thought about the manifestations of hate she has helped gin up against people like Eric Holder or Bill Ayers, especially when she asked, “You sound like – with respect – Osama bin Laden”?
The interview also contained a more complete Q&A about Kelly’s feelings about Bill O’Reilly’s handling of a January interview with Trump (which I previously wrote about). Kelly’s pain was evident when she sighed after being asked about O’Reilly’s weak-tea defense when Trump went after her on the air: “I mean, I wish he had defended me more in that interview. I would’ve defended him more,” she said. She took a thinly-veiled slap at O’Reilly, saying, “I think Bill did the best he’s capable of doing in those circumstances.” You had to feel for her when she added, “What can I say? It was, it was a dark moment.”
Rose could have really made news here had he probed the reported feud between Kelly and O’Reilly. Instead, Rose laughably went on to say that “Fox News has repeatedly defended Kelly.” The fact is, Fox’s defense of Kelly has been almost as lame as O’Reilly’s. Rose didn’t even question how a news organization could tolerate such attacks on one of its star anchors while allowing so many of the other hosts to keep cheerleading Trump.
That’s the real story behind Trump’s attacks on Kelly. Rose seems to have missed it completely.
Watch the interview above, from the April 3 CBS This Morning.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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