U.S. Politics

Don’t Forget That Megyn Kelly Is a Racial Demagogue

Megyn Kelly

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

SLATE

The recent flattering coverage of her move to NBC leaves out the ugliest episodes of her work at Fox.

Megyn Kelly had a good 2016. Between her news-making stint as a Fox News debate moderator, a flattering profile in Vanity Fair, and a lucrative book deal, she cemented her reputation as a talented and no-nonsense journalist—one of the most highly paid in the industry. And now she’s making the jump to NBC News, where she will anchor a Sunday evening news show, host a daytime show, and cover major political events. “Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career,” said NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack in a statement. “She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Another thing Kelly has demonstrated is racist demagoguery, which defined much of her tenure at Fox News.

In 2010, for example, Kelly devoted hours of coverage to the New Black Panther Party, a small group on the fringe of American politics, because two members of the NBPP were charged with voter intimidation after standing outside of a heavily black polling place in Philadelphia in the 2008 election. Those charges were later dropped, but the incident became the basis for a wide-ranging conspiracy disseminated by conservative writers, websites, and—most prominently—Megyn Kelly. Along with Republican activist J. Christian Adams, then a frequent guest of Kelly’s, the Fox News host spun a disturbing tale of voter intimidation and anti-white racism sanctioned by an Eric Holder–helmed Justice Department that she claimed wouldn’t investigate black Americans accused of criminal activity. “Well, think about that. Think about that. … Now you’re going to have instances like this where Black Panthers and others can go to the polling stations and do this if they so choose. And they just basically are gonna get a pass because while it’s not an official thing, it’s been made very clear to all the rank-and-file voting rights attorneys in the DOJ those cases are not to be pursued,” Kelly said during one broadcast before suggesting that Holder was, in fact, involved in a plan to protect the NBPP.

Over the course of two weeks and 45 separate segments, Kelly and her colleagues at Fox News aired video from the Philadelphia incident—where the NBPP members in question shouted insults at white Americans—connecting it to the Obama administration in an effort to paint the president as hostile toward white Americans, part of a broad conspiracy to intimidate white voters. Writing for the Atlantic at the time, Dave Weigel called it a “minstrel show” meant to inflame and exploit racial tensions.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Forget That Megyn Kelly Is a Racial Demagogue

  1. “This demagoguery does not form the totality of Kelly’s output, but it’s a critical part we can’t ignore. It is misleading to discuss Kelly’s work and future without grappling with her willingness, and occasional eagerness, to spread racist conspiracies and racial fictions.”

    Are these very few examples all the author has to cite ? The totality of Al Sharpton’s hate mongering and eagerness to spread racist conspiracies and racial fictions is the totality of his output. When he spews his lies(like the famous “Romney likes firing people”) on MSNBC’s panel discussions, none of the others dare challenge him with their mouths agape at Shartpton’s lies and misrepresentations as they’ll get fired.

    “Dave Weigel called it a “minstrel show” meant to inflame and exploit racial tensions. ”

    How does he know Weigels mind and intent ? A minstrel show is a performance by amateur performers usually black many decades ago and beyond. Also part of most circus venues. But those of us that are over 50 do know that it is indeed a racial slur to characterize blacks as mere silly showmen. My point here is that I doubt few people under 50 would catch the nuance of the word minstrel anyway. The word does not have it’s former insulting reference these days to incite racial tensions as it is not in the vocabulary of younger people.

    As far as the New Black Panther Party goes it was later revealed that the group was a mere two dozen vocal activists not some national conspiracy. But who is at fault here ? The group for using the name to instill power and fear in the population or Kelly’s reporting on their activities? Which stirs racial tension ? Who’s the devil on this one ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FOX’s blondes showing “leg” makes the news worth watching. I think Morning Joe is great and sometimes I watch “The Five” but it is astonishing what total deniers of climate change they are.

      Like

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