Saturday, May 21, 2016

Did Megyn Kelly Capitulate?

Did Megyn Kelly capitulate? Did everyone’s media darling cave in to the power of Trump? When Kelly walked into Trump Tower was she bowing down to the golden calf? Was she worshiping at the altar of the golden bouffant?

Kelly’s much anticipated prime time special, highlighting her first face-to-face interview with the Donald has been widely criticized as a flop. The woman who became news by asking Trump tough questions at the first presidential debate, and who paid for her “insolence” by enduring a barrage of abusive bullying, by Trump and his followers, was sitting down with the Donald, on his territory, in his palace, on his terms, at her request.

I don’t know how you spell capitulation, but that is surely what it was. About that, most people agree.

Alexandra Petri summarized the salient point:

In general, fairy-tale endings are horrifying. The fact that the man you were forced to marry because your father got lost in the woods and made an ill-advised promise is an enchanted prince and not a hedgehogdoes not actually make this a good outcome. 

And the Donald Trump-Megyn Kelly “happily ever after” was no exception. The long-awaited encounter with the Fox News journalist was, to borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, as hard-hitting as being savaged by a dead sheep. (Kelly: “Set the scene for me, because I know where I was when I was on the receiving end of a lot of those tweets. But I’ve always wondered where you were. I’m picturing a crushed velvet smoking jacket, chaise lounge, slippers. . . .” Trump: “Maybe not as fancy as that.”) In case this was not a sufficiently penetrating inquiry, she also asked about Trump’s favorite movie (“Citizen Kane“) and favorite book (“All Quiet on the Western Front“). 

After months of Trump bullying Kelly for her defiance, the oddly friendly chat was an uncomfortable capitulation. You half-expected her to announce that “God be blessed, it is the blessèd sun. But sun it is not, when you say it is not, And the moon changes even as your mind.” 

But for Trump, this was the fairy-tale ending he had long awaited.

So much for strong women. So much for empowered females. Trump was playing a game that Kelly did not really understand. When Trump explained that he respected her for coming to him because he would never have gone to see her, he was trying to tell her that she had lost, that she was conceding defeat. With her gesture she was saying that she had been wrong to ask the tough questions and that he had been right to call her out on it, no matter how violently and abusively.

Evidently, she was out of her league. One can only wonder why and how Fox News allowed it to happen. Clearly, Kelly is not ready for prime time.

For my part I stopped watching her show after the Trump interview. Her next subject was a transgendered television star named Laverne Cox. Yes, indeed. What could be more trendy in the liberal precincts than Laverne Cox? I hope I don’t have to tell you which word her last name evokes, homophonically.


Marsh said...

Murdoch, a globalist, gave his golden goose the task of bringing Trump down. Instead, Trump killed Murdoch's goose. It wasn't only the first debate, night after night, she went after him. She lost half of her audience. I didn't watch her interview live, b/c I didn't want to give her any ratings. I know I wasn't the only one. I watched it online.

I knew Trump was going to win the war w/ her. Especially when she cut her hair like his. She is a big girl, who had the entire network behind her. She was fair game. Journalists get to say crap/lies and then others get to respond to it. Her audience told her to stop, but she wouldn't listen b/c she thought she had bigger fish to fry and didn't need us. She was wrong.

KCFleming said...

I thought she was going to kiss him. Seriously.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

a narcissist meets a narcissist... Marsh is correct to note that Megyn did have her hair cut to resemble his... doubtless a sign of fear and anxiety.

Marsh said...

I don't think Trump is a narcissist. He's just always selling his brand. Does he have an inflated ego? That depends on what you think a healthy self image looks like for a guy, who has been successful at almost everything he's tried and is married to a super model.

Is Trump w/o empathy for others? I don't know, he sure seems to care an awful lot for vets.

He also has great kids, who from all appearances, seem to genuinely love him.

Is Miss Kelly a narcissist? Don't know. Don't care. Her contract at FOX won't be renewed next year.

Ares Olympus said...

I guess I shouldn't feel bad I missed this interview of the century that wasn't.

Myself, I admit I get bored quickly by conflict, and I keep searching for common ground, at least for something to new consider from a different point of view.

They say "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

Perhaps the definition of Narcissist is someone who can change tacks without concern what their critics are saying? If so, they're a clever lot.

Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...

I found a 21 minute video including a background summary:
And article with quotes here: (From @9:30 in video above)
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Tuesday that his penchant for insulting others stems from a desire to heal his own wounds.

"When I'm wounded, I go after people hard and I try to unwound myself,"

What's interesting is how he contrasts that to regrets @7:00, second-guessing his past choices, and he also says he say "You have to go forward. You make a mistake and you go forward. ... but to look back and say gee-whiz, I wish I didn't do this or that, I don't think that's good, I don't even think that's healthy."

So perhaps Stuart as a psychologist can offer expert opinions on regret, but of course what Trump is missing is regret isn't about you, its about the people you've hurt, the people you've alienated, and the people who didn't deserve what you dished out in a moment of wounded rage.

So "you go forward" apparently means wounds from your past, that can never be healed, are used over and over and over again to justify verbal abuse to anyone who attacks him. AND "attacks" can simply mean "constructive criticism" that are heard as attacks.

So perhaps learning this combative style of relating is a survival skill for those who want wealth, status, and power, and those who don't "learn how to fight" will never aspire to their potential because it would step on too many toes.

I imagine a person like Trump can exist because there are people who are loyal to him no matter how many times he steps on their toes, and as long as they get something out of it, he stays blind to his unnecessary verbal abuse.

Marsh said...

It's all strategy. If you stay out of his way or say good things about him, he'll say you're the greatest. If you hit him first, he'll hit you back hard enough to make YOU regret it and not want to do it again.

It works.

Also, he only hits people, who are in the cage match w/ him. His equals. You'll notice he never hits regular people. He never hit Cruz supporters, the way Cruz did Trump supporters. Or the way the elected GOP leaders have gone after their own base. No, Trump has gone to bat for us. He went after McCain when he attacked us.

Miss Kelly was in the cage match him. She thought she wouldn't be a target b/c she was a girl. And had the FOX empire as a sure fortress. She was mistaken. As someone, who wishes we didn't live in a woman centered culture, I cheered that Trump didn't pull his punches w/ Kelly. It told me he wouldn't pull them w/ Hillary.

Now Hillary doesn't know what to do. She expected a polite fight. She expected our nominee to fight her w/ both hands willingly tied behind his back. She expected to use her vagina as a shield and weapon the same way Obama used his blackness.

Not this time.

Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...

Marsh, we're in agreement that at some level you need to consider politics as the same as war, in the same way "All's fair in love and war." And at the end of the interview Trump also said he was in it to win, and he'd consider it all a waste of his time and money if he loses. So this will likely be a bottomless pit of mud before we hit November elections, and Trump wins that sort of battle.

I don't believe Ms. Kelly thought anything about what Trump would do when she asked him uncomfortable questions. And his irrational tweet name-calling proved her point.

The curious side for me is whether Trump really understand what he's saying when he says "When I'm wounded, I go after people hard and I try to unwound myself."

I think of the 4 agreements, or the second one. Certainly being immune to the opinions of others is a strength, but there's still an open question what to do when you find you are taking things personally.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

And the first agreement is also challenging for Trump. It is easy probably to confuse integrity with authenticity, the second seems more about being controlled by your emotions in the moment, while the first means your standard of behavior includes not only what you feel now, but what you've said and felt in the past that contradict what you're saying now and feeling now. Being a hypocrite is human, as is denial, but integrity says we can do better.

I don't know if a politician could campaign well on all 4 agreements, but if your goal is to be a "statesman" rather than a "general" who sees the world as an enemy to be controlled, it looks like a good list to me.

The last agreement would seem to be no problem for narcissists, but perhaps it has nothing to say about "Trashing everyone else" to avoid thinking about your shortcomings.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Marsh said...

Does wounded mean emotionally hurt? Or does it mean hurt from accomplishing his goal?

I don't think Trump experiences emotion pain often.

I love that little book. (The Four Agreements)

Like I said earlier, it wasn't just that first debate, she relentlessly attacked him on her show night after night. And it wasn't really her, he was aiming at. It was FOX. Which is the propaganda arm of the GOP establishment. He had to take out FOX. And Kelly was the face of it. Trump knew who gave her her marching orders.

Marsh said...

Ares, Trump said in the interview that the last time he experienced (emotional) pain was when his brother died.

priss rules said...

She's just a bimbo on TV.

Ares Olympus said...

Marsh said... Ares, Trump said in the interview that the last time he experienced (emotional) pain was when his brother died.

Yes, he did talk about his brother's death related to alcoholism. And death of a family member certainly is a different sort of "wound". When someone calls you a name, you can fight back, but you can't fight back against a tragic death.
Trump's abstinence from alcohol was largely shaped by the death of his brother, Fred Jr., from alcoholism in 1981. He was just 42 years old.

In a rare glimpse at the softer side of Trump, the billionaire businessman tells PEOPLE that his brother's death had a "tremendous impact" on his life.

"He was a great guy, a handsome person. He was the life of the party. He was a fantastic guy, but he got stuck on alcohol," says Trump, 69. "And it had a profound impact and ultimately [he] became an alcoholic and died of alcoholism. He would tell me, 'Don't drink ever' … He understood the problem that he had and that it was a very hard problem."

"He had a profound impact on my life, because you never know where you're going to end up," Trump adds. "I've known so many people that were so strong and so powerful [yet] they were unable to stop drinking."

The father of five – and grandfather of seven (with another on the way) – tells PEOPLE he also impressed the importance of abstaining from drugs and alcohol on his children. "I think they drink a little bit, but not much. But I say no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes."

Death offers a fair chance for reflection, especially to consider what sorts of strength are about denial, and what sorts of strengths are about resilience.

I came to a similar conclusion about drugs and alcohol, and in fact my brother died related to drugs at age 38, but we were always different, and he was more susceptible to peer pressure than me. I've never felt tempted not interest in the advice of my best friend in college who said "I'll try anything once." I prejudge and see nothing of value in being intoxicated, but its not on any moral highground that ways what's right for anyone else. And I know addictions can come from many directions, and on substance sugar and caffeine offer sufficient challenges for me to find moderation in a world of cheap temptation.

Lastly, again I don't see Megyn Kelly as working under anyone's marching orders, and most critics thought Fox News did very well to challenge the candidates. The purpose of questions sometimes isn't in the words of the answers, but how well they stand up to questions.

And if people support Trump for his ability to refuse to apologize for trash talking people, its a win-win. People who value that skill are impressed, and those who don't are impressed in the opposite direction. And now we know a strong plurality of Republicans want a candidate who won't take shit from anyone. So they get to see if they're in the majority this Fall.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

This conversation took place, in some form, Trump Towers sometime in the last few months...

TRUMP: Megyn, you're terrific. I'm gonna make you a start!

KELLY: Okay, sounds like a good deal to me!