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.