Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Megyn Kelly in the Morning

Word is that Megyn Kelly wants to have a daytime television show. Another word is that she will be taking over the third hour of NBC’s Today Show.

As I and several others have mentioned, Megyn’s talent does not seem to be especially suited for daytime. Now, we have some concrete evidence.

When Kelly appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on November, the ratings tanked. Yes, indeed. GMA viewers took a look at the earnest Ms. Kelly and changed the channel.

Mediaite has the story:

Mediaite has learned that the minute-by-minute ratings for GMA took a major (and surprising) dive during her segment on November 15 to promote her new book, Settle For More. 

According to sources with access to those all important and specific network ratings, Kelly appeared for approximately 10 minutes at around 7:31 a.m, during that time, the ratings continued to plummet in particular compared to other days. Network execs across the board apparently expected that the Fox News host’s interview would boost the bottom of the 7 o’clock hour especially since she was discussing controversial allegations against her former boss, Roger Ailes. But– that didn’t happen.

Why didn't NBC know about this? Could it be that it cared more about hurting Fox News than about helping Kelly or even advancing NBC News? If so, Kelly was played. 

Right now, Kelly will be off the air until July. Will she pull a Lazarus and return from media death? Or will everyone have lost interest in a self-involved proponent of: leaning in.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"Right now, Kelly will be off the air until July."

Leaning in, indeed. This is excellent news. We get half a year of not having to see Megyn Kelly everywhere.

I am tired of Ms. Kelly. Her meteoric rise transitioned powerfully in October 2013 with her own show. Up to then, she would take any and every opportunity to be on camera and "build her brand." Her show, "The Kelly File" featured her in all sorts of makeup, hairdos and exposed-shoulder outfits that made her look like some Cosmo girl masquerading as a newsperson. It was very difficult to take her seriously. She asked some tough questions few journalists are willing to ask public personalities, but it was very difficult to get past this sexualized image/persona she had built. And she had enough cache by this point to avoid manipulation by network producers. This was her choice.

If that's leaning in, then, well... I guess that's all about a physical form of feminine power. I thought women wanted to be respected for their minds? Hmmmm. As usual, women want it both ways, with no accountability, so it's up to the men out there in the world to figure it out. All those yucky, brutish men who are supposedly spend their lives transfixed by one thing.

Kelly's fame and fortune peaked when she tag-teamed with colleague Bret Baier in the attempted takedown of one candidate: Mr. Donald J. Trump of New York. That was at the main event Cleveland on August 6, 2015 -- the first debate of the nomination campaign. We know how the story started, went and ended. We also know Mr. Baier's participation in the event faded away, because Megyn seized her moment.

It was mano y mano: the billionaire vs. the femme fatale. Ms. Kelly garnered all the attention for herself by asking "the tough questions." It was news, but it wasn't substantive -- it wasn't about policy, big ideas, etc. It was all about her labeling who Mr. Trump was/is/will be. And it sucked everything -- everything! -- out of the room. At that moment, there was nothing else to report that night. It was over. Media figures everywhere grinned with delicious delight. Checkmate!

But something happened that no one could've expected: Mr. Trump stood up to her, talked back, talked down, and then -- later, over the course of days -- took her out. It was a seminal moment that became the strategy.

Trump would repeat this approach against Jorge Ramos, Katy Tur, Jeff Zeleny, et al. He completely turned the tables, putting journalists on their heels in a refreshing reversal he absolutely needed to win. He ju-jitsued the media zeitgeist. It worked.

He did it in public, on Twitter, in interviews. And the crowds went wild. His supporters began to challenge journalists out in the open. Calling them out for their bias. Calling them names. And journalists didn’t like it, did they? And the crowds swelled, bigger and bigger. And now we are at the point where journalists are catatonically babbling about “fake news,” Russian hacking, recounts, and, and, and…

-- Continued below --

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

-- Continued from above --

On April 13, Ms. Kelly -- ever the serious, distinguished, independent journalist -- was seen around Trump Tower, getting an audience with this man she proclaimed so vile. 251 days later. This was done to “clear the air,” we are told. What was said in that meeting? Perhaps we'll never know. My amateur speculation is that he said something to the effect of "Baby, I'm gonna make you a star." And she took the bait. Hook. Line. Sinker.

And then Megyn Kelly seemed to get very haughty. All this attention (perhaps from The Donald) gave her new level of arrogance, and she went tough in negotiations with Fox News, asking for upwards $25 million a year. Then the NBC offer. Then no more Fox News. Now NBC is floundering to figure out where to put her. Daytime or nighttime, it looks like no-time for now. And that's okey-dokey with me. We all need a break from Megyn. She can go on another book tour or something... we'll see what kinds of crowds she draws.

We cannot rule out the possibility that the President-Elect may have done some dealmaking and finagling of his own in the background, and Megyn is just now getting her just desserts. NBC does not seem to be turning out to be an upward move for her, or even a lateral one. Perhaps it was by design... someone else's design. NBC Universal headquarters is 8 blocks from Trump Tower. Fox News is 3 blocks further. Who's closer to Trump? We have two dates: the Republican debate in Cleveland and Kelly's departure from Fox News. 516 days to exact revenge from Cleveland, 265 days since she and Trump has supposedly “cleared the air.” People with long memories are very dangerous indeed.

I do not know if this was an orchestrated hit job on Megyn Kelly's career. But I do know that politics is a dirty game, and media figures are in the thick of it (while pretending to be above it). Very few things happen by accident in politics. Paybacks are something else. And journalists will take notice. As Trump says, "Believe me" (usually twice).

Sam L. said...

I never watched her, and do not feel that I've missed something.

Dennis said...

My wife always disliked Kelly whereas I thought she was good at getting to the nub of the issue. Over time, the more successful she became, Kelly changed. I suspect she started believing her own press and decide she was a defended of women vice examining the issues.
It seems to me that for a lot of women, who start to succeed, they begin to forget 50 percent of the audience that made that success possible. There are always a significant number of women who are going to dislike other women. Women have a far different set of criteria than men colored by their own history.
No matter the issue or in life when one ignores the importance of men, they are bound to fail. Hillary pandered to women at the expense of men. It becomes worse for women because they are dealing with a history of "mean girls." A woman's worst enemy has always been other women.