This just in: “Megyn Kelly will move to FOX News Channel’s (FNC) primetime lineup upon her return from maternity leave, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO, FOX News.”
This was just a matter of time as Fox News has pretty obviously been grooming Kelly for a prominent role at the network from the day she was hired. Both Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes had taken a profound (and somewhat creepy) interest in her due to her pinup girl good looks, her background as a lawyer, and her eagerness to fulfill the Fox mission of slandering anyone and everything liberal without regard to honesty or ethics. (See Fox Nation vs. Reality)
Kelly fits the Fox mold to a tee, as a busty blonde presenter who would appeal to the Cialis-chomping, scooter-riding, gold-hoarding, geezers who make up such a large part of Fox’s audience and advertiser base. And Kelly is not shy about marketing her sex appeal as demonstrated by her pictorial in GQ Magazine.
As an anchor, Kelly has fashioned a more palatable version of Glenn Beck’s conspiracy-riddled wingnuttery. The stories she features are a collection of partisan tripe and manufactured outrages that have little basis in fact. From her near-obsession with the irrelevant New Black Panther Party, to her false accusations against then-Pennsylvania senate candidate Joe Sestak, Kelly has been a non-stop, gushing flow of disinformation and gossip. For more examples:
- Kelly defended an anti-Islam filmmaker as a “patsy” of the Obama administration.
- Kelly asserted that Americans have “gotta get a little squeamish” about the prospect of being killed by drones.
- Kelly told her colleague Bill O’Reilly that pepper spray used against student protesters was just “a food product, essentially.”
- Kelly moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts” that were cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release.
- Kelly featured a disreputable reporter with a history of violence (who was later arrested for sexually assaulting a four year old girl) in her frequent attacks on the funders of the Islamic Center that Fox derisively referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
- Kelly misrepresented the results of a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll to argue that Democrats are defying the will of the people.
- Kelly helped to cover up the extra-marital affair of GOP senator John Ensign and failed to disclose her personal involvement in the story.
It’s easy to see why Fox would want to advance Kelly to their primetime lineup. The musty presences of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren could surely use an injection of new blood. The problem is that one of them will have to be booted from their perch. The most obvious loser would be Van Susteren, whose show is the weakest performer of the lot. However, Hannity’s position is hardly safe considering that he is despised by most of his colleagues. Even O’Reilly cannot be dismissed since he has floated suggestions that he might be ready to retire.
So we will have to wait until Fox announces their new schedule to see who comes up short. But in the end it will make no difference in the content that Fox offers. It will continue to be rabidly right-wing, with a clearly denoted bias for Republican Party dogma. Kelly’s entry into the club will not change that. In fact, it will congeal the conservative hackery into a younger, more alluring package. But the brain-dead zombies who watch Fox won’t have to worry a bit about whether they will continue to get a daily dose of propaganda devoid of those pesky and annoying facts that make understanding current events so difficult. For them, Kelly will be a comforting and reassuring breath of fresh lies.
[Update: 7/10/2003] There is still no word on where Kelly will land in primetime, but one of the replacements for her daytime gig will be Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, whose experience as a former Miss America certainly prepared her for a role as a Fox News anchor. Media Matters has prepared an exhaustive look back at Carlson’s credentials.