Megyn Kelly’s venture with NBC was probably doomed from the start. You can take the woman out of Fox News, but apparently you can’t take Fox News out of the woman.
A lot of media pundits felt she was too much “hard news” for a 9:00 a.m. morning show. I guess those people don’t watch CNN’s New Day or the daily shout fests at MSNBC’s Morning Joe. But whatever it was, Kelly’s Today was failing. That’s not what network executives expect from a $69 million contract.
It is now being reported that Kelly and NBC are negotiating her exit. This is a move that was probably hastened by her “blackface” comment.
On Tuesday’s show, Kelly said, “But what is racist? You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as a character.” Uh, what?
I’m 52, five years older than Kelly, and I don’t think it would have been OK if I had put on blackface at Halloween when I was a kid and told everyone I was being Lamont from Sanford and Son. I just don’t see any scenario where that would have gone down well.
Before Kelly went to NBC, she initiated another storm by saying Santa Claus is white, as if that’s really important to her. But, it’s nice to know that Kelly would think it’s OK for a black kid to put on white face paint and go as Santa.
I think it’s OK for a white kid to go as Black Panther, or a black kid to go as Thor (the whitest of the superheroes), or a boy to go as a witch, or girl to go as Darth Vader. It’s Halloween when imaginations are supposed to fly for children, and in a lot of cases, adults. But, to go as Sambo or Aunt Jemima is just wrong. Parents, don’t let your children go as Aunt Jemima.
Kelly later apologized, but her colleague Al Roker still wasn’t happy. Roker said, “While she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country. This is a history going back to the 1830s minstrel shows — to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.”
From white Santa to white Jesus to defending cops who brutalized a teenage black girl, Kelly has had spouts of racism that’s undermined the respect she’s earned as a hard-nosed journalist. For a $69 million salary, she owes it to her viewers and the public to buy some awareness.
We need role models, real and imaginary. Right now, Megyn Kelly isn’t one.
Watch me draw.