Megyn Kelly and the Liberal Mean Girls Crowd - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Megyn Kelly and the Liberal Mean Girls Crowd

Here’s the headline from Mediaite on April 6th. 

Megyn Kelly on Media’s Trump Obsession: We Should Worry About ‘Our Souls and Journalism’

Here’s the headline from the New York Times on April 13th:

Megyn Kelly Meets With Donald Trump

Kelly said to Katie Couric that “…we all have to worry about numbers to some extent, that’s the reality of TV news in 2016, but we also have to worry about our souls and journalism.”

Then, barely a week later, the Times was reporting this about the state of Kelly’s soul:

It was a high-level summit meeting above Midtown Manhattan, the latest twist in a story of public acrimony and private courtship. Donald J. Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president, and Megyn Kelly, a Fox News anchor, spoke for roughly an hour on Wednesday, their first interaction in months. By day’s end, the two had reached a tentative truce in a feud that has captivated the political class and crystallized questions about Mr. Trump’s attitude toward women and the news media.

The meeting was requested by Ms. Kelly, whose questioning of Mr. Trump’s derogatory remarks about women in the first Republican debate in August prompted him to attack her as “crazy” and “overrated.” And it signaled the possible end of a standoff strange even by the standards of a confounding election year: the Republican front-runner refusing to appear in prime time with one of Fox News’s biggest stars.

What to make of this sudden 180 that had Kelly saying to Couric one day that she was worried “about our souls and journalism” when it came to Trump, and then days later, slips quietly in to Trump Tower for a meeting with the soul-and-journalism corrupting Donald Trump himself? 

Call me crazy, but this doesn’t feel right.

When the Trump/Kelly fight first began, my instinct was to understand his point yet still feel Kelly was just doing her journalistic thing. But the business about being concerned about “our souls and journalism” when it came to coverage of Trump — not to mention the venue in which she ventured forth for this conversation with Couric — raised red flags. Yes, I know she is a Fox News anchor. But taking a look back at this point and it seems the high points with her always come from bashing conservatives. By way of explanation, let’s look at another story about another woman that may help explain the Kelly-Trump situation.

The other woman is Ivanka Trump. Take a look at this story from the New York Times the other day. Nominally it is about Ivanka’s central role in her father’s campaign. It begins this way, bold print supplied by me:

It was a night to celebrate strong women. Amy Schumer was the host, Caitlyn Jenner was honored and the guests included Arianna Huffington, Madeleine Albright and the actress Reese Witherspoon.

They also included Ivanka Trump.

When the crowd at Glamour’s Women of the Year event on Nov. 9 sat down for dinner at the Rainbow Room, a person at Ms. Trump’s table asked the question that others were no doubt thinking: What would her father, who was being pilloried for remarks that struck many as misogynistic, make of her attending an event like this?

Ms. Trump quickly broke the strained silence by saying that she was her own person. Soon after, she and her friend Wendi Deng — Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife — left.

A spokesman for Ms. Trump said she went home not because she was uncomfortable, but because it was late and she had two small children. But it was an awkward collision of the two worlds she inhabits: One as a 30-something Manhattan socialite and role model to young professional women, the other as Donald J. Trump‘s oldest daughter, biggest champion and perhaps most valuable asset.

And right there, unwittingly one suspects, is a possible clue not only to Kelly’s questions — but her “souls and journalism” response to Katie Couric. Note well that the Times referred to Ivanka Trump being in attendance at an event sponsored by Glamour Magazine that was a “night to celebrate strong women,” while Kelly’s remark came at an event sponsored by Women in the World. What do both Glamour and Women in the World — the latter founded by the left-leaning Tina Brown — have in common? For all the talk about being pro- “strong women,” the record shows that each group is really about being pro-liberal women. The roster of women involved with or honored by both Brown’s group and Glamour were … liberals. As noted at NewsBusters when they took a close look at Glamour’s “Women of the Year” back in 2009:

Beneath the layers of female empowerment that this list attempted to promote lurked the message that to make an impact, to be a recognized leader among women, also meant supporting the policies and the politicians of the Democratic party, and the fashionable causes of liberal Hollywood.

Glamour failed to understand that conservative women can be role models too. And in a society where diversity is highly prized, the lack of political diversity reflected by who the magazine’s editors chose to honor is truly astounding.

And note well that even for Ivanka Trump, a literal child of elite Manhattan society, the mere fact that she is supporting her father so openly is cause for a “strained silence” and an “awkward collision” of “two worlds” among her peers at that Glamour dinner. 

What does any of this have to do with Megyn Kelly and Trump? The harsh fact of life here is that Megyn Kelly is swimming in a media and New York City culture of liberalism. And to be acceptable in those circles, one has to do, well, some version of just what Megyn Kelly did to Donald Trump in that August debate. There was, for example, no context to those Trump quotes, the last “on your knees” quote from an Apprentice episode in which no one involved with the show, beginning with the woman on the receiving end of the remark, interpreted the Trump remark the way Kelly did. 

This isn’t the first time Kelly has been down this path. She led off an interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney by quoting a far-left columnist in the Washington Post on Iraq — the same columnist who has assailed Trump as “dumber and more extreme” than a “typical Republican politician” and who routinely is out there — far out there — with the harshest of far left-wing views on, well, just about everything. And there have been other tangles with conservatives Mike Gallagher, the talk radio host (he questioned why men do not get equal treatment in the world of paid maternity leave), and fellow Foxers Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson. 

But instinctively, what catches my attention in all of this is something expressed exactly — by a conservative woman. Over at the National Interest, writer Ying Ma, herself a conservative and minority woman of precisely the type who would not make the grade at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summits much less ever be honored or sought out by Glamour, wrote a column on the Kelly/Trump dustup headlined:

Donald Trump Is Right About Megyn Kelly

Wrote Ms. Ma:

On the Fox News Channel, Kelly has exhibited a penchant for kissing up to liberal women, fawning over their feminist agenda, berating conservative men and behaving unprofessionally toward guests. No prominent conservative has ever dared to question the perception that Kelly is an exemplary anchor, or to observe that she spends far too much time peddling a softer, kinder version of feminist dogma. 

And of those famous questions Kelly asked of Trump at the debate Ma writes:

Essentially, Kelly cobbled together a number of Trump’s past comments on women and accused him of being a sexist. Most unfortunate about her line of questioning was its acceptance of the Left’s politically correct default position: every time there is any comment, insinuation, situation or controversy involving a woman and a man, the man must be suspected of sexism. It is a ludicrous line of liberal thinking but it permeates every aspect of American society. So when the most-watched female anchor on a conservative network accepts this position as guiding truth, conservatives should feel a bit nauseated.”

…Trump, who is not exactly a movement conservative, has not chastised Kelly for her offenses against conservatism. Instinctively, however, he has sensed grave unfairness—both on the facts and in principle. He views himself as an equal-opportunity offender: as tough on men as he is on women. He also views himself as politically incorrect: not one to cower before just because a woman accuses him of sexism.

The Left, which never fails to express its love for so-called “strong women,” should have been celebrating Trump’s refusal to bend to what he calls “a double standard.” Instead, both the Left and the Right have branded Trump as a sexist.

… Even more important, conservatives must begin to recognize that confronting insidious left-wing feminism is a necessity everywhere, including when it surfaces in the comments of Fox’s leading female anchor. The ideology of victimhood has no place in our society or public policies, and the fight against it must be waged with vigilance and conviction.

… In the long run, taking a sledgehammer through this paradigm would do far more for conservatism than offering sanctimonious dribble on the leading GOP presidential candidate.

Ying Ma has it exactly. What she calls the paradigm of “insidious left-wing feminism” is in essence the adult version of that 2004 Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey movie Mean Girls, the tale of pecking orders and cliques in the world of upper class teen-age girls. Watching all this business with the snooty treatment of Ivanka Trump and Kelly’s repeated bows to the liberal feminist paradigm is in reality the real life, adult version of the Liberal Mean Girls. In essence, what Ying Ma is saying here is that while appearing conservative, when it comes to feminism Kelly is such an adherent of the leftist paradigm that she reflexively attacks conservative men. And does so, my words, not Ying Ma’s, to avoid offending the clique that is the Adult Liberal Mean Girls. 

This is why I see Trump’s response to Kelly as doing precisely what Ma suggests — “taking a sledgehammer” to the liberal paradigm of women that has done such damage to women, and to which Kelly, it seems, subscribes. 

This is a paradigm that goes on endlessly about “strong women”… but despises strong women with names like Sarah Palin, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, or Laura Ingraham and any pro-life or seriously religious woman out there. They love Anita Hill — but hate Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey.

When even Ivanka Trump has to face a “strained silence” in the face of this kind of bigotry that is the liberal paradigm of “strong women,” it is more than time to begin to turn the question around not only on Megyn Kelly but those who so blatantly hold to such a narrow view of women and their role in the world.

In other words, in the name of “diversity” the Kelly paradigm of women — one shared overwhelmingly in media circles — is one of the least diverse paradigms on the American media and political scene. Again unwittingly, when Kelly was asked by Charlie Rose about her idea of the “perfect television show” she responded: “How about if we merge a little Charlie Rose, a little Oprah, and a little me all together.” Or, in other words, Kelly’s idea of great TV is combining two liberal shows who have famously liberal hosts with the views of someone who bends regularly to the liberal paradigm of women. Wow. Talk about an unconscious salute to the Liberal Mean Girls clique. Diversity this ain’t. But to his great credit, Donald Trump’s months’ long showdown with Megyn Kelly has begun to finally — finally — concentrate serious attention on the sniffy, clubby world of the Mean Girls that is liberal feminism. A clique and pecking order so powerful that it entices even a “conservative” Fox anchor to go along with the crowd.

In a way, one has to feel a certain sympathy for Kelly. Either suffer a “strained silence” from all those Liberal Mean Girls who are the Women in the World as no less than Ivanka Trump did at Glamour’s Women of the Year event. Or try and slip into Trump Tower unnoticed and beg for an interview with the man she turned into a nemesis by swearing public allegiance to the liberal paradigm of women. It’s a precarious balance. Allegiance to the Mean Girls — or a Trump interview.

Megyn Kelly is out there, precariously balanced. Stay tuned.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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