Megyn Kelly Wishes Trump Was Treated Differently
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is so much more than her now infamous, largely one-sided feud with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, but she just can't seem to escape the questions about him. Perhaps it's the combination of her positions as a female journalist, a seasoned debate moderator, and one of Trump's least favorite people that makes her insight on the outrageous candidate so desirable and so valuable. On Wednesday, that insight led Katie Couric to ask Kelly about Trump at the Women In The World Summit in New York City. Kelly's answers, though, may have more to do with the media than with Trump himself.
Throughout the discussion, Couric asked Kelly about her background, her professional life, and of course, that legendary exchange with Trump at last year's first Republican debate. (For the record, Kelly told Couric that every candidate was asked a tough question that night, not just Trump.) Moving beyond the story that shot Kelly to internet fame (or perhaps infamy, depending on how you look at it) last year, the powerful female journalist also spoke about the media's role in Trump's campaign. According to Kelly, it's well past the time for journalists to stop treating Trump like a rating.
When Trump first announced his candidacy for president last summer, Kelly explained, major media outlets, including her very own Fox News, flocked to his events and press conferences like they hadn't for any other candidate. When ratings soared because of Trump, they had reason to continue doing so. Kelly decided very early on, she said, that she didn't want to keep letting Trump dominate the network — not because he wasn't newsworthy, but because it wasn't how Fox News treated any other candidate.
Kelly emphasized that she made that call with her team — to hold Trump to the same standards of any other candidate and not fall prey to ratings — very early on in the campaign — much earlier than the first Republican debate. She probably wishes that other outlets had done the same. For much of the last several months, Trump has dominated the news cycle like no other presidential candidate in recent memory. He's done so, at least in part, by behaving like no other presidential candidate in recent memory.
It's probably needless to say, but Kelly clearly doesn't regret challenging Trump's contentious history with women at the start of the long and winding Republican debate cycle. Knowing her feelings about the media's relationship with Trump, that question seems like a natural progression in her attitude toward the candidate, both as a woman and as a journalist. If Kelly has one message for her colleagues in the media business, it's likely this: Stop using Trump for the ratings and start focusing on the candidates as in any other race.