In a time when the country is increasingly polarized, Megyn Kelly is the rare journalist with fans on both sides of the aisle. It was long speculated that many networks were clamoring to hire Kelly, so it wasn't exactly surprising when it was reported on Tuesday that Kelly will be leaving Fox for NBC after her contract ends with the former this summer. This marks a big departure for Kelly, who rose to fame at Fox. Since the network she is most associated with is considered one of the most traditionally conservative, many have wondered if Kelly herself is conservative.
According to a 2014 Washington Post analysis of a Pew Research Center study of viewing habits, Fox News tended to have a conservative audience, while NBC News' viewers leaned slightly toward the liberal. But Kelly is already quite familiar with speaking to audiences across the spectrum. In fact, she earned significant credit from left-leaning viewers for her willingness to question Donald Trump about his treatment of women during a presidential debate in 2015, and the way she stood up to Newt Gingrich when he accused her of being "fascinated with sex."
So is Megyn Kelly a conservative or a liberal? Sean Hannity famously accused her of being a Clinton supporter last October. Some network anchors wear their political allegiances on their sleeves, but Kelly keeps quieter about hers. In June of last year, she told Variety she was an "independent" who had voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the past.
Good news on Megyn Kelly. Working to balance mainstream institutions rather than deepening conservative alienation from them.— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) January 3, 2017
Kelly earned praise from liberals for challenging Trump, and Sally Kohn, who had appeared on The Kelly Files many times, wrote about why she is such an appealing cable news figure for the Daily Beast:
At the same time, Willa Paskin at Slate argued that Kelly's popularity amongst liberals is more the result of selective attention:
Now that Kelly is set to host her own daytime show Monday through Friday, as well as her own Sunday night news show, viewers may gain more insight into her politics.