Megyn Kelly is apparently done with talking about politics. In a new interview with ELLE.com, the former Fox News host explains that she left that gig for NBC because she wanted "a more balanced diet" and feels that cable news has become too political.
"Even at the beginning of my primetime tenure, it wasn't all political," Kelly said. "We did a lot of legal debates. We did cultural debates. Since the 2016 election started, cable news - not just Fox, not just primetime - has become almost entirely political."
But is staying silent really an option for journalists in Trump’s America? Asked about the specific example of ESPN's Jemele Hill, who sparked controversy earlier this month when she called Trump a white supremacist, Kelly responded: "She got political. She didn't have to... I think there's definitely a question about whether anybody working in a news organization should take an open political position."
That’s a significant turnaround for Kelly, who in the past (in her role at Fox News) had seemed happy to politicize just about anything, up to and including Santa Claus. Kelly's turnaround - “the truth is, I’m kind of done with politics for now,” she said during the premiere of her new morning show today. “You know why, right? We all felt it, it’s everywhere. And it’s just gotten so dark" - also appears pretty tone-deaf for a privileged white woman, considering we’re now in an era where political discourse seems, yes, "so dark," and more fractured (and therefore more important) than ever.
ELLE.com’s reporter raises that very point with Kelly, who gets strikingly defensive before essentially saying that journalists shouldn’t speak ill of the president.
"You're asking me, in general, about whether a journalist should feel comfortable espousing a political opinion disparaging a president. My position to you is that's dicey territory. One of the problems of 2017 journalism is journalists are under too much pressure to pick sides. That is not a fair position in which to put them. They're supposed to report the news. If they choose to offer a political opinion, then they should expect rollback. If they haven't expressed a political position, there should not be pressure on them to do that. That is not the job they signed up for."
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