Kelly stayed silent for days on the furor, only speaking up on her show “The Kelly File” on Monday night. (Photo: Getty Images)
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has repeatedly been in the news since Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate — and it’s all due to Donald Trump.
Kelly, who moderated the debate along with Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, was slammed by Trump for her “ridiculous” and “off-base” questions about misogynistic comments he has made in the past, including calling women “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.”
Trump, who made no secret of his distain for Kelly, later told CNN’s Don Lemon that during the debate, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her…wherever.”
(On Sunday, Trump said that he meant Kelly’s ears or nose, and that only a “deviant” would have concluded that he was referring to Kelly’s menstrual cycle.)
That comment sparked a swift backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike. After Trump refused to apologize (even declaring on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday that Kelly should apologize to him), women began tweeting live updates on their periods to Trump with the hashtag #periodsarenotaninsult.
But Trump continued to attack Kelly on social media and news shows, mocking her and questioning her professionalism. Some of his supporters also began targeting Kelly on social media.
Kelly stayed silent for days on the furor, only speaking up on her show “The Kelly File” on Monday night.
“I’ve decided not to respond [to those comments],” Kelly said on the show. “Mr. Trump is an interesting man who has captured the attention of the electorate. That’s why he’s leading in the polls. Trump, who is the front-runner, will not apologize, and I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism. So I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far.”
Added Kelly, “This is a tough business, and it’s time now to move forward. And now, let’s get back to the news.”
Kelly has been praised by conservatives and liberals alike for the way she handled the controversy. And clinical psychologist John Mayer, PhD, who counsels on bullying, tells Yahoo Health that she responded perfectly.
“Research and experience in this field overwhelming maintains that you do not engage the bullying because fundamentally the bully is looking for that reinforcement for their tactics,” he says.
According to Mayer, bullies are often created because people and society “feed into” or reinforce their behavior by responding to their tactics.
Kelly’s response was “perfect,” he says, because she ignored his attacks and essentially took the rug right out of him: “It’s a great model for others.”
If you’re the victim of bullying, Mayer recommends taking cues from Kelly: Ignore the bully and don’t react. Eventually, they should get tired of the lack of response and stop altogether.
Kelly responded because others pressed her for comment but, Mayer points out, she did not respond to Trump directly.
Trump has yet to react to Kelly’s response…and maybe he never will.
On Tuesday morning he returned to Fox News for the first time since the Thursday night debate. He made no mention of Kelly during his brief telephone call with host Steve Doocy, making only a passing reference to this weekend’s fracas with the network, saying that he an Fox News have “always been friends.”
Read This Next: After the Debate, Fact-Checking GOP Candidates on Abortion