The National Broadcasting Corporation is absolutely right to be worried about its incoming morning show host Megyn Kelly. She’s a legitimately noxious person who has publicly stated that fictional character Santa Claus has to be a white man. (She also insisted Jesus was white in the same breath, a claim she had to walk back on account of the unfortunate existence of recorded history.) She used a wackadoo and minuscule fringe group as a stand-in for all of Black America. It’s not hard to argue, as the late, lamented Gawker did, that, “Her career has been one long, low, racist dogwhistle.” So, yes, NBC should be freaking out about giving her a platform with which to spout this crap.
And it looks like her ratings are bearing out this concern. According to a new piece by The Daily Beast, NBC insiders are in a state of “total panic” over the upcoming September 22 launch of Megyn Kelly Today, the former Fox anchor’s new morning show that will function as the third hour of the network’s popular, long-running Today. Presumably, they’re outraged by her blithe assertion, “I’m a soulless lawyer. Give me any opinion and I can argue it,” which is the opposite of the trusted and ethical stance people look for in a news broadcaster and viewpoint-possessor. And the poor ratings for her Sunday evening journalism show—which recently canceled the final two installments of the planned 10-episode run—suggest America is in agreement with NBC, and wants no part of this woman.
Of course, there’s a chance that loyal Today viewers will end up unfortunately embracing this pundit, simply due to inertia. “The Sunday show struggled and tried to be very splashy and even controversial, but the Today show is a different format with a very strong underlying brand,” says one internal source. “She should be able to excel there even if the Sunday show was perceived as compromised. They’re totally different animals.” Understandably, NBC should fear this potential disastrous outcome, and be very worried that the millions of people who turned in to watch her recent series will tolerate, even encourage, her amoral posturing of behalf of whoever signs her checks. So we at The A.V. Club applaud NBC’s soul-searching and hope the network...
Sorry, we’ve just been informed that the network is worried not enough people are on board with Kelly and her views, instead of the other way around. NBC is in a panic because the reported $17 million they are paying her annually will not bring more people to her show, and not because it would be promoting someone who has espoused reprehensible viewpoints in service of catering to an aging population’s basest instincts, as we previously reported. The A.V. Club regrets the error.