Let me stop you right there.
Would you write this way about a man?
About O’Reilly himself?
At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at this point. Kelly, 43, is the host of “The Kelly File,” a live TV program that airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on the Fox News Channel, where she interrupts and challenges guests whenever they resort to talking points or petty distractions. It debuted just over two months ago, and so far its ratings among 25-to-54-year-olds have exceeded those of “The O’Reilly Factor” six times. In November, her first full month in prime time after years in daytime, Kelly was second only to O’Reilly in the overall ratings, which means she’s the No. 2 person on cable news’s No. 1 channel.
“It’s like working on a supermodel every day — a brilliant supermodel,” says makeup artist Maureen Walsh, as she air-brushes Kelly’s skin from milky white to Technicolor.
The small makeup room is hot from the blow dryer. Pen in hand, Kelly, a former corporate lawyer, reads an article headlined “For Democrats in 2014, the Web site is still the problem,” her eyes zipping over text as Maureen smudges heavy plum-colored eye shadow on her lids.
Kelly asks a nearby hairstylist to dial a phone number. “So you see Greta’s lead?” she says into the phone, her eyes on a muted TV. Greta Van Susteren’s topic is HealthCare.gov, whose botched rollout has coincided with Kelly’s prime-time debut. Later that evening, in the third hour of Fox’s extended prime-time lineup, “The Kelly File” will lead with the headline it has flashed almost every night for the past two weeks: “OBAMACARE FALLOUT.”
In its first 30 seconds the show will quote Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.): “I think the current administration has taken lying to a new level.”
Her in-person guest Andrew Napolitano, Fox’s senior judicial analyst, will ask rhetorically: Could the president’s implementation of the law “lead to impeachment?”
“This law is terrible,” Karl Rove will tell her from Fox’s D.C. bureau. “And it’s going to get worse.”
This is Megyn Kelly, responsibly and aggressively covering the nation’s biggest ongoing news story.
This is Megyn Kelly, hosting a nightly rally for Fox’s anti-Obamacare crusade.
There are two sides to every story. She herself believes that old cliche. So there must be two sides to Megyn Kelly’s story, right? One unfolds on air, where she is Fox’s brightest star. The other has been unfolding off the air, away from her 2.5 million viewers, for much longer.
Now wait wait wait.
That sounds like typical journalist jargon.
Like you’re exaggerating for dramatic effect, or hiding an agenda under a veil of wishy-washiness.
Megyn Kelly is very easy to like.
Megyn Kelly is a good and decent person.