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Monday, June 22, 2015

Megyn Kelly: New Star of Fox News

Megyn Kelly is bucking the conventional wisdom of what it means to be a Fox News anchor. The take-no-prisoners newswoman isn’t afraid to throw hardballs at Republicans. She recently lectured Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul over his penchant for arguing with female reporters. She poked Jeb Bush about whether he would have invaded Iraq in 2003. She cornered Mike Huckabee for saying it was trashy for women to swear in public. Last year, she told Dick Cheney, “History has proven that you got it wrong” on Iraq. On Election Night 2012, she dared to question Karl Rove for claiming that Barack Obama hadn’t won Ohio, and it went viral.

Just as surprisingly, she says she wouldn’t brawl with a certain Democratic presidential candidate if she landed an exclusive with her. “I think Hillary Clinton could handle me — easily,” Kelly says on a recent afternoon in her Manhattan office. “That would be epic television,” she muses. “Here she is, this powerful woman talking to somebody who is also a woman in a powerful post, who would never be accused of giving her a pass. Right? But I respect Hillary Clinton, and all that she’s achieved.” Kelly makes the case that she’d be fair. “I’d be under pressure, too. If you want to get big-name Democrats who are running for president, do you want to annihilate them? Of course not.”

Kelly, 44, a former corporate litigator who continues to gain prominence at the country’s biggest news network, is poised to become a force in the 2016 election, and is already set to co-moderate an Aug. 6 Republican primary debate. She will need to seize that opportunity to try to prove her detractors wrong, particularly the many liberals who still distrust her, and insist she’s way too soft on her subjects.

But like everything on Fox, Kelly is controversial. Viewers and critics are often befuddled, because they never know where she stands. She sounds like a Democrat on social issues (she’s long defended the transgender community) but a Republican on fiscal matters. Kelly tells Variety she’s not a member of the GOP. “I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans,” she says. “I’m an independent.” She believes her lack of political ideology actually makes her a more effective reporter. “I’m not rooting for anybody,” she says. “I’m a Fox News anchor, and I have no horse in the race. I can give anyone a hard time.” When asked if she considers herself a journalist or a personality, Kelly says, “I don’t really separate the two. I just think of myself as Megyn Kelly — broadcaster. You can do both.”  (Full article at Variety)

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