It was the worst cliffhanger ever when Friday Fox Follies prognosticated that following the Donald Detente that Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly Will Sit-Down for Fox’s Megyn Kelly Presents, which doesn’t explain why it was such BIG NEWS. Some of the headlines generated:
As I said way back then: “If you don’t think this Donald Detente is all about ratings, I’ve got a Fox “News” story to sell you.” Meanwhile, WashPo’s Eric Wemple predicts Megyn Kelly will lay waste to Donald Trump:
The interview will be the first of the “Megyn Kelly presents” series slated for Fox’s broadcast network — a broad platform for the cable star who’s now in her contract year. How important is the show to the Fox/Fox News brand? Its senior executive producer is Fox News chief Roger Ailes. According to a release, the program will “showcase Kelly’s renowned journalism skills in interviewing a wide variety of notable guests (to be announced) from the entertainment world and other spheres of human interest.”
“Sphere of human interest” pretty well describes Trump these days. He has built his profile to a significant degree by giving other cable-news interviewers the same answer he gave Kelly: Yes. Though he has indeed been pressed on his shallow command of policy, his bigotry and his evasions and falsehoods, too often he has slithered and bullied his way through these sessions — to the point that anything less than a slowly executed dismemberment by Kelly will be a letdown. Herewith a bet that she’ll get it done.
I believe Wemple is wrong because Fox’s Megyn Kelly Has Already Forgotten Trump’s Sexist, Misogynistic Attacks Against Her and NewsHounds is already asking the musical question Has Megyn Kelly Started To Pull Her Punches Against Donald Trump?
KELLY: On the woman issue, you know that he has said, “Look, I made a lot of comments when I was an entertainer, when I was hosting a show and needed to be a provocateur.”
Now, if that’s not disingenuous, I don’t know what is. Because Trump’s attacks on women were exactly what prompted Kelly to question whether Trump had the temperament to be president in the debate question that set off months of attacks on her by him. Attacks that she obviously found very disturbing. She told Charlie Rose in a recent interview that Trump “gins up anger among so many… [it] manifests in my life in several ways.” She also called it a “dark moment” when colleague Bill O’Reilly only put up a weak defense when Trump attacked her on The O’Reilly Factor.
So it was left to Wasserman Schultz to remind Kelly of Trump’s misogynistic attacks on her:
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Megyn, he made them on the debate stage about you. He made them on the radio following his debate performances about you. So this is way beyond that he was entertaining. While he was running for president, he has spewed hateful, misogynistic rhetoric that is unacceptable in any forum but certainly coming from a presidential candidate, and the policies are even worse.
All of this comes as MMfA‘s Eric Boehlert notes With The Megyn Kelly Vs. Donald Trump TV Summit, Everyone Wins (Except The GOP):
The Fox News vs. Trump saga represents a completely dysfunctional relationship: Much of Fox loves Trump’s right-wing politics; Trump loves to bully Fox. Now the latest love/hate chapter is that Trump has agreed to sit for Kelly’s interview, which is weirdly being hyped as a major campaign showdown. (Remember when campaigns were focused on voters, not cable news hosts?)
Kelly’s Trump interview represents good news for her, good news for Fox, and good news for Trump.
If he behaves himself, he might come across as magnanimous as he jousts with his foe. If Kelly uses the opportunity to aggressively challenge Trump, she’ll likely garner more plaudits from mainstream outlets. (The interview also comes as Kelly is negotiating a new contract and potentially leaving Fox News for a less openly partisan outlet.)
And even if Trump flops, the interview will come so late in the primary season that it will likely have little impact on the final voting tallies among Republican voters.
The only interested partisan party not celebrating? The GOP. Because for the Republican Party, the whole Fox interview spectacle represents the latest Trump-fueled mess, as the marauding Frankenstein’s monster wreaks havoc on the way to the Republican convention this summer.
However, one of the most interesting articles I discovered this week is Donald Trump’s feud with Megyn Kelly looks a whole lot like his feud with Selina Scott:
The fact that Kelly has persuaded Trump to lay down arms after months of name-calling and appear on her Fox broadcasting special May 17 seems all the more remarkable when you consider the billionaire has never reconciled with Scott, whom he labeled “sleazy,” “unattractive” and “obnoxious” after her ITV piece aired 21 years ago. More recently, in 2009, he called her “obscure” and a “third-class journalist.”
The difference might be pure political calculus. Facing the prospect of a contested Republican convention and probably a general-election contest against a female candidate (should he secure his party’s nomination), Trump appears to be trying to soften his image. Except for a need to look more presidential, he might have continued to ridicule Kelly, too.
There is another difference between Kelly and Scott, though: While Kelly has resisted the temptation to shoot back with personal attacks on Trump, Scott returned fire often.
“If you’ve got an ego as big as the Empire State Building, you’re liable to get upset if someone dents it,” she said in response to Trump’s barrage of insults in 1995.
Meanwhile, Anderson Cooper Praises Megyn Kelly for Weathering Trump Controversies With ‘Dignity’ and ‘Strength’ when Anderson Cooper and Megyn Kelly Discuss Tragedy, Legacy, and the ‘Industry We Work In’. This as we learn of Megyn Kelly’s Hilariously Biased Discussion Of Sexual Assault On Campus.
SPOILER ALERT: She’ll continue to pretend to be FAIR & BALANCED and will only expose her bias inadvertently.
A MAD DASH: The last we heard of Spoiled Child Stacey Dash was when she was suspended from Fox “News” after she said President Obama doesn’t give a feces, but used the more familiar and far more vulgar term.
This week she made the 5 Despicable Right-Wing Moments This Week: The Shamelessness of LePage and Trump Just Stuns, the subhead of which reads: There appears to be something seriously wrong with Stacey Dash. Just saying:
Stacy Dash spewed more inanities.
Former actress-turned-Fox News commenter (and weird cameo at the Academy Awards) Stacy Dash was trotted out this week to comment on black people and how they are doing everything wrong, again.
She managed to spew more than her usual share of inane comments.
First, asked to eulogize Prince the day after his death, she made rather a point of saying he was not black, for some reason, or that she did not think of him as black, and that was somehow a good thing and a compliment.
“You didn’t look at him as a black artist or an artist of any color,” she said. “He was just Prince.”
At week’s end, she was in a lather about something President Obama said in the U.K., and something he did not say.
“I can’t believe that he did not even address that today is the anniversary, the day to the month, of the anniversary of Brussels, that he did not even address that. He addressed Earth Day. That’s appalling. I’ve never seen a president bore so many people with this dribble [yeah, she said dribble; she meant drivel. Whatever] …and embarrass the United States of America like he just did.”
Boy, that is a heck of a lot of dribble.
Dash dribble, if you will.
THE MISSING TARANTULA: According to internet sources There’s going to be a glaring absence at Fox News — but this is not the time to panic because it’s only Andrea Tantaros [who] Won’t Be on Fox News, for Now:
TVNewser got a tip earlier today regarding Tantaros. When we reached out to FNC, they sent us this statement: “Issues have arisen regarding Andrea’s contract, and Fox News Channel has determined it best that she take some time off. She is still under contract with the network.”
That’s right, Fox’s Andrea Tantaros [was] Suspended For ‘Contract Issue,’ Not For Inciting Violence. No matter. She remained an idiot right up until she was disappeared in Fox News Host Uses Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ Ruling to Attack Hillary Clinton:
During the network’s daytime talk show Outnumbered, Judge Andrew Napolitano delivered his legal assessment of the situation—in which a federal appeals court ruled Brady will have to serve the previously overturned suspension in relation to the “Deflategate” scandal—when co-host Andrea Tantaros chimed in with her own unique take.
“It sounds familiar,” Tantaros said of Brady’s decision to destroy a cell phone that may or may not have contained incriminating evidence.
“Yes it does! The server in Chappaquiddick,” Napolitano said, laughing, before correcting himself. Clinton’s private email server was reportedly kept in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.; not the infamous Massachusetts island.
“Brady and Belichick are like the Bill and Hillary of football,” Tantaros remarked. “I mean, deleting the evidence.” Previously, when reporters asked Clinton if she “wiped” her servers, she responded, “What, like with a cloth or something?”
SPOILER ALERT: This Spoiled Child will also be back.
THIS WEEK IN HOMOPHOBIA: First [alleged doctor] Keith Ablow wrote an OpEd for the Fox “News” website called The real reason why the North Carolina ‘bathroom bill’ debate is center stage:
See, if we believe that transgender individuals must use the restrooms they choose, one could argue that many of our cultural institutions must flex away from fact. And one could argue that cultural chaos will result.
These questions, after all, extend to other realms than race and age. If I were a male member of ISIS, and jailed for terrorist acts, but then insisted while incarcerated that I were a 15-year-old, female American citizen who not only has changed my opinions, but am no longer in any way the person who was convicted of terrorist acts, should I then be released?
If the German people were to vote overwhelmingly, even unanimously, to assert that the Holocaust never happened, and then were to remove any reference to it or evidence of it from their culture, should we be required to not offend them by asserting that the Holocaust did, indeed, happen?
Some readers may think that my questions are preposterous, but they make this point: Many people unconsciously recoil at the potential slippery slope that transgenderism and the bathroom bill represent.
That’s not it at all, Dr. No. People think your questions are preposterous for the precise reason that YOUR QUESTIONS ARE PREPOSTEROUS!!! However, ridiculous and laughable would be more accurate.
After penning that absurdity Ablow appeared on tee vee to expand on his total idiocy. Responsible adults recoiled in horror:
But Ablow was not the only homophobe on Fox this week:
Fox’s Earhardt Hypes Debunked “Bathroom Predator” Myth • Fox’s Cavuto Asks Anti-LGBT Pastor About “Confused,” “Troubled” Transgender People • On Fox, Pastor Complains Target’s Bathroom Policy Will ‘Open The Door To A Lot Of Perversity.’
It got so bad that even Seth Meyers Slams Fox News For Pushing Anti-LGBT “Bathroom Predator” Myth:
Johnny Carson and Edward R. Murrow are rolling over in their graves.
THIS WEEK IN FALSE EQUIVALENCY: FFF is launching a brand new rubric because False Equivalency is Fox’s only equivalency:
Stay tuned for more False Equivalency in future Friday Fox Follies fandangos.
STILL WATTERS: This guy gets on my nerves as does this article that deflects from Jesse Watters’ past as the Falafel King’s stalker:
But prospects suddenly changed for Watters in 2004 when O’Reilly show decided to send him down to Alabama to question a judge who had just ruled to basically let a sex offender off the hook.
Question a judge? No, Concha. The judge was stalked and then ambushed, just like other victims of Watters.
FOX GIVING YOU THE BUSINESS: Another new rubric because the Fox Business Network is in a class by itself.
Just some more Varney blarney.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT’S DUE: Or, even a stopped clock finds a nut once in a while.
Bolling also lauded Trump’s decision to hire Republican operative Paul Manafort for bringing “gravitas, strength, and credibility” to the campaign.
“Wait a minute,” Williams quipped, “I thought you didn’t like the Republican Establishment.”
Dana Perino added that Trump’s “evolution may be welcome to some. It will give a lot of conservatives even more heartburn than they already have.”
I didn’t realize Perino believed in evolution.
LOOFAH LAD LULZ: Some Yahoo asks Why is Bill O’Reilly Even Angrier Than Usual Lately? and then answers:
Why is O’Reilly so angry these days? A couple of things occur to me as factors. I wonder if he’s rattled at the recent reams of publicity his colleague Megyn Kelly is receiving, and whether he’s worked himself into a snit over her comments that he ought to have defended her more forcefully when he interviewed Donald Trump.
I also wonder if O’Reilly is starting to take his oratorical cues from the righteous-fury campaign of Donald Trump, and is ramping up for a rock ‘em-sock ’em Presidential campaign in which he’ll throw his considerable influence behind whoever will be opposing Hillary Clinton. O’Reilly said every night last week that he “cannot see a scenario” in which Trump does not win the Republican nomination. Perhaps O’Reilly sees a way to compete with Megyn Kelly by adapting the opposite of her cool-in-control demeanor, and letting loose his inner hounds of anger.
I thought perhaps I was exaggerating O’Reilly’s new temperament, until I saw his weekly segment with Dennis Miller last Thursday. Mid-way through their bit, Miller paused to say, “I notice in some of your Talking Points that you’ve started to get a little angry.” Sure enough, on Friday night, O’Reilly used the occasion of the death of Prince to inveigh against the “drug epidemic” in America. O’Reilly did his minimal best not to drag a famous dead man into his tirade, but he couldn’t resist saying of Prince that “there are reports that he was drug-involved.” What was the point of this furious Talking Points Memo? That in the golden past of Bill’s youth, “Those who used drugs were stigmatized, until the sex, drugs, and rock and roll culture kicked in.”
Is the answer as simple as that? Could it be he’s angry because he’s on the losing end of the Culture Wars and he knows it? Here’s some more examples of his misunderstanding the culture he lives in:
The O’Reilly Factor Peddles Racist Myths About High Incarceration Rate For Drug Violations • O’Reilly Uses Prince’s Death To Blame Obama For Rise In Drug Overdose Deaths • Bill O’Reilly Suggests Obama Thinks Drug Dealing Is Just Fine • O’Reilly: The “Use Of Hard Narcotics Is Now Acceptable” And “President Obama’s Leading The Way” • O’Reilly Admits His Plan To Help Poor Students Would Be Called Racist • O’Reilly Announces The ‘One Choice’ For Donald Trump’s Running Mate
But, you’d think he’d be a happy camper now that FOX News Channel Announces Season Two Premiere of Docu-Series Legends and Lies with Loofah Lad as Exec producer.
THOSE FOXY FRIENDS: Fox & Friends is the Morning Happy Talk Hate Fest™ broadcast 3 hours a day on weekdays and 4 hours on the weekends. That’s not the only reason for its out-sized influence. Fox “News” uses this show to launch trial balloons to see which stories generate the most Right Wing Outrage. Those are the stories that Fox will continue to hammer the rest of the day. Stories such as these:
Meanwhile, Brian Kilmeade’s Outrage Over $20 Bill Change Whitewashes Andrew Jackson’s Genocidal History is answered perfectly by Samantha Bee in Twenty Dollar Tubman:
“That’s why we call it a trickle down economy.”
Meanwhile, we all know that Trump’s “Women’s Card” Attack Against Hillary Clinton Comes From Right-Wing Media’s Playbook, but those Foxy Friends don’t even recognize that they played the “Women’s Card” when they ask and Donald Trump tells Fox News he would consider female vice presidential candidate “to counter Clinton’s gender”.
In the game of Women’s Cards I bid 3 no Trump.
CLINTON CONTEST: Once again there were no winners in our “Spot a Positive Clinton Story” contest. We’re adding another decimal point to our massive prize-pack as we take a look at this week’s losers:
Fox Contributor: Hillary Clinton Should Campaign On “The Victim Card” Rather Than “The Woman Card” • Deflategate Just Happens To Remind Fox Hosts Of Hillary Clinton • The O’Reilly Factor’s Phony Update On Hillary Clinton’s Emails • Huckabee: It’s ‘An Insult To Women’ For Clinton To Promise 50% Women In Her Cabinet • Fox’s Tucker Carlson: Trump Saying Clinton Wouldn’t Get Votes If She Was A Man The “Truest Thing I’ve Heard All Year” • Fox’s Outnumbered Suggests Hillary Clinton Was “Pandering” By Saying Half Of Her Cabinet Would Be Women • Fox’s Judge Napolitano Claims FBI has ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence to Indict and Convict Clinton • Fox’s Cavuto Tries To Get Jane Sanders To Attack Hillary Clinton • Meghan McCain Loves Carly Fiorina Because She ‘Rips Out’ Hillary Clinton’s ‘Jugular And Serves It To Me On A Plate’ • Right-Wing Media Figures Praise Donald Trump’s Sexist Attack On Hillary Clinton
SPOILER ALERT: Fox “News” will continue to dump on Clinton until the day she wins the November election and beyond.
FOX ON THE STUMP FOR TRUMP: When will this election be over? Cable News Starts Pivot to Trump vs. Hillary as 194 Straight Days of Non-Stop Zingers Loom.
Here are the ways Fox “News” covered for Trump this week: Birtherism: Trump’s Original Sin And The Media’s Latest One • Donald Trump Praises The Media After A Nearly Year-Long Attack On The Press • Ahead Of Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech, Fox’s Gingrich Says Trump More Realistic About National Security Than Obama • Experts And Fact-Checkers Blast Donald Trump’s “Incoherent” And “Fact-Free” Foreign Policy Speech • Fox Figures Cheer Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech As “Presidential” • After Trump’s Panned Foreign Policy Speech, Hannity Criticizes Hillary Clinton’s Tone During Her Speeches • Fox’s Eric Bolling: It’s Time For Ted Cruz To Bow Out With Class • Fox’s Peter Johnson Jr. Suggests Narrowing The Election Field To Trump And Clinton • Van Susteren Trots Out Bobby Knight To Help Sell Donald Trump To Indiana • Bill O’Reilly Defends Trump’s Sexist Attacks On Clinton: “He Would Have Said That About Anybody” • Hannity Donates Two-Thirds of His Screen to an Empty Stage Waiting for Trump • Cruz Supporters Slam Fox News’ Trump Bias • Cruz Conservatives Rip Fox News’ Trump Coverage • Morning Shows Grant Trump Phone Privileges Following Primary Wins • Donald Trump Doesn’t Know We Invaded Iraq After We Invaded Afghanistan:
O’Reilly did, however challenge Trump on policy. “You did not mention Afghanistan in the address. …What exactly will you do about Afghanistan?” O’Reilly asked.
TRUMP: I’d stay in Afghanistan. It’s probably the one place we should have gone in the Middle East because it’s adjacent and right next to Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons. So I think you have to stay and do the best you can. Not that it’s ever gonna be great but I don’t think we have much of a choice. That’s one place, frankly, instead of going to Iraq, we should have probably gone there first.
Newsflash for Trump: We did go there first. The Afghanistan war began in 2001. We invaded Iraq in 2003. And here’s another newsflash for the birther: Then-candidate Barack Obama – you know, the one you can’t stop bashing – called the Iraq war a “dangerous distraction” from Afghanistan.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s milkshake BFF, Bill O’Reilly, did not point out the YUUUGE mistake.
SPOILER ALERT: Do you think Megyn Kelly will be pointing out The Donald’s mistakes in her upcoming doing-it-for-the-ratings extravaganza? Seems unlikely.
FOX BYTES: Fox’s Latest Anti-Immigrant Alarmism Sensationalizes A DHS Program Scrapped Over Concerns It Would Fuel Media Misinformation • Fox’s The Five Uses Earth Day To Push Debunked Climate Change Denier Myths • Fox’s Geraldo Rivera: Black Lives Matter Activists Are “A Bunch Of Troublemakers” • After ‘Lucifer’ Remarks, Hannity Calls John Boehner ‘Weak, Timid, Feckless, Visionless’ • Fox News ‘Forgot’ About Carly Fiorina’s Troubling Business History • Glenn Beck Hits Back at Hannity, Defends Cruz • Cruz Goes After Fox Over Hannity Fight: ‘I’m Gonna Focus On My Own Positive Message’
Headly Westerfield has been writing Fox “News” criticism since 2009. He says he’ll stop when Fox “News” is finally FAIR & BALANCED.
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