What an utterly weird appearance was Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox “News,” formerly of NBC News, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, which everyone just calls “Bill Maher.”
It is useful to prelude by remembering why Kelly is now a podcast host instead of a major network news anchor. It’s not because of the “bombshell” stuff. She went to NBC after all that. Then, she asked in a roundtable session, what’s the big racist deal about white people wearing dark makeup to look like black people?
Yeah. NBC fired her three days later.
So on Bill Maher, first she says CNN’s Don Lemon is “committed to his hard left partisanship.” Funny how she mentions Don Lemon, who had this to say of Kelly’s brilliant analysis of blackface in 2018: â€œListen, I know Megyn. Sometimes you say stupid things when youâ€™re live, but Iâ€™m just gonna be honest. Megyn is 47 years old â€“ sheâ€™s our age. There has never been a time in that 47 years that blackface has been acceptable.â€
This is true. Actor Ted Danson is fortunate to have recovered from the backlash when he appeared in blackface at the Friar’s Club in 1993. Megyn Kelly is two years younger than I am, and I remember that story vividly. Blackface has not been okay for a long, long time.
To his credit, Maher tried to call out her false equivalence and in fact called it that to its face.
Maher: I agree there’s crazy on both sides, but that’s a false equivalency, don’t you think? Because what Lou Dobbs believes is that the election was stolen. I mean, I don’t agree with Don Lemon on everything, but he’s not living in an alternative reality.
Kelly: Oh, I don’t know about that.
I don’t watch Don Lemon, nor do I watch CNN much. But I don’t see his show getting canceled over a $2.7 billion lawsuit for spreading lies about election fraud.
Then, Kelly takes a swipe at Rachel Maddow.
Kelly: But look at Rachel Maddow and Russiagate, right? I mean, she went totally down the rabbit hole and was embarrassed by that. Lou Dobbs same thing on the crazy election claims. So, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Dismissing Russia’s role in American politics in the last several years is dangerous revisionism. It is an established fact that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had been in contact almost daily with Russian agent Konstantin Kilimnik during the campaign; this was established by the then Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump eventually pardoned Manafort.
The Mueller Report told us that Russian interference in the 2016 election was â€œsweeping and systemic” and that there were “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign.â€ It did not exonerate Trump; in fact, it directly states that if the Special Counselâ€™s Office felt they could clear the president of wrongdoing, they would have said so. It directly states that the President was not exonerated.
Unlike Megyn Kelly’s comments on Maher last night, Maddow’s reporting regarding Russia connections were salient and supported by specific examples. For instance, we know Trump liked to parrot Russian propaganda, as now do many Republicans. Here is a good example of a key Maddow report on this tendency of Der Cheeto:
Is it going down a rabbit hole to report that the President of the United States is floating the completely unheard of and weird notion that Russia invading Afghanistan in 1979 was a marvelous idea? Which rabbit hole is that, Megyn? Because from where I’m sitting (and as Maddow indicates in her reporting here), that’s an Emo Philips weird thing for a Preznit to say.
Then the interview gets really weird.
This is when Maher asks Megyn Kelly about the decision to withdraw her kids from New York City schools. Here is what she says, and I am not making this up.
“We loved our schools. We were in the New York City private school system. Our boys went to an all-boys’ school and our daughter to an all-girls’ school. Loved our teachers, loved the students and the faculty and the parents. And they were definitely leftists. You know, we’re more center-right, but that was fine. You know, my family are Democrats, it’s not like I was bothered by the fact that they leaned a bit left. But then they went hard-left. Then, they started to take a really hard turn toward social justice stuff. And, at our boy’s school in particular, it started with when our son was in third grade, they unleashed a three-week trans experimental education program on these 8-and-9-year-old boys. And it wasn’t about support. It was aboutâ€”we felt like it was about trying to convince them. Like “hey, come on over!” And the boys started to get confused. And they had to implement this system where they raised their hand if you’re really confused, put up a one. If you’re just a little confused…”
Maher interjected, asking how old the kids were. 8 and nine at the time, she said. She said she and her husband and others had objected to this, and that the school had apologized. Then, she said her kindergartner was told to write a letter to the Cleveland Indians objecting to “their mascot,” who I believe was ol’ Chief Wahoo, a character who was retired in 2018 because, c’mon, that thing was just plain offensive.
Then it just got worse and is not actually worth trying to think about for another minute. Oy gevalt.