Megyn Kelly's biggest problem has nothing to do with her struggling ratings or two poorly received interviews, one with Russian president Vladimir Putin, the latest with radio host/conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Megyn Kelly's biggest problem is that she has no base of support to help her over these early growing pains.
To the political Left, she will always be the Queen of Fox News. To the political Right, she will always be the Betrayer, the woman who, at first opportunity, stabbed her Fox News fans in the back as a means to leave in the dust those who had stuck by her and helped make her famous.
To both she is seen as a mercenary willing to be whoever she needs to be in order to make it up the next rung of success. Although she is now firmly aligned with the establishment media, NBC News of all places, the establishment media still does not trust her to color within the expected lines.
The mainstream media is, after all, a leftwing cult. There is an orthodoxy and dogma, apostates are crucified, and outsiders are held in suspicion, which is why Kelly was given zero benefit of the doubt after it was announced she would interview Jones.
When her so-called MSM colleagues learned that the Infowars conspiracy theorist would be the next profile subject of Kelly's two-week-old magazine show, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, in unison they pounced with a well-coordinated campaign to have the Jones segment killed. Although they are almost all associated with outlets that have interviewed the likes of Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh, David Duke, and Ayatollah Khomeni, with straight faces they still claimed that it was not appropriate to profile Alex Jones.
This is something that never would have happened if it were a cult member-in-good-standing doing the same interview. But the cult does not trust her. They do not like her. They very much want to see the $17 million woman fail.
And failing she is. Even after enjoying more controversy than any interview could ever hope for, Kelly was only able to draw a disastrous 3.5 million viewers to the Alex Jones-athon. She lost to a rerun of 60 Minutes. She lost to America's Funniest Home Videos.
In their reviews, few have been kind, but no one can declare them unfair. If you'll pardon the expression, Putin manhandled Kelly in a way that showed just how inexperienced she is in the deep water of this format. Although NBC News owns the last word through their ability to edit, Putin not only embarrassed Kelly, worse still, the interview made zero news.
With few exceptions, reviews of the Alex Jones interview are little better. She did take him to the woodshed, especially over his obnoxious conspiracy theory surrounding, of all things, the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. But many of the reviewers pointed out, and I think correctly, that the segment looked like a big apology, like Kelly and NBC News desperately and defensively re-edited the segment in a noticeably reactionary way that produced only sound and fury, nothing of real interest or substance.
To her credit, there is no doubt Kelly grilled Jones in the original interview. It is not as though those segments could be re-shot after the uproar. So good for her. But what was supposed to be a profile of Jones … was not. He was barely given a chance to speak. Most of the segment was eaten up by Kelly's interrogation, awkward and unnecessary rebuttals from a Sandy Hook parent, and Kelly interrupting in real-time to frame and re-frame what we had just seen or were about to see.
Sure, Jones looked sweaty (literally), defensive, and off-balance, but he also looked like the victim of a MSM hatchet-job. In that respect, Kelly played right into his hands.
And all for what -- 3.5 million viewers and a segment delivered in a defensive crouch as a means to appease those in the MSM who will never be appeased, as a means to placate the fascist boycotters who will never be placated?
Kelly also has another big problem, and this one no one is talking about. Now that we have heard the audio of the wily ways in which she convinced Alex Jones to enter her chamber, is there a Big Get, a future interview subject who will believe the assurances that this will not be a hit job, that the subject will have a say in the final product, that she wants her audience to see the full person, the dad, and not just the controversial parts?
Regardless of what you might think of Alex Jones, what Kelly promised him and what she delivered were two entirely different things.
And regardless of what you think of Megyn Kelly (I'm agnostic), while she certainly has the chops required to grow into this new job, the base of support to buy her the required time does not seem to be there.
Last year, Donald Trump lived rent-free in her head. Last week, the MSM cult lived in her head. I suggest she clear her mind and go back to being herself and trusting her own instincts. That got her this far. But she better be quick about it.