The Cynical Hiring and Firing of Megyn Kelly
The grand experiment of bringing Megyn Kelly from FOX to NBC has been completely disastrous. Despite its spectacular failure, let’s just be glad it’s over. In a one-sentence memo. NBC confirmed that they were officially cancelling Megyn Kelly Today. And that Megyn Kelly was herself exiting the network. But this announcement barely shocked anyone. After the tumultuous week that the channel and Kelly had after she made the blackface comments on her show, we could almost see this coming. And the cold apology that Megyn Kelly made definitely got things more aggravated for her.
However, if you carefully observe the dramatic journey of Kelly’s career, this would not strike as her first failure. In fact, her entire career will do little to help falsify the idea that her hiring was just as cynical as her firing. Her ratings and viewership have been in constant decline ever since she debuted on NBC back in September last year. Moreover, these blackface comments are not the first time that Megyn Kelly chose to be racist. But several times during her career, at both NBC and FOX, the journalist has hinted towards racism. What’s probably even worse than all this is that Kelly will be using this firing to emerge as a martyr of the suppression of free speech in the upcoming stage of her career.
Is Megyn Kelly’s Career Over?
Well, majority of the world might think that Megyn Kelly’s career is definitely over now. But Gayle King- the Editor at Large of O, The Oprah Magazine at the publication’s office in New York believes otherwise. She considers the possibility of second chances, and thinks that Kelly might get one too.
While opening up on this further, she said that only NBC executives knew why Kelly was fired. So, speculating on the reason was useless. But she believed that anybody involved in the news business does not want to become a news story in this manner. Further, she said that she knew Megyn Kelly and was sure that the journalist is very smart at what she does. Gayle King was sure that Megyn Kelly will definitely get a second chance from somebody. And that right now everybody was just piling up on Kelly which can be a very difficult position to be in. Even when King agreed that Kelly’s blackface comments were hurtful to many, she refused to pile up on her.
The Cynical Journey Of Megyn Kelly’s Career
If we take a look down Megyn Kelly’s career, we can assert one thing for sure. And that is that her firing at NBC was directed with the same cynical market place considerations that led to her hiring in the very first place. During her career, Kelly has been associated with three media houses. ABC to begin with, then moving on to Fox, and then finally to NBC.
Early Career At ABC
Megyn Kelly began her career in 2003 when she was hired by the ABC affiliate WJLA-TV as a general assignment reporter. While working there, she was responsible for covering local and national events. And that included live coverage of the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Chief Justice John G. Roberts; the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist; and the 2004 presidential election.
Megyn Kelly Moved on to Fox News
Here, Kelly made contributions to legal segments for Special Report With Brit Hume. And also hosted her own legal segment by the name of Kelly’s Court on Weekend Live. Other than that, she had a weekly segment on The O’Reilly Factor. Sometimes, she would also take over for Greta Van Susteren on On the Record.
In 2010, Megyn Kelly got her two-hour afternoon show named America Live. And this replaced the previous The Live Desk on Fox News. When Kelly began her afternoon show, viewership for Fox News started increasing. It increased by 20%, averaging 1,293,000 viewers. And then Kelly was confirmed to host New Year’s Eve special with Bill Hemmer.
Megyn Kelly received major media attention for her coverage of the 2012 US Presidential elections. In 2013 July, she had to leave America Live for a maternity leave. On her return, she got her own new nightly program The Kelly Fire. And over the years, this show continually took over as the channel’s regular number one in ratings.
While at Fox News, Megyn Kelly surely voiced her frustration regarding Trump. And in fact, got into a heated debate over the same issue. In March 2016, Kelly acquired her one-hour prime time special on Fox Network. But this show was third in ratings, and another journalist claimed that this show was a public interview for other channels since Kelly was only months away from ending her contract at Fox.
Kelly Joins NBC
In late 2016, Kelly was already considering other news networks other than Fox. Her contract was just a few months away from ending. In January it was announced that she will join NBC for a triple role. In June 2017, her Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly premiered on NBC. And for the premiere episode, she did a one-on-one interview with the Russian President Putin. Her daytime talk show Megyn Kelly Today premiered the same year in September.
At NBC, reports claimed that Kelly was paid between $15 and $20 million a year. The very famous Megyn Kelly Today brought her downfall since on October 23rd she made controversial blackface comments. And three days later, NBC fired her off.
The Good And Controversial Things In Kelly’s Career
Over the years, Megyn Kelly has definitely been a name of controversy in the media world. She has herself made damaging comments that ruined her career. This blackface incidents was probably the final straw that pushed it over the edge.
All the Racism Megyn Kelly Brought
Back in Fox News, Megyn Kelly once insisted that Santa Claus and Jesus were white. These comments were fiery, combative and totally offensive. She went on further to insist that the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and Eric Garner had nothing to do with race. Even though many would agree it was because of their color that the US police targeted them. Two days later, Kelly made additional on-air statements characterizing her initial comments as ‘tongue-in-cheek’. And also, that the skin color of Jesus is far from settled.
Next on, during the earlier episodes of her NBC show, Kelly turned on the heat with her racist comments. In the debut episode itself. Kelly talked about Black Chicago saying that it was like living in a war zone. Then, what received the most backlash was her recent blackface comments. And how she claimed that putting on a blackface was okay when she was growing up. Probably the woman taught us all how racism will never be accepted. Stars, celebrities, fans and coworkers alike started sending out disappointment. Amidst this controversy, NBC was left with no option but to fire her off.
Did Megyn Kelly Do Any Good?
As a journalist and a reporter, Megyn Kelly had some weird energy. And yes, that contributed to her widespread fame in the media industry. Despite her blatant racism, and search for controversy, Megyn Kelly brought some good to the world. In June 2015, she covered stories of child abuse by interviewing Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting regarding their son Josh Duggar and his alleged molestation of five girls. She also interviewed two of their daughters later.
Megyn Kelly was disgusted by the US statistics of child abuse. As an anchor on Fox News, Kelly covered these issues and even received an award for it. Later, she continued to stay involved with these by donating time and making appearances at such fundraisers.
Overall, let’s just say that Megyn Kelly built her career on an embrace on cultural wars. Network after network hired her for the personality she had become. But with NBC, this great adventure failed. And the 9am hour lost an average of 400,000 viewers. They brought her on because she came with baggage and a taste for controversy. But one such controversy became the reason the channel had to fire her off.
Let’s wait and see if the career of Megyn Kelly will rise another time!