As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. And after her first week at NBC, no one knows that better than Megyn Kelly.
The former Fox News commentator began her new job hosting Megyn Kelly Today, an hourlong segment within the larger Today Show morning program. But she got off to a very rocky start. Here’s what happened:
A new direction
The conservative-leaning journalist has made many inflammatory comments in the past. Now that she’s no longer tied to a network for her political beliefs, she’s decided to divorce herself from that aspect.
In an in-depth interview with Elle, Kelly defended her past at Fox but refused to answer several questions regarding either Fox journalist Jemele Hill or the President of the United States and the current administration in general. Among other things, Kelly said that she felt the amount with which we discuss politics today is “unhealthy.”
The ‘gay thing’
On her very first show, things began to go wrong. While interviewing the cast of Will & Grace, which began its long-anticipated ninth season on Sept. 28, Kelly called a “superfan” of the show to the stage. After gifting the fan a visit to the set, she said, “I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing’s going to work out great.”
Though it wasn’t obvious at the time, Messing replied to a fan on Tuesday who asked, “Why did you guys do the Megyn Kelly show?” on Instagram that she was “dismayed” by Kelly’s remarks. She also said she wasn’t aware beforehand that Kelly would be the Today Show interviewer.
Jane Fonda’s looks
On Wednesday, Kelly interviewed Jane Fonda and Robert Redford regarding their new film Our Souls at Night. But the discussion soon turned to a subject Fonda isn’t exactly fond of: plastic surgery.
Kelly prompted Fonda to discuss the “work” she’s had done, to which the actress replied, “Do we really want to talk about that?” Though the host pressed her again, Fonda thanked her curtly and pivoted the talk back to the film.
The wrong tone about murder
Megyn Kelly's new show is hyped for DOUBLE MURDER!
(audio unmanipulated) pic.twitter.com/pFf4tA9RmW
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 29, 2017
The next day, Kelly had a very difficult subject matter to handle. She was promoting a new show Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, and she spoke with the convicted subject of the story, Lyle Menendez, over the phone. The conversation wasn’t exactly gripping or filled with new information, and at one point, she even asked Menendez, “Is there any joy in your life?”
This wasn’t the only misstep Kelly took in regards to dark subject matter. In the above compilation from The Daily Show, the light-hearted tone and prompted audience reactions seem out of line when it comes to discussing a murder case.
A slip of the hand (and the tongue)
Megyn Kelly's camera man stepped into the frame and then said "shit." pic.twitter.com/zh5vaFPQGl
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) September 28, 2017
Though she deserves a lot of the credit, not every disaster that happened on Megyn Kelly Today last week was the host’s fault. The above clip demonstrates an incident outside of Kelly’s control.
While speaking with athlete Carli Lloyd, a handheld cameraman steps into the frame of one of the steady cams and is heard swearing before he steps off. Though the event took less than five seconds, it was extremely noticeable and definitely not a good look for the new segment.
The ‘media response’
Megyn Kelly closes 1st week of NBC talk show by taking shot at "media response," praising "viewer response" (her ratings have also been bad) pic.twitter.com/gHpshtwbuu
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 29, 2017
By Friday, Sept. 29, Kelly had obviously heard about the backlash her show had been receiving and decided to address it on air. But she managed to make another flub.
While signing off, Kelly said with a little pout at the end, “I’ve just been so delighted at the media response, which is really — no.” She went on to thank the viewers, though, as Matt Gertz notes, that response hasn’t been so great either.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) October 3, 2017
Where will Kelly go from here? Her segment didn’t air on Monday, Oct. 1, due to the focus on the Las Vegas shooting, but her second week has still been marginally better than the first, with comedian and notoriously critical Russell Brand giving her a stamp of approval.
But things certainly aren’t fixed. In an awkward interaction with Tom Brokaw regarding the aforementioned tragedy, Kelly interrupted her fellow journalist, which was allegedly due to technical difficulties.
So no real consensus can be made at this point. We’ll just have to see how things work out for Kelly as she continues in her new position.
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