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View Full Version : The Arrogance of Power: Megyn Kelly’s ‘Good Journalism’



txradioguy
08-13-2015, 05:56 AM
On Monday night, Fox News host Megyn Kelly doubled down in defense of her questions during Thursday night’s inaugural Republican presidential debate. She explained:


You may have heard that there was a dustup between yours truly and presidential contender Donald Trump. Mr. Trump was upset with a question I asked him at the debate last week about his electability and specifically comments he had made in the past about women. A few words on that: Apparently Mr. Trump thought the question I asked was unfair and felt I was attacking him. I felt he was asked a tough but fair question. We agreed to disagree. Mr. Trump gave interviews over the weekend that attacked me personally. I have decided not to respond. Mr. Trump is an interesting man who has captured the attention of the electorate. That’s why he’s leading in the polls. Trump, who is now the frontrunner, will not apologize. And I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism. So, I’ll continue doing my job—without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far. This is a tough business, and it’s time now to move forward.

But was Kelly’s performance “good journalism”?

First, what is “good journalism”? Has it come to mean asking gotcha questions designed to catch politicians off guard, pushing them off their talking points? After all, that is why Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, and Dan Rather were considered “good journalists,” even though all were partisan egotists. By that definition, Kelly’s performance was admirable.

If by “good journalism,” however, we mean questions designed to elicit informational responses that will be helpful to viewers, Kelly failed in her duties on Thursday night.

Kelly asked fifteen questions during the debate. A huge majority of those questions targeted Republicans in ways that would have pleased Clintonista George Stephanopoulos. There is a reason Jorge Ramos of Fusion praised Fox News, as did anchors on MSNBC and CNN. As did the New York Times opinion page. And, of course, as did Hillary Clinton.

Here were Kelly’s questions, one by one. As the debate went on, her quotient of informational questions to headline-grabbing ones went up. But early on, during the highly anticipated beginning of the first debate of this presidential news cycle, it was a ratings-garnering fireworks show:

Ben Carson’s Qualifications. Kelly began the debate by asking Dr. Ben Carson about his screw-ups on NATO, the governmental parties in Israel, and Alan Greenspan’s position as chairman of the Fed. She concluded, “Aren’t these basic mistakes, and don’t they raise legitimate questions about whether you are ready to be president?” The question itself isn’t unfair, but the way in which it was posed certainly was: a list of specifics to which Carson had no opportunity to respond, followed by a broader question about leading designed to cast Carson negatively.

Out of the gate, Fox News anchor Kelly condescended to a man who became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital when he was just 33 years old.

Bold.

Trump on Women. Kelly’s most controversial question of the night was directed toward Donald Trump. She essentially labeled him a general in the “war on women” because he says nasty things on his Twitter account and on reality television:


Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?

Trump rightly objected to this question. Of all the problems women face on planet Earth in the year 2015, is Donald Trump’s Twitter account the most noteworthy for viewers of a presidential primary debate? And if not his Twitter feed, is it his Apprentice board room – from eight seasons ago? As it turns out, his supposed victim said she didn’t remember the comment and eventually defended The Donald.

Kelly, of course, didn’t provide the staggering audience of 24 million the context from the episode of The View that prompted Trump to disparage comic and host Rosie O’Donnell. O’Donnell, as it happens, provoked Trump’s ire by mocking women who participated in his pageants as well as women in his family, past and present.

#War.

Hillary Clinton, predictably, has seized the battle between Trump and Kelly to slam Republicans as sexist monsters. She said that Trump’s comments about Kelly, in which he said that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her…wherever” during the debate, were “outrageous.” She added:


I just want to remind us that what they say about women — not one woman who is perfectly capable and incredibly impressive, able to take care of herself, but all these women that I have fought for, worked for, stood up for, advocated for and want to be a president for, who may not have the opportunity to defend themselves, who may lose the right to exercise a personal choice if certain of the Republicans were to be successful, I don’t want that forgotten.

She then launched into an attack on Senator Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) pro-life position, stating, “what Marco Rubio said has as much of an impact in terms of where the Republican party is today as anybody else on that stage.”

Kelly provided this opening with a foolish question. The true war on women is happening in the Middle East, with the help of cowardly Democrats; it’s happening in Europe, where genital mutilation is reaching nearly every corner of the continent; and it’s happening in the United States, where Democrats back sex-selective abortion and a record 56 million women are out of the work force during this Democratic administration. Hillary Clinton herself has been labeled the “war on women” by alleged sexual harassment victim Kathleen Willey. But Trump said Rosie O’Donnell’s fat, and that makes it to the top of a 2016 Republican presidential debate.

All in the name of “good journalism.”

Blasting Walker on Abortion. Kelly didn’t just ask Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker about his abortion position. She phrased it in language that would have made Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood proud: “Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion, and with 83 percent of the American public in favor of a life exception, are you too out of the mainstream on this issue to win the general election?” She asked no questions about the Democrats’ abortion-after-birth position.

Smacking Kasich on Medicaid. Kelly asked Governor John Kasich of Ohio about his expansion of Medicaid in the state, and his justification by way of the Bible. The question was hard-hitting and logical:


You defended your Medicaid expansion by invoking God, saying to skeptics that when they arrive in heaven, Saint Peter isn’t going to ask them how small they’ve kept government, but what they have done for the poor. Why should Republican voters, who generally want to shrink government, believe that you won’t use your Saint Peter rationale to expand every government program?

Even this question, however, smacked of anti-religious eye-rolling. Kasich may be misusing the Bible, but questioning his sincerity seems misplaced.

Facing Off Christie and Paul. Kelly looked to start a chair-throwing Jerry Springer fight between Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Senator Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
over surveillance. She didn’t just ask them about their policies – she explicitly attempted to start a fracas between the two, and succeeded by asking Christie this:


Do you really believe you can assign blame to Senator Paul just for opposing the bulk collection of people’s phone records in the event of a terrorist attack?

The battle that ensued was quite entertaining. It also didn’t add any additional informational content of the debate.

Quizzing Cruz on ISIS. Kelly asked Cruz about his position on ISIS in straightforward manner; Cruz answered in straightforward manner. It was one of the best moments of the debate for any candidate.

Slamming Bush Over Iraq. Before we even analyze the question, the main takeaway from this exchange is that Megyn Kelly branded Operation Iraqi Freedom Jeb’s “brother’s war.” She didn’t just ask Bush about his position on the war in Iraq, she specifically posed Bush’s position as in opposition to troops that died. Kelly originally caught Bush in the Iraq war question back in May, when she asked, “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?… You don’t think it was a mistake?” After Bush received blowback about his answer and said he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, Kelly now flipped the tables: “To the families of those who died in that war who say they liberated and deposed a ruthless dictator, how do you look at them now and say that your brother’s war was a mistake?” It’s fair to say that Iraq was not George W. Bush’s war any more than it was Hillary Clinton’s war. Iraq was a war voted for by the United States Congress to enforce United Nations resolutions, with a coalition of dozens of countries.

Asking Walker About The Middle East. Another good question from Kelly here, in which she asked Walker about cultivating partners in the Arab world. The question gave Walker an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge about the Middle East situation.

Asking Carson About Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Another good question from Kelly, straightforwardly posed and answered.

Slamming Bush on Planned Parenthood. Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) is deeply pro-life and always has been. That didn’t stop Kelly from digging for paydirt on Bush and abortion:


Governor Bush, let’s start with you. Many Republicans have been outraged recently by a series of videos on Planned Parenthood. You now say that you support ending federal funding for this organization. However, until late 2014, right before you started your campaign, you sat on the board of a Bloomberg charity that quite publicly gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood while you were a director. How could you not know about these well publicized donations, and if you did know, how could you help a charity so openly committed to abortion rights?

A gotcha question if ever there was one.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/08/11/the-arrogance-of-power-megyn-kellys-good-journalism/

Inbetweener
08-13-2015, 10:40 AM
OP, you wrote this?

SaintLouieWoman
08-13-2015, 11:20 AM
OP, you wrote this?

He gave the source at the end of the article quoted----http://www.breitbart.com/big-journal...od-journalism/ (http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/08/11/the-arrogance-of-power-megyn-kellys-good-journalism/)

It might have been easier to follow if given first, but it definitely is stated.

BTW, I agree with the article. Kelly was all about Kelly. She could not have been more unfair, but at least she was nasty to everyone. She seems to be getting increasingly full of herself. Perhaps a series of featured articles on her in various media outlets has contributed to this. Also could be her exceedingly strong ambition. I don't think the "gotcha" questions were necessary. Hard hitting is fair; gotcha isn't.

Dori
08-13-2015, 11:23 AM
I have no problem with Kelly's question. The left did the war on women routine when they attacked Mitt Romney when he said he had binders full of women. They blew that way out of proportion.

Trump has said some ugly things about women (joking or not) which is far worse than anything Romney said. Trump has also been married three or four times, which doesn't particularly bode well in conservative camps.

I think it's good to get it out now and be old news, than to be used later, and you know the liberal women's groups are going to use it to their advantage. Wait until they start on his misogyny because of his involvement with the beauty pageants. They probably even have a mistress or two waiting in the wings to attack Trump. That's what killed Herman Cain's run for office.

NJCardFan
08-13-2015, 12:16 PM
I have no problem with Kelly's question. The left did the war on women routine when they attacked Mitt Romney when he said he had binders full of women. They blew that way out of proportion.

Trump has said some ugly things about women (joking or not) which is far worse than anything Romney said. Trump has also been married three or four times, which doesn't particularly bode well in conservative camps.

I think it's good to get it out now and be old news, than to be used later, and you know the liberal women's groups are going to use it to their advantage. Wait until they start on his misogyny because of his involvement with the beauty pageants. They probably even have a mistress or two waiting in the wings to attack Trump. That's what killed Herman Cain's run for office.

The thing is that pretty much everything we want to know about Trump is out there. Nothing is hiding in the shadows. The thing for he or the GOP to do if Trump is the presumptive nominee and if he's up against Hillary Clinton, the smart thing to do(meaning the GOP won't do it) would be to throw it back in Hillary's face regarding her husband. She's married to a man who has been charged with raping numerous women(by charged I mean by the victims) and settled out of court with Paula Jones. For a party that likes to accuse the GOP with a war on women, their biggest hero makes Bill Cosby look like a piker.

txradioguy
08-13-2015, 04:33 PM
I have no problem with Kelly's question. The left did the war on women routine when they attacked Mitt Romney when he said he had binders full of women. They blew that way out of proportion.

Trump has said some ugly things about women (joking or not) which is far worse than anything Romney said. Trump has also been married three or four times, which doesn't particularly bode well in conservative camps.

I think it's good to get it out now and be old news, than to be used later, and you know the liberal women's groups are going to use it to their advantage. Wait until they start on his misogyny because of his involvement with the beauty pageants. They probably even have a mistress or two waiting in the wings to attack Trump. That's what killed Herman Cain's run for office.

Nothing about illegal immigration the over reac by the DOJ or the EPA. Nothing on the out of control spending or the President's blatant dictatorial law making in violation of the Constitution.

Not a word that I remember on our gutted National Defense or our aimless foreign policy.

Nothing on illegal immigration.

FNC...and it kills me to say this...was no better than ABC NBC or CBS with their bullshit superficial crap questions they asked a week ago.

Nothing on the things that are REALLY huting this country.



The one chance Fox had to really highlight the cause of Conservatism and the philosophies that built this country...and they blew in it a most spectacular way.

RobJohnson
08-14-2015, 07:51 AM
I still don't understand what good journalism has to do with debate moderation.

Just her using those words, proves she was not an impartial moderator.

NJCardFan
08-14-2015, 09:20 AM
I thought her question was a fair one to a degree. Trump does have a history of being somewhat abrasive toward women but then again, he's abrasive toward everyone. Trump's answer should have stated that. He should have answered like this: "That may be true, Megyn, but if you pay any attention you would see that I treat both men and women equally." And it would have been a true statement. He may have called some women like Rosie O'Donnell a fat pig but he is equally as vulgar, if not worse, to men.

Inbetweener
08-14-2015, 12:16 PM
I'm still shocked he singled out Rosie O'Donnell. Now she's historic since she got name-dropped in a presidential debate, just like Jimmy Hoffa in 1960.

Dori
08-14-2015, 02:12 PM
I still don't understand what good journalism has to do with debate moderation.

Just her using those words, proves she was not an impartial moderator.


So your saying that the moderators are asking their own questions? I'm not sure about that. I had the understanding that these questions come from in part the public, and from the organizers and producers that put these events together.

The next one will be a CNN debate, moderated by Jake Trapper, a gay lefty and Hugh Hewitt, a moderate Republican, who is not a fan of Trump's.

The contestants are for sure going to get asked about their views on the gay issue.

SaintLouieWoman
08-14-2015, 08:01 PM
I haven't watched Megyn lately----and cut down watching Fox since the debate. I still think they're better than any other outlet out there, but they did blow their chance to show how it should be done. Like some Republicans, they tried to be Dem light. That never gets them anywhere.

Did anyone see Megyn the other night? I heard that she announced that she suddenly was taking a 10 day vacation with her husband and kids. Sounds like she was taken to the wood shed by someone at Fox.

ABC
08-14-2015, 09:46 PM
Hmmm ... :dunno-smiley-emotic

I personally, did not find Megyn to be arrogant the night of the debate, even if some think that she came across that way.

Have always liked her and her hard hitting questions she puts to all her guests, be they Republican or Democrat. In my opinion she always did her best to treat each with respect, even when disagreeing with them.


Dori ...

I agree with you when you wrote:


So your saying that the moderators are asking their own questions? I'm not sure about that. I had the understanding that these questions come from in part the public, and from the organizers and producers that put these events together.

And SLW ... This I did not know. Have been busy lately ...


I heard that she announced that she suddenly was taking a 10 day vacation with her husband and kids. Sounds like she was taken to the wood shed by someone at Fox.

Very interesting!

Rockntractor
08-15-2015, 12:24 AM
It didn't matter to me who she was attacking, whether it was Donald Trump or her recent mocking laughter of Ted Cruz the night of his marathon on the senate floor. If she wants to spew liberal talking points and political correctness or try to out Rachel Ms Maddow I want nothing to do with her.

Inbetweener
08-15-2015, 02:28 AM
I haven't watched Megyn lately----and cut down watching Fox since the debate. I still think they're better than any other outlet out there, but they did blow their chance to show how it should be done. Like some Republicans, they tried to be Dem light. That never gets them anywhere.

Did anyone see Megyn the other night? I heard that she announced that she suddenly was taking a 10 day vacation with her husband and kids. Sounds like she was taken to the wood shed by someone at Fox.

You heard correctly. They've had this other woman on in her place for the last two days. I was surprised since she had just come back and now was going away again.