On Tuesday, Megyn Kelly appeared on Bill O'Reilly's program, and shocked the host with a barrage of unexpected statistics to what he clearly thought was a standard question.
Look out your window and see if hell has frozen over.
It all began very normally for Mr. O'Reilly, setting the background for his segment with a seemingly-objective but clearly pointed disapproval of the concept of "White privilege." Because as we know, there is no such thing as white people having an advantage over blacks. At least in FoxWorld. There, black people have all the advantages like racial quotas, and food stamps, and having their own president.
He brought on Megyn Kelly, the Fox host known for making sure viewers understood that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ were both white, and made sure to point out that She is A Lawyer, and therefore a voice of authority, sure that she would come out swinging and back him up.
And she did come out swinging. But backing him up? Not so much. In fairness to Ms. Kelly, though I generally don't agree with her, she does -- far more than any other host of "Fox News," other than Sheppard Smith -- occasionally challenge others on her channel when they get facts way too far wrong.
And she not only challenged "others," but arguably the heart of "Fox News," Bill O'Reilly, to his clear surprise. And not just challenge, but armed with facts she researched, knowing what the topic of appearance would be. And when Mr. O'Reilly threw out an bizarre dismissal -- that he doesn't agree with the statistics (swell, fine, give me some statistics and facts of your own to explain why your random opinion trumps facts) -- she didn't humbly back off from the man who shouts at people as "PINHEAD!!", but talked over him and kept arguing her facts.
I don't think this is what "Fox News" likes about "stand your ground."
And even after Mr. O'Reilly made what he was no doubt sure was a definitive point to reach an accommodating agreement and put a button on things (one of those kind of, "Well, we can at least agree that..." kind of wrap-ups, even then Ms. Kelly didn't cut him any slack. Only at the very end does she through he a ridiculous bone, so that he can go out on a "win."
I would love to see the off-air footage after this appearance. Perhaps Ms. Kelly's last for a while on The O'Reilly Factor, until his blood pressure returns.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor