Megyn Kelly: how Trump’s foe built peace- and aimed for a bigger award
The Fox News presenter ran for the jugular at the first Republican TV debate in August, so why did she act like a fawning publicist with Trump this week?
Will the real Megyn Kelly please stand up? Is she the fearless moderator who built America gasp and Donald Trump splutter when she fired the opening is the issue of the first Republican presidential Tv debate last August, reminding the billionaire that he had described various females as fat pigs, puppies, slob and disgusting animals?
Or is she the Megyn Kelly who turned up for run the coming week, marking her truce with Trump after nine months of sustained vitriol on his part, with a soft-soap interview on Fox that was as sharp and memorable as blancmange?
This weeks interview was a rare opportunity to hold the presumptive Republican nominee to account over his extremist platform on Hispanic immigrants, Muslims and women. Instead, she chose to ask him to describe the context in which he tweets: Im picturing, like, a crushed velvet smoking coat, chaise lounge, slippers, she said.
Maybe not as imagination as that, Trump responded, squirming in his seat along with 4.8 million television viewers.
It was a lovefest, said Mark Feldstein, who reported for ABC News and CNN for 20 years before becoming a prof of journalism at the University of Maryland. She achieved something so difficult with her gentle questioning: she made Donald Trump seem boring.
The strange metamorphosis of Megyn Kelly, 45, from her jaw-dropping performance at the first Tv debate to the fawning publicist we insured on our small screens the coming week is exposing. It tells us something about Kelly herself and the scope of her aspiration; it tells us quite a lot more about the parlous country of American television; and it also offers clues to how the implausible candidacy of Trump has come to be.
It would be hard to exaggerate how exceptional it was when Kelly ran straight for the Trump jugular last August. American political leaders and viewers alike have been brought up to expect bland questioning at presidential Tv debates, and nominees have been allowed to vet their interrogators in such a way that, as Feldstein put it, prefers milquetoast moderators who go easy on them.
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