Editorial: Megyn Kelly reveals racist attitudes


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

NBC journalist Megyn Kelly interviewed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the Moscow Kremlin on March 1.

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

Megyn Kelly may never appear on network TV again, considering her decision to bring racism and politics into breakfast entertainment. The host of NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” show and former Fox News anchor received mountains of criticism for suggesting during her show Tuesday that there was nothing wrong with a white person doing blackface, so long as it’s for a Halloween costume.

“But what is racist?” Kelly asked on her show Tuesday. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

Kelly apologized on her show the following morning — but a mere apology is completely insufficient. NBC is rightly in talks to remove her from their network entirely after her statements sparked furious backlash across social media and even among her NBC colleagues.

“Dear @megynkelly — you and I are approximately the same age. Blackface was NOT okay when we were kids,” Patton Oswalt, comedian and star of Ratatouille, tweeted Tuesday.

“The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country,” Al Roker, a “Today” show host, said on the show Wednesday. “This is a history going back to the 1830s … to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.”

But this isn’t the first time Kelly has demeaned and denigrated other races. When Kelly served as an anchor on Fox News before switching to NBC, she repeatedly made racially insensitive comments — even during a Christmas special.

“For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” she said on Fox News in 2013. “Jesus was a white man too.”

Obviously, Kelly bears total responsibility for her thoughtless words — but her sketchy verbal history, which toed and often crossed the line of basic decency, should make any rational person wonder why NBC hired her in the first place.

“You don’t get the opportunity to do that [make new shows] with a talent like Megyn,” Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC news, said in an interview with The New York Times in 2017.

Even though Kelly seemed significantly more moderate and reasonable than many of her Fox News colleagues, she still identified with the network’s core conservative ideas — which were inflammatory at best, and at worst, blatantly racist.

Watching “Megyn Kelly Today,” it’s clear she made an exhaustive attempt to erase her politically divisive image — on the show she emphasized time and time again that she’s done with politics. But no amount of damage control could erase the bare facts — Kelly spent half a decade prior ginning up rage on race and politics during her tenure at Fox News.

Politically inflammatory figures should have no place on morning TV — the type of light-hearted infotainment that’s a far cry from the hostile world of politics. And a racist individual — as Kelly has proven herself to be throughout her entire broadcast history — should have no place in public life at all.

Kelly did apologize for her remarks on the “Today” show, but until she apologizes for everything she said on Fox News, she’ll just seem like a opportunist media figure desperate to save her job.