Mika belts out a warning: The Washington Post's Eric Wemple has posted an interesting interview with Megyn Kelly. At one point, Kelly describes the thinking behind some of the coverage of Candidate Trump.
Why did people air those uninterrupted Trump rallies? Kelly explains it thusly:
KELLY (12/19/16): I think that in particular in the primary season, very few people were offering any critical Trump coverage, virtually anywhere...And in particular, some of these folks who put on his campaign rallies, Erik. His campaign rallies, not a policy speech, just rallies. Which we never would have done to Scott Walker or Hillary Clinton. Ever. And to me that seemed unfair to the other candidates and wrongheaded journalistically.If you aired an uninterrupted Trump rally, it goosed your ratings for the month. We'll only note that MSNBC did a lot of that too.
WEMPLE: That analysis applies to colleagues at your own network, correct?
KELLY: Well, listen, Fox was not without sin in that department either. I can say that on “The Kelly File,” we did not do that. And listen, it was not the easiest thing to do because Trump rates. You pop up that campaign rally, you could let it roll for an hour and your ratings would shoot through the roof. Easy, done. Huge number. [inaudible] your average for the month.
In a second part of the interview, Kelly says that certain anchors engaged in a type of "corruption" with respect to the questions they asked Trump. This part of the interview isn't especially clear:
WEMPLE: You mention in the book, and this is an interesting part . . . you say that there were anchors who did this game-out sort of thing with Trump [wherein they rehearse questions for an interview in advance of the interview]. But you don’t name them; who are they?We don't agree with that last statement; overall, the discussion here is pretty fuzzy. Still, it's interesting that Kelly was willing to describe this as "corruption."
KELLY: Obviously I’m not going to name them now because I chose not to do so in my book.
I think people are smart enough to figure out who the likely candidates are. And in any event, this is not a nightly news report on “The Kelly File.” It’s a book, I mean there’s a lot in there that—it’s not something I would report at night on Fox News, but it’s my take on a situation. And I think, again, this is something that people should know took place and you don’t need the names to know that there was corruption in the coverage of this race. That was deeply problematic.
WEMPLE: But everybody’s corrupt now [since Kelly won't name the malefactors].
KELLY: I think any reasonable person knows which reporters to eliminate.
Let's throw in a final passage from a recent interview with Mika Brzezinksi. Ben Terris profiled Mika and Joe for the Washington Post. At one point, Mika offered this:
TERRIS (12/13/16): [Brzezinksi] maintains that just because they build sources and conduct interviews with newsmakers doesn’t mean they should be held to the rigid standards of journalism. “If you're going to call us journalists,” said Brzezinski, who came up through the ranks as a CBS reporter before joining the pundit class, “you can take every tenet of journalism and show that we’re breaking it.”It's hard to know just what that means, but it certainly does feel right. If we might borrow from Norman Chad:
Pay the woman, Shirley!