When Megyn Kelly was good!


Her interview with Bill Burton: Is Santa Claus white?

On occasion, he has been. At other times, plainly not.

We were watching in real time when Megyn Kelly made her now-famous remarks on this controversial topic. We thought her remarks were odd at the time, though we’ll have to admit we hadn’t noticed that she was addressing herself to the “kids” when she made them.

Last night, watching CNN, we saw Don Lemon insist, several times, that no one is “demonizing” Kelly. For the most part, we’ve been active fans of Lemon down through the years.

At this time, he may need to get out a bit more.

Whatever! In the spirit of the season, our thoughts have been drifting back to an interview we saw Kelly do on December 4.

Her guest was Bill Burton, former White House deputy press secretary under President Obama. She was asking him about Obama’s loss of credibility due to the flap about getting to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it.

At the time, we thought it was one of the best interviews we had seen in a very long time. We thought Kelly was extremely good; if anything, she could (and should) have pushed Burton a bit harder. We also thought Burton was very good, unlike the sleep-walking he tends to do when he appears on MSNBC with the ideological wind at his back.

Kelly kept interrupting Burton and refocusing him. In our view, she did so appropriately and skillfully. For his part, Burton seemed completely at ease throughout. As we watched this tape again today, we found ourselves thinking this:

If more interviews were conducted this way—on both sides, on all cable channels—we might find ourselves drifting back toward a more intelligent discourse.

We’re not saying that interview does or doesn’t typify Kelly’s work. But if you want to take a chance on thinking better of someone you’re expected to hate, we’ll recommend the seven minutes you can see by clicking here.

Kelly was good; Burton was too. We thought, and still think, it was one of the best interviews we’ve seen in some time.

Do these two know each other: Kelly and Burton worked extremely well together. Below, we highlight a bit of humor which occurred early on:
KELLY (12/4/13: Bill Burton is a former White House deputy press secretary who served as national press secretary for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. And he's now executive vice president and managing director of Global Strategy Group. Bill, good to see you.

BURTON: Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: This is fun.

BURTON: It is fun.

KELLY: Thanks for coming here live on the set.

BURTON: I appreciate you having me.

KELLY: All right. So let's talk about that, because there's been a lot of discussion about whether the president's newfound assurances about the law, and how people can trust it, it's working, and don't worry about that website, get on, and it's safe, can be trusted, given the trust deficit that the recent polling suggests.

Can he be believed? Should the people believe him?

BURTON: Well, first of all, let's start with health care. We're obviously in a period of transition. And I think you are going to see a lot of bumps in the road as we move forward here.

KELLY: A lot. Big bumps.

BURTON: Ultimately, the law is going to work. It's already, enrollment's already started to exponentially increase, which is a very good thing.

KELLY: It was very low. It only really had one direction to go, Bill.

BURTON: Well, keep in mind, a lot of the folks who we're targeting are 18 to 29. And I know that you were probably a straight A student in college and planned way far ahead before things were due—

KELLY: You keep that narrative rolling—

BURTON: I think for the most part [chuckles] a lot of folks are going to get ready right before the deadline. That's what happened in Massachusetts.

KELLY: Get back to what I said...
The children played together nicely. On both sides, we thought this was a very strong interview.


  1. Should we protest the lack of representations of Cinderella and Snow White as Asian or Black?

    1. yes, people have been doing that kind of protest for decades, and we have slowly seen results in the increase of multiculturalism in media. where have you been?

      I saw Kelly make those remarks in real time too, it was very strange. It was also obvious she was not joking.

  2. The shit-slinging shit-slinger slung some major shit.

    "The poll also found that 53 percent of those polled said Obama is not honest or trustworthy, marking the first time that the CNN/ORC polling found a clear majority questioning the president's integrity, CNN said."

    The bottle blonde attack bot changed that to people believe Obama lied to them" - which is actually a winger talking point, repeated endlessly.

    The shit-slinging shit-slinger only cites the time the Fox blonde was honest

    "given the trust deficit that the recent polling suggests."

    and not the couple of times she changed that to "the President lied".

    Of course this is just his open begging for a gig with Fox.

    Eat shit and die, blogger.

    1. Oh, look! It's a troll-speak generator! What will they think if next?

    2. if u r who i think u r, then u really dont need to talk like that. u r far smarter than the blogger and the other commenters and you have a knowledge of somerbys ways that is nothing short of amazing. somerby is an obvious charlatan. dont let him get under your skin. plus you make the rest of us in the somerby resistance look kinda bad by association.

      american commander, silly blogs

    3. Huge Bris,

      You don't need help in looking kinda bad.


      What's next? Obviously the troll-speak generator sock puppet.

    4. The insane troll continually uses vile language and is now issuing threats to life. We have a troll who is stalking and threatening life.

  3. As long as you Do It For The Children®.

  4. Nice post, Bob. Perefectly contextualizes the conversation.

  5. Noticing the language used by the troll, the language is that of a terrorist.

    1. Anonymous @9:31,

      I hope you made it to the fainting couch in time.

      By the way, the language of terrorists includes synonyms for killing. Stop being a drama queen.

    2. deadrat has stumbled across what he just predicted would be next.

    3. "Eat shit and die" is not, ....

      Oh, never mind.

  6. I was prepared to give Somerby a cool million if I won the lottery. I didn't win. But after this post, I'm not sure I would have followed through.

    Kelly is pretty nutty and obsessed with dominating whoever she is interacting with. Facts usually get bulldozed to accommodate her need.

    She starts with the odd comment:

    Kelly: This is fun.

    Immediately trying to assert her position by glibly framing the situation.

    Kelly: Can he be believed?

    She is referring to the website working. Why is she asking this stupid question? Go check out the website and see if it is working.

    Kelly: A lot. Big bumps.

    She doesn't know this and it is an irresponsibly partisan comment for a journalist.

    Kelly: It was very low.

    Yeah, it actually started at zero, Kelly! No poop, Sherlock.

    The whole interview is just Kelly making odd or inappropriate comments, mostly expressing barely masked glee at Obama's troubles.

    So the interview was terrible.

    Beyond the interview, I don't understand how the media got away with lowering Obama's poll numbers with their overwrought drumbeat about how he lied to Americans about their precious healthcare. The only plans that got dropped were junk plans that provided horrible coverage. Since you can get better plans for the same price or less through Obamacare, there is no controversy.

    Somerby's misguided praise for Kelly is bizarre......unless he is just trying to get a rise out of people.

  7. From the POV of a conservative man slightly older than Bob, I found the interview pleasant, even though it was fairly useless. Kelly asked general questions, which Burton ducked. Specifics were hardly asked about, let alone answered.

    Nevertheless, I found the interview pleasant because Kelly and Burton are appealing. They're intelligent, good-looking and young (from the POV of Bob and me.) They're friendly. They don't ever raise their voices. When Kelly interrupts or Burton ignores the question, they remain polite and friendly.

    As Bob says, it's a pleasure to watch this good natured exchange, even though one learns nothing from it.

  8. Hugh Briss - thanks for the approbation (I think).

    The blogger is hating at the level of Michele Malkin, Mark Levin, Steve Marlsberg (who used to refer to the president as "Hussein" - I don't know if he still does that) et al. I would not add Coulter to the list since she has become a caricature of herself (how do you top "liberals should be afraid they too can be killed" ?).

    I don't think "name" liberal bloggers/commentators/TV personalities would touch him any more - he has become way too toxic for that.

    I have also figured out the demographics of his new fanbase - Conservative White farts of a certain age who find Coulter et al. too shocking and like their librul-hatred served up in disguise.

  9. I am not quite sure what Bob finds so great about this exchange, other than nobody was too mean or obnoxious. The obvious question is begged, how do Kelley do with right wing guests when the wind is at THEIR backs? Will the huge (nonexistent) problems with Obama care hurt Obama's credibility? Sounds like a partisan bait question to me.
    Again, however, we have a racist indecent of white racism. Pretty damned clear, if absurd. Bob's response? It was "strange" and let's not really talk about it.
    Also let's note: MSNBC's gal is attack in the strongest possible terms. Fox's fox get's cartwheel's turned on ice cubes to paint her work in the most flattering possible light. Your Daily Howler at work.

  10. So Bob finally found a media figure he can admire. So what if she's vacuous, informs no one of anything, is obviously partisan on a preposterously partisan network and is stupid enough, or sufficiently oblivious, to insist Santa Claus is white, just like that swarthy Middle-Eastern Jew, Jesus!

    This is indeed a curious Howler spectacle. After flaying the rogues for years, and finding no respite but in Dr. Krugman, it turns out that affable nonsense is all that Bob requires.

    Then again, Keith O., formerly a daily bete noire here, preceding dear Rachel, apparently ceased being worth comment once he started working for Al Gore.

    The depth of corruption here staggers the mind. Is there perhaps a clinical explanation? No other seems possible.

  11. What happened to you?December 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    "Can he be believed? Should the people believe him?"

    This is your idea of a good interview? Really, Bob? REALLY?

  12. "Addressing herself to the kids"?! LOL That's what I call Howlarious. Sounds like she's trying to muscle in on O'Wannabe's War on Xmas shtick. This new Uniter must learn to build a proper brand one must develop a signature "issue" otherwise how will the rubes ever tell them apart?

    Enjoy the blog but that was one weak effort.