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.The children played together nicely. On both sides, we thought this was a very strong interview.
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...