The Iowa caucuses are upon us. Every sentient human being who has lived through The Trump Revolution thinks Donald J. Trump, the enfant terrible of establishment politics, will likely win the Republican caucuses, come February 1.
As of January 27, an Iowa Monmouth University Poll places Trump at 30 percent to Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s 23 percent, up from 19 percent last month. At 41 percent nationwide, Trump’s lead is double that of Cruz, his closest rival.
Other than news emanating from the Me-Me Megyn Kelly megaphone—most media predict a “huge” turnout among Republican caucus-goers, enthusiasm that’s hard to associate with Ted’s pompous, preachy sermons. (“Inauthenticity” is how Rand Paul put it.)
Still, not all media have learned to refrain from projecting their innermost desires onto and into their reporting. So when The Donald upset the political applecart again, January 26, some still posed numbingly stupid questions that ignore the candidate’s trajectory:
“Will Trump’s big debate gamble be brilliant or disastrous for his campaign?”
“Will Trump’s Boycott Play as Tantrum or Principled?”
The special-needs media’s professional retardation is a source of lots of laughter on Twitter:
CNN’s Ryan Lizza, “Trump is basically winning a multi-front war against every power center of the Republican Party.”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “Anyone thinking Trump loses this game of chicken hasn’t been paying attention for the past 6 months.”
“Trump just shot Fox News in the middle of 5th Avenue,” tweeted another, alluding to Trump bragging he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and [he] wouldn’t lose any voters.”
And: “So it turns out Fox WILL be hosting an undercard debate.”
Here’s what just happened: Donald Trump had not expected to be subjected again to Megyn Kelly’s ministrations, after the anchor’s missteps during the first prime-time Republican debate, in Cleveland, Ohio, last year.
The consensus among very many outside the Beltway bubble was that the smug Megyn Kelly had been rude and overbearing during that debate, clobbering Trump with sub-intelligent, war-on-women questions.
Donald Trump had implicitly, at least, expected the network to rethink its decision to unleash showy Ms. Kelly, once again, on the occasion of a Republican debate, scheduled for January 28.
It’s hard to believe Kelly’s higher-ups at FNC are so stupid as to put her in the moderator’s chair again. Given the woman’s profile, I suspect Fox’s Golden Goose had henpecked the boss, Roger Ailes, to have at it again.
Kelly’s central focus is to be center-stage. This her unbecoming conduct over months has made clear.
“The Kelly File,” Megyn’s eponymous show, has persistently ignored news about the news-maker of the day, Donald Trump. Yet just this once, Kelly elected to extensively cover Trump’s decision not to attend a debate moderated by herself, to whom she referred adoringly as “yours truly.”
“Yours truly” was the theme of the January 26 segment.
And the guests stampeded to her studio for a chance to genuflect to Kelly and diss the front-runner for the umpteenth time. This time it would be different. This time, Trump was going down.
Kelly’s “Breaking News” coverage entailed parading other candidates past and present to berate Trump’s actions—to call him a coward, running scared of a woman; to question the candidate’s commitment to Iowans, label him as someone who doesn’t show-up, when Trump has been in Iowa all along, showing Iowans The Love.
Especially asinine was the snarky Millennial-like press release Fox News chose to put out in response—a release that cemented Donald Trump’s decision to do something more useful and foil the Megyn Kelly extravaganza.
The notice was too frivolous for actor Sean Penn to have penned (we recently discovered Penn could write). Perhaps the ghost writer was goofy, late-night show host Jimmy Fallon?
We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings …
Actually, the network’s juvenile jab at Trump sounds remarkably like … Megyn Kelly. In an attempt to shape news, not report it, Kelly has reported minimally on the newsmaker-in-chief. But the anchor has been consistently snarky in her sparing “coverage” of Trump, over the months.
Nasty nightly are Kelly’s sidekicks, Chris Stirewalt and Howard Kurtz (“Howie,” as Kelly calls him). Together, the three berate Trump and his lumpenproletariat, including any media that cover him. Kelly has bitched about “rerun” interviews; and congratulated herself on air for not being “all Trump, all the time,” when she, in fact, covers Trump hardly at all.
“Many more men like Donald Trump than women. Hispanics and African-American are not crazy about Donald Trump.” His base consists of whites without college degrees.
“He’s very smart at manipulating some media.” (Here Kelly pulls a face to distinguish herself from the pack).
“Fact checking Donald Trump is like picking up after a dog with diarrhea.” (A favorite Kelly File guest gets guffaws.)
“Is the front-runner on the GOP side an honest person?” (That’s Kelly floating suggestive ad hominem.)
So, is Kelly a consummate professional or is she a consummate self-promoter, preoccupied with the production that is Megyn Kelly? Differently put, how professional is Kelly?
It matters not who was right or wrong during the first round—did Trump object illegitimately to the so-called piercing arrows in Kelly’s intellectual quiver? Or was the candidate legitimately offended by the anchor’s foolish identity politics on display?
A serious journalist with a grasp of the enormity of the Trump Revolution; a journalist who didn’t wish to give up on ever again interviewing the candidate, or forever forfeit access to a possible future president, a journalist with gravitas would have labored less at promoting herself and more on mending a professional relationship.
Not Kelly. And Kelly’s colleagues and bosses are enablers; they’ve taught her everything about ratings, make-up and hair. (Yes, your new hair is magnificent, Megyn Kelly. Glad you got rid of the old, matted shag that likely needed extensive reviving before each show. You’re a pretty girl. But boy, are you vain and a tad vacuous. The way you always bring the Kelly File show back to … yourself. Does that take skill or just all-consuming narcissism?) Alas, not much have her mentors taught Kelly about off-camera, unglamorous, shoe-leather journalism.
Namely, you are not the story. Your job is to get the story.
So what did our lady so fair do over the holidays to fix her professional faux pa? Kelly took her sassy keister to Vanity Fair, where her pictures were splayed over the glossy magazine’s pages. Trump, she told the You-Go-Girl journalists at VF, had attempted to woo Ms. everybody-wants-me Kelly. Now what do you think about that!
Suppose Trump had tried to curry favor with Kelly. Is that something a professional who still wishes to interact with her subject shares publicly? No! Kelly’s actions all along have been those of a woman who sees herself as a personality first. As an ego in an anchor’s chair, or a woman scorned, Kelly is game to go up against Trump.
As I noted, the Kelly File has kept up a barrage of hostilities against Trump, since the August fall-out. The man has a case against Kelly.
For a time following the much-needed dressing-down and time-out forced by her snarling attack on Trump, in August of 2015, Kelly was slightly more serious, more demure. She has since rebounded with a vengeance.
After Vanity Fair, off our fair lady rushed to make hay on the Charlie Rose show, where she was utterly charming, as she indubitably is. Until you stop to analyze her actions.
The onslaught of Kelly charisma has become tiresome and off-putting.
With Charlie Rose, Kelly, as always, brought it back to herself: She told the interviewer how Fox News boss Roger Aisles had liked “the package: the smarts, the looks, the voice.” Her words about herself.
During the Rose interview, we learned from motormouth that because she’s so cute (presumably), she was given a stripper name by her sources when investigating a story about a stripper who cried rape.
When she first burst on to the Fox News scene, years ago, Kelly announced in an interview that she was beautiful inside and out. She left out boastful.
As to Fox and friends’ brave stand for their freedom of press and against Trump’s freedom of association:
Contrary to Geraldo Rivera’s confused assertion, Donald Trump had not dictated to Fox News, but dissociated from the network this once.
“Lol [laughing out loud], Donald J. Trump isn’t scared, he’s efficient with his time,” tweeted Alec. Trump will be holding a competing (fundraising) event in Iowa. If the competition to Fox News takes it upon itself to send in the cameramen—Trump’s event will probably trump the specter of “two Cubans arguing,” in ratings (as another tweet taunted).
Fox New has since compounded its problems by using “terrorizing” to describe the Trump campaign’s “vicious attacks” on Kelly. That’s underhanded.
The Left is going to love Megyn Kelly even more for supposedly intimidating Donald Trump. For Kelly to love herself more is impossible.
Ilana Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the U.S. She is a contributor to Junge Freiheit, Germany’s finest weekly, and is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. Her latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website iswww.IlanaMercer.com. Follow her on Twitter. “Friend” her on Facebook.