During Thursday night’s Republican primary debate, co-moderator Megyn Kelly referred to the absent Donald Trump as the “elephant in the room.” Behind-the-scenes, as revealed by Ted Cruz immediately after the debate, Kelly privately referred to Trump as “Voldemort,” the embodiment of evil in the Harry Potter novels.
Fox News told the Daily Mail that Kelly merely referred to Trump as “He Who Shall Not Be Named,” but refused to say if Kelly knew this was a direct reference to the Voldemort character.
However, while on-camera, Kelly did not deny calling Trump Voldemort. During a post-debate interview Cruz said to Kelly, “Well, you know, you were joking just before we went on air that it was sort of like Voldermort, he who must not be named.”
Kelly’s only response was a tight smile.
Cruz might have been motivated to drop Kelly in the grease due to his being repeatedly targeted by the moderators during the debate. After his rivals were again and again given a free opportunity to tee off on Cruz, the Texas senator finally objected:
“I would note that the last four questions have been Rand, please attack Ted; Marco, please attack Ted; Chris, please attack Ted; Jeb, please attack Ted,” Cruz accurately pointed out.
Chris Wallace responded, “It is a debate, sir.”
Cruz countered, “Well, no, a debate actually is a policy issue.”
Kelly’s non-denial reaction to Cruz combined with a statement from Fox News that reeks of evasive hair-splitting, will only further fuel Trump’s claim that Kelly, and by extension Fox News, are out to sandbag his campaign. And there was plenty of evidence of that prior to Voldemort-Gate.
While Trump used his boycott of the Fox News debate to raise $6 million for America’s veterans, the billionaire businessman’s closest rivals got pretty beat up over those two hours.
It would appear as though “Voldemort” walking away was the exact right move.
As for Megyn Kelly, this is another public relations disaster for the cable news primetime queen. Just two days after playing kissy-face with no less than Michael Moore, she’s caught in this gaffe-tastic moment.
I’m not sure “fair and balanced” means what Fox News thinks it means.