Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” TV critics Jim Warren and Mary McNamara respond to Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly’s “defensive” response to their criticisms about her interview with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump last week.
Partial transcript as follows:
STELTER: Why do you think she was so defensive the next night on her show? I mean, listen, it’s normal on Fox to make this about liberal media bias. It’s a tactic that works for the network. But why else do you think she was so defensive about it.
WARREN: I can’t recall the people she aspires to be like, Barbara Walters. Oprah Winfrey, being so sensitive, even allergic to criticism. You just can’t subsume the news cycle to your own professional career goals. You can’t be in the heat of a campaign in some ways, as you alluded to, sort of central to some of the issues of the campaign and then say you are going to do some soft focus interview. This is not like Edward R. Morrow doing celebrity interviews with like with Marilyn Monroe. The context is very different.
This is more akin to like the Pentagon correspondent bashing Donald Rumsfeld for the Iraq war conduct and then asking about his weekends in Toas New Mexico and horse back riding. Or as I mentioned, I think it’s very much akin to George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin’s relationship in the 70’s. Steinbrenner, the Yankees manager fired Martin five times and after the first time, lo and behold, they appeared on a Miller Lite commercial together as their amuse was transformed to a mutual commercial benefit. That’s what strikes me as comparable here.
STELTER If you agree, why do you think that is? A missed opportunity in the interview? There were a lot of soft questions and that was Kelly’s intent. She was going to make this about Trump the person, not the politician. But what do you think was missing and why?
MCNAMARA: She touted this interview as nothing is off the table and when the interview occurred, it felt like everything is off the table. She had this incredibly rare opportunity where she came out of those debates perceived as this very tough willing to ask really hard questions and I think people anticipated that same level of toughness. And instead we got very softball. When did you realize you were going to be president? Have you been wounded? And even when she addressed it —and people call it a feud, it was not a feud, because that assumes an equality. It was very one sided. She was doing her job as a moderator. Asked a very sensible question that’s very important about how a presidential candidate has referred to women in the past and he absolutely smeared her. He went out of his way to try to get people to boycott her. He re-Tweeted hateful Tweets about her, which is pretty much the same as Tweeting that. And so when he got into, ‘I never called you anything.’ And she did call him on ‘you did re-Tweets about me being a bimbo’ and he said, ‘that’s not the worst thing you’ve been called’ and so you’re like, that’s the level that a presidential candidate is — I’m not going to re -Tweet things in which you’re being called profane names? But she didn’t press him on that.