By Robert Jonathan
Megyn Kelly Today is about to become yesterday’s news.
NBC News has cancelled the 9 a.m. Eastern time hour of the Today show franchise known as Megyn Kelly Today. Fortunately, staffers for that Today time slot will apparently continue to have jobs moving forward under a new host or hosts.
As the entire universe knows by now, Kelly got into hot water this week with the Halloween-blackface comments. Given the flat ratings for her NBC platform, the network may have seized the moment to cut ties with her.
The outcome may have been a combination of bad judgment and bad ratings, with NBC opportunistically getting rid of the opportunist.
Kelly’s new attorney — who maintains at this time that she is still an NBC employee — is currently negotiating how much cash she’ll take with her from her three-year, $69 million contract. Kelly no longer has an agent, having parted ways with the high-profile CAA group.
NBC News spokesperson: “Megyn Kelly Today is not returning." https://t.co/qPNGScL7RH
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 26, 2018
Nonetheless, multimillionaire Megyn Kelly has amassed generational wealth as media pundit.
Regardless of the outcome of the settlement, no one will ever have to hold a bake sale for the former Fox News Channel anchor who helped bring down the late Roger Ailes, the ex-FNC CEO, over sexual harassment allegations.
Jumping on the #MeToo bandwagon as an opportunistic way to bring in viewers to Megyn Kelly Today which premiered in September 2017, Kelly was also vocal in her criticism of how NBC handled the Matt Lauer sexual harassment accusations and has implied that she has some dirt on Lauer, which can’t have pleased her network overlords.
The Latest: NBC News says the 'Megyn Kelly Today' show is being canceled, following Kelly's on-air comments about blackface. https://t.co/c0ShHyqlMW
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 26, 2018
Mediaite columnist John Ziegler asserted that Kelly’s #MeToo card was revoked when she spoke out in favor of giving then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh due process during his U.S. Senate confirmation ordeal. She no longer had any “conservative street cred” either after dissing the Fox News audience, he added.
Against that backdrop, when Megyn Kelly famously accused then-candidate Donald Trump of misogyny in the famous August 2015 GOP presidential debate, many felt that the interrogation was more about careerism and auditioning for a job with the mainstream media, a.k.a. liberal street cred, than a legitimate journalistic inquiry.
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” the future president famously quipped in response, although that exchange sparked a feud that ran through the campaign season.
As this blog noted previously, and as alluded to above, Megyn Kelly lacked a constituency.
For example, as a commenter on the Johnny Dollar’s Place website put it, “Her confrontation of Trump in the debate got her the job, but she was still tainted by her Fox News affiliation to viewers of NBC.”
You may recall that during the election season, the former corporate lawyer turned The Kelly File into a sanctimonious anti-Trump and Never Trump forum, alienating many FNC viewers in the process.
Flash forward to Megyn Kelly Today today: She lacked, no pun intended, support within NBC itself; it was obviously a signal that her remarks were publicly condemned by her NBC colleagues, including network chairman Andrew Lack, along with the quick-to-pounce, virtue-signaling social justice cohort on Twitter.
The New York Post summarized the highlights or lowlights of Megyn Kelly’s tumultuous tenure at NBC.
Media industry experts weigh in
In a perceptive piece, Breitbart writer John Nolte implies that Kelly was done in by her ambition and reminds us that she timed her book tour for Settle for More as an anticipated victory lap after the 2016 election.
“She wanted it all. She wanted to be accepted and loved by the establishment media. So, through Machiavellian means, starting with the public betrayal of her Fox fans, she let the establishment media know she was ready to become one of them.
“Her plan was to single-handedly take down Donald Trump. This was her way of sending a message, her way of letting potential suitors know she was ready to sell out, to join the Borg collective, and to enjoy all the rewards that come to sellouts (see: SE Cupp, Joe Scarborough, Matthew Dowd, Nicolle Wallace, etc…).
‘As she betrayed her Fox fans with her shrill and narcissistic attacks on Trump, Kelly readied the second part of her plan, a memoir titled Settle for More. The promotional tour was perfectly timed — it would begin just days after Trump lost the presidential election…
“Trump won the presidency, and instead of looking like a champion, Kelly looked exposed — ridiculous, caught off guard, and foolish.”
Although it would seem that Megyn Kelly was a willing participant, Nolte claims that the peacock network lured her into a trap, first by putting her on a failed Sunday night news magazine show and then trying to transform her into a daytime diva.
” …[I]n her quest for establishment media acceptance, she betrayed her base of support, and now she has no one to defend her, no audience to return to. Kelly bet it all, and by doing so sold out her own fans, which left her with no one to come to her defense as NBC outmaneuvered, outsmarted, and circled for the kill — which had been NBC’s plan from the beginning.
‘And the irony is almost too perfect…
“To attract NBC News, Kelly mercilessly wielded virtue signaling against Trump as she shamelessly peacocked her own image by smearing him as a sexist, a pig, a hater of women.
“And now she will limp out of NBC News a victim of bullying virtue signalers smearing her as racist.”
Added The Hill media columnist Joe Concha: “In the end, Lack threw Kelly under the bus when things got inconvenient, despite hiring and touting her heavily. He should have reprimanded her in a closed-door meeting, instead of airing his grievances publicly to other members of his staff and risking comments leaking to the press.”
On his Outkick the Coverage blog, Fox Sports host Clay Travis echoed other observers along with opining that Megyn Kelly made an ignorant, tone-deaf comment but implied that it didn’t rise to a fireable offense.
“It seems to me that many at NBC didn’t like her and were looking for a reason to force her out. Seriously, think about all that is going on in the world and NBC chose to spend two days on their national news talking about Megyn Kelly’s opinion on Halloween costumes? It seems like top brass at NBC wanted her gone and used this story to hasten her exit