A simmering rivalry that has been bubbling largely behind the scenes between two best known Fox News personalities — Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity — became public on Wednesday.
Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly started trading insults over their approaches to the 2016 presidential race. Apparently, the public feud began when Kelly criticized Donald Trump for purposely avoiding interviews in “unsafe spaces,” instead choosing to appear on the very friendly Hannity Show.
On her show ‘The Kelly File’, Megyn Kelly said:
“Donald Trump, with all due respect to my friend at 10 o’clock, will go on ‘Hannity’ and pretty much only ‘Hannity’ and will not venture out to the unsafe spaces these days which doesn’t exactly expand the tent for either one of them.”
Kelly was essentially complaining that she has been unsuccessful in attempts to get the Republican nominee to appear on her show. Hannity apparently caught wind of Kelly’s gripe and decided to take to twitter:
“Megan Kelly you should be mad at Hillary Clinton. Clearly you support her. And Donald Trump did talk to you.”
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 6, 2016
Then, when Hannity was chastised later on social media to “stand by your colleagues,” he responded again with a jab at Kelly, “when the stand by me.”
Sure. When they stand by me. https://t.co/UrFbBVfEMI
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 6, 2016
Hannity is openly a supporter of Donald Trump, so much so, that in some respects he even out-Trumps Trump. He increasingly peddles in baseless conspiracy theories, regularly having guests on his show where the group huddles around Hillary Clinton pictures and footage in order to diagnose various medical ailments.
And when Trump was stumped during the presidential debate on September 26 as Clinton confronted him with the fact that he supported the Iraq invasion, Trump repeatedly claimed that he told Hannity — in private conversation — that he was against the war.
Following the presidential debate, Kelly seemed to have voiced her frustration with Trump’s seeming refusal to appear on her show, “We’ve got Trump speaking to our own Sean Hannity … We’ll see if he speaks to the journalists in this room after that interview.”
Hannity continued his unabashed support of Trump by continuing to publicize debunked “polls” claiming that Trump won the debate. Hannity’s decision to rely on the meaningless polls was apparently below what even Fox News could stand. In a rebuke, Fox News executive Dana Blanton distributed a memo reminding staff that unscientific online fan polls — the kind Hannity was publicizing — do not meet the network’s editorial standards. Hannity was unmoved. He continued to cite them.
Hannity has been labeled by some as “the dumbest anchor on Fox News,” which is really saying a lot considering the competition. Kelly’s stock increased significantly in large part because of her public, months long feud with Trump starting with a much publicized way that Trump referred to her in an interview.
The bottom line is that for Kelly to imply that somehow her show is an “unsafe space” for Trump is laughable. It is probably true that her show is less safe than Hannity’s — which may safer for Trump than being at home surrounded by his family. But the notion that any appearance on Fox News is anything but the safest public space on the planet for Trump borders on delusional.
Having said that, what matters about the feud between Kelly and Hannity is absolutely nothing. In the end, the two are only relevant to the extent Fox News is and to the extent Fox News wants them to be. It has been proven time and again, that as much as Fox News personalities develop stroke their own egos as they develop an audience, that audience is there because of Fox News.
Put another way, it is their promotion of the Fox News brand and rhetoric that creates their audience. And the proof is in the pudding. When they leave Fox News, they are generally never to be heard from again.
Megan Kelly’s contract with Fox ends next year. There have been rumors that she is thinking of leaving for greener pastures. Hopefully for her sake, that is just a rumor and she, in fact, is busy negotiating an extension or a new contract with Fox.
As for Hannity — again for his sake — hopefully, he is not planning on going the Greta Van Susteren way and leaving Fox as she unceremoniously did. There are very few places for his conspiracy theories and fake ‘polls’ in the real world, particularly if Candidate Trump becomes Citizen Trump after November 8th.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.