Last night’s (April 8, 2015) “Kelly File” had Megyn Kelly purposely badgering Rand Paul, making every attempt to goad him into an argument just to prove how irascible he can be when challenged, especially by a woman. It was an unbecoming few minutes, not worthy of the time spent. Like eggplant, the segment had no nutritional value whatsoever. Paul didn’t get to express himself and Kelly showed herself to be a colossal bitch.
While not a big fan of Rand Paul, PJFOTN believes all the Republican candidates should be able to offer their perspectives while answering tough questions. The trend in talking over each other has precluded that possibility however. At times, watching FOX’s prime time personalities, while certainly better than being spoon-fed ultra-liberal pap by the other news channels, is like watching couples in divorce proceedings, it’s actually painful.
Bill O’Reilly is perhaps the worst offender, but Megyn Kelly is like his protégé except she uses her obvious charms for the jab while saving her right for the hook. It’s not only annoying, it is, as the British say, off-putting and tiring.
If television news has become more of an entertainment concoction, one would hope for repartee instead of the clash of titans. At least a witty exchange would be more civilized and far easier to understand. Last night’s car crash wasn’t informative, entertaining or even understandable. It was a nice looking blonde girl arguing with a headstrong man who would have been justified in being less than genteel by telling her off.
The FOX News Channel is very much like the Republican establishment in that its success is not so much due to the great programming as much as it is the only game in town. In the beginning, FOX was a breath of fresh air. Now, it is a stage for actors and actresses pretending to be newscasters. Like preening birds, they show-prep in the makeup room, substance is a secondary issue.
It is the mistake of the ages, people in the public eye thinking they are more important than their work. It is why Rush Limbaugh is so successful. He knows, and he is not above admitting it openly, his success is entirely due to his audience. The Rush Limbaugh Show is all about the audience even though Limbaugh slyly, but always self-deprecatingly boasts about himself on the air, e.g. “Talent on loan from God”, “half my brain tied behind my back” etc. Not only is he unscripted, he is as generous with his curiosity as anyone in the media. That is to say, he makes an effort to understand his callers. He wants to know what they think. There’s nothing fake about the back and forth in spite of the constrictions of time. If he cuts a caller off, it’s because he must take a break for an “obscene profit center”. That’s business of course.
And FOX is good business. Today’s Hollywood Reporter cites Roger Ailes, CEO and President of FOX News as the most powerful person in New York (meaning the world) media. FOX “will earn $2.18 billion this year” as a result of his vision and leadership. Which begs the question, what exactly is his vision and leadership style? Does Ailes approve of the talk over everybody style of so-called journalism among his ranks or is it a matter of if it’s not broken, don’t fix it?
The alternatives to FOX are not even close. The Hollywood Reporter states that CNN and MSNBC will earn $1.16 billion and a paltry $509 million respectively this year. FOX makes more than both combined, the difference being more than MSNBC makes totally. The reason for the discrepancy has been made clear not just in this column on myriad occasions, but by virtually every other outlet with the least bit of interest in the matter. When there is a choice, liberal media is crushed.
It has also been stated on this site that if either MSNBC or CNN changed their format to compete with FOX as a strictly conservative outlet without the charade of being “fair and balanced”, the latter’s audience would bolt for the former.
Assuming an audience is loyal when you’re the only outlet of a particular genre is foolish. Assuming viewers will remain loyal when a reasonable alternative sans the talking over each other is presented makes even less sense.
Debating is an art. All art should be enjoyable. Debate infused with good sense, solid facts and wit in an atmosphere of give and take is far more enjoyable than the grinding gotcha, infuriating interruptions and overbearing oafishness that seems to be the late fare on FOX. Is it that way all the time? No.
“The Five” comes as close to being good news television discussion as anything out there, primarily because the women are smart and charming while at the same time commanding. Kimberly Guilfoyle is schooled in the law and makes no bones about her conservative viewpoints while Dana Perino knows politics from the inside at the highest levels and is not afraid to look at various sides of sundry issues. Greg Gutfeld is nothing short of witty to sometimes an annoying, but smartly entertaining degree while Eric Bolling lends a genteel, albeit somewhat libertarian maleness to the whole. The various liberals who occupy the sole chair are less than noteworthy with the exception of the ailing Bob Beckel who is more often wrong than right, but at least makes us laugh. Juan Williams whines his way through routines of inanity, but comes off as a friendly, if hopeless liberal.
If Miss Megyn’s journalistic tryst with Rand Paul turned into an evening of broken promises is emblematic of FNC’s evolution, it’s a problem. She looked and sounded like a shrew while Rand Paul looked and sounded like a man who would much rather be somewhere else than home with a woman at her time of the month.