Megyn Kelly Hits Back at Trump Over Media Criticism, Cites Hordes of Free Media Airtime

Waiting until shortly after Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday 3 victory speech in Florida, Fox News channel host Megyn Kelly responded indirectly at Trump’s latest Twitter tirades (see here, here, here, here, and here) against her by citing how he seems to do that on a near constant basis and later hit back at the billionaire by citing the overwhelming amount of free media coverage he’s amassed. 

Kelly received the first crack once Trump’s speech concluded and after a few phrases recapping his remarks, she noticed that (as Special Report host Bret Baier laughed): “What a great night he's had commenting on the media, which is one of his favorite things to do pointing out that he'll get over 50 percent if there are not four people in this race and saying no one, no one has ever come under the kind of negative advertising barrage that he's come under.”

Just over 10 minutes later, Kelly circled back to again respond to Trump while talking to The Five’s Dana Perino and how Trump was largely left unscathed for much of the race by his opponents and their campaigns:

Dana, you know, the notion of Trump complaining about the media coverage is something because recently, he’s subjected to attack ads by the Our Principle's PAC that formed to go after him, but for the most part in this race, the Republicans were going after each other and they were leaving Donald Trump alone. 

Kelly did not forget about the role the media has played and exclaimed that they have “saturated the airwaves” with Trump’s constant musings that has a monetary value of $400 million:

There was a stat that just came out said in the last month alone, Trump earned media coverage of $400 million worth, meaning you get yourself on TV and you don't pay for it. It’s not an ad. You just something that gets yourself coverage on television — $400 million — which is what John McCain spent on his 2008 campaign. The reality is that Trump's ability to control the media has been a huge weapon for him in this race. 

Perino cited the support that Trump likely gained from having had his Friday night Chicago rally marred by violence, but did chime in with her other example of how the media has shaped the GOP campaign:

He also does things with his hyperbole that you know, when Speaker Paul Ryan called me. Speaker Paul Ryan called all four of them to talk about the House agenda, but the only call that you have ever heard about in the media is the one that he made to Donald Trump.

In the next hour, the topic of the media resurfaced when Kelly engaged in a spirited but relatively tame debate with Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson over the campaign’s decision to deny press credentials to a Politico reporter for his victory speech. Naturally, Pierson responded by chalking the writer up as merely one of many “glorified bloggers” looking for trouble.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s America’s Election HQ on March 15 can be found below.

FNC’s America’s Election HQ
March 15, 2016
10:12 p.m. Eastern

MEGYN KELLY: And a big night for Donald Trump. Celebrating with his fans down at Mar-o-Lago, Florida, and talking about the road ahead. The winning the country will do. What a great night he's had commenting on the media, which is one of his favorite things to do — [BRET BAIER LAUGHS] pointing out that he'll get over 50 percent if there are not four people in this race and saying no one, no one has ever come under the kind of negative advertising barrage that he's come under. The funny moment, talking about what it was like to see the advertisements on television while he’s trying to entertain business folks and you can feel for the candidate on that one but it's all part of the race, I guess.

(....)

10:24 p.m. Eastern

KELLY: Dana, you know, the notion of Trump complaining about the media coverage is something because recently, he’s subjected to attack ads by the Our Principle's PAC that formed to go after him, but for the most part in this race, the Republicans were going after each other and they were leaving Donald Trump alone. His media coverage has been — has saturated the air waves. There was a stat that just came out said in the last month alone, Trump earned media coverage of $400 million worth, meaning you get yourself on TV and you don't pay for it. It’s not an ad. You just something that gets yourself coverage on television — $400 million — which is what John McCain spent on his 2008 campaign. The reality is that Trump's ability to control the media has been a huge weapon for him in this race. 

DANA PERINO: And some things have broken his way so when the protest happened on Friday night in Chicago, that then dominated the news coverage for three days because there was nothing else going on and three days before Super Tuesday that Donald Trump is in the news and I think it was persuasive to some people that that wasn't fair. He has his First Amendment right. He also does things with his hyperbole that you know, when Speaker Paul Ryan called me. Speaker Paul Ryan called all four of them to talk about the House agenda, but the only call that you have ever heard about in the media is the one that he made to Donald Trump. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center