Today's Liberal In Trouble: WashPost Writer Dan Zak Pens Positive Profile of Fox's Megyn Kelly

Liberals are going to be mad at Dan Zak today. The Washington Post Style section writer who nastily dismissed the Biden-Ryan debate last year as “a man debating a boy” sounded like he went head over heels for Megyn Kelly in a Thursday profile. The Post headline even oozed: “The Essential Megyn Kelly: Her new prime-time show is a swift hit. Buoyed by intelligence and intensity, is she poised to challenge O’Reilly?”

The Post had to pretend that this alleged competition was the controversy since she crushes Piers Morgan and Rachel Maddow in the ratings...combined. “Poor Piers,” she said as she eyed the numbers. Zak was comparing Kelly to classic movie stars:

Her crucial physical trait is not her Grace Kelly face but her Barbara Stanwyck voice, a deeper, authoritative register inherited from her mother, a retired nurse.

Zak began by observing Kelly in the makeup chair having her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, and then stopping himself for a feminist moment: “Would you write this way about a man? About O’Reilly himself?” (Italics his.) The joke answer is “I don’t know, does O’Reilly have eyelash extensions applied?” That contrast works both ways, as in no one will compare Feisty Bill to a supermodel:

“It’s like working on a supermodel every day — a brilliant supermodel,” says makeup artist Maureen Walsh, as she air-brushes Kelly’s skin from milky white to Technicolor.

Zak also confessed he was smitten with this declaration:

Megyn Kelly is very easy to like.

Megyn Kelly is a good and decent person.

The story of on-air Megyn Kelly is the story of off-air Megyn Kelly.

End of story.

Zak tried to furrow his brow over the Fox News “crusade” against Obamacare: "The words 'anger' and 'outrage' are used frequently on her program, as are vague references to “what is happening in this country.” Might this language, however justified on occasion, stoke and sustain a contentious discourse that ultimately corrodes the media and therefore the society it serves?"

After letting Kelly profess she doesn’t have a political axe to grind, he presses her about going soft on Sarah Palin:


"I enjoy covering the boxing match, but I don't back a player in the ring," Kelly says from behind her office desk after the show. "And that's the truth. I'm not a political person and I never have been."

Megyn Kelly is no one's puppet. Megyn Kelly is Megyn Kelly whether or not the red light is on. She says so. Her husband says so. Friends and colleagues from different phases of her life say so.

And so it's to this Megyn Kelly - the only Megyn Kelly who exists, the Megyn Kelly who seems incapable of a false move - that we address a question about Sarah Palin.

You had her on “The Kelly File” on Oct. 17, and she stumbled through warped talking points about how Barack Obama is dismantling the country by emboldening our enemies and bankrupting our economy. You tried eventually to corral her back to your chosen topic of GOP approval ratings, but the guff was already out there, unchallenged, on national television.

The Palin spot seemed, well, contrary to who you are and what you stand for.

“Everything she says is news, right?” Kelly says. “That’s why all the other channels are clamoring to get her on. It’s not just Fox. It’s not just me. You’ve seen that. Jake Tapper, all of them. But she comes on Fox with more frequency because she’s a Fox News contributor. So . . .”

So you put her on your show with no qualms whatsoever?

Kelly pauses. Then says: “She’s been on one time.”

Right . . .

“And she made a lot of news. And she has a voice that doesn’t — that you don’t hear in many places. So there is a service provided in offering that occasionally. And that’s all I’ll say about that.”

Even then, Zak imagines Kelly is telling him “Don’t make me take your keyboard away.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis