One of the most discussed news items of the week is that Megyn Kelly will be leaving FOX News to join NBC. Kelly's job situation has drawn the attention of anchors, commentators, and bloggers from both the left and the right. But our question is: why?
The fact is, Megyn Kelly is a pundit's pundit. She's loved by the establishment reporters, and in a lot of ways, she embodies them completely. For that reason, it's not surprising that for the last few weeks, all of them have been excitedly speculating about what Kelly would do next. And it's just been assumed that wherever she goes, the audience and (thus) the money would follow. But that's not necessarily the case.
The networks would like you to believe that Kelly was a ratings juggernaut. It's true that she often beat out MSNBC and CNN handily, but you must remember, she was in a time slot after the most popular program on cable news, The O'Reilly Factor. And she was a lead-in to Hannity. So it's not surprising that sandwiched between these two huge ratings grabbers, she did well.
If you look at the more recent ratings, however, Kelly looks even less strong. In October of 2016, for example, she was getting beaten by Rachel Maddow -- and she was losing a large number of viewers from her lead-in, O'Reilly.
That's because she didn't quite toe the FOX News line on Donald Trump. Getting herself into trouble with Trump may have made other journalists sit up and take notice, but it definitely didn't win her friends on the right.
The left doesn't like her either. Although she may be a friend of convenience to the Clinton wing now, Kelly has long been an enemy of the left, and that won't just turn around when she shows up at 30 Rock. Kelly has a history dismissing the concerns of minorities, and she has made several racially insensitive remarks in her time at FOX. That's how she will be remembered by progressives.
So who exactly does NBC think it will draw in by hiring Megyn Kelly?
The sad truth is that mainstream media is in a bubble that doesn't at all understand the outside world.
Every Wolf Blitzer on TV thinks that being from FOX News gives Megyn Kelly credibility among the right. And because she hasn't been embraced by Trump, she will be embraced by the left. Wolf would argue that that means she is a perfect journalist.
Unfortunately, outside of the bubble, real people don't think that way. Megyn Kelly isn't the superstar the media makes her out to be, and she's not going to single-handedly turn around NBC News. Up in the top floors of the GE building, the executives are high-fiveing each other for their get, while outside, nobody really cares what happens to Megyn Kelly.
In the end, she'll just be another write-off in the history of establishment media. But maybe that's how they'd like it.