Though my mornings have improved by nearly every conceivable measure since giving up Megyn Kelly Today, part of me misses the caffeine-like jolt I received from its endless parade of bad decisions, inane commentary, and squandered opportunities. But last week’s allegations that the show’s workplace environment is “toxic and demeaning” knocked a little sense into me. Despite its best efforts, the show is still the mouthpiece for someone who used to work at Fox News, and its host remains as vindictive, unforgiving, and narcissistic as her former colleagues.
“And now a word on Jane Fonda,” Kelly said in the opening segment of this morning’s show, before reminding viewers of the now-infamous moment from the show’s first week on the air during which Fonda scolded Kelly for bringing up her plastic surgery.
Kelly goes on to say she “chose to say nothing” after Fonda began complaining “publicly” and “repeatedly” about the exchange. “My general philosophy,” she says, “is that whatever people think of me is none of my business.” But! (Of course there’s a but.) Then there’s this:
However, Fonda was at it again last week—including here on NCB and then again elsewhere—so it’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine. First, some context. Fonda was on to promote [Our Souls at Night] a film about aging. For years, she has spoken openly about her joy in giving a cultural face to older women. Well the truth is, most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80. And if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore. Fonda herself knows this. She knows this. And that is why to her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show.
She then plays a clip of Jane Fonda talking about plastic surgery on a radio show in 2011. And Larry King Live in 2010! And Today in 2011! Nice try, Megyn, but none of those clips are from Fonda’s press tour for Our Souls At Night, which is “a film about aging” in the same way It is “a film about a clown.” And this is just the beginning of a monologue that gets increasingly nasty.
But I have no regrets about that question. Nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is and is not appropriate. After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam war. Many of our veterans still call her Hanoi Jane. Thanks to her radio broadcasts, which attempted to shame American troops, she posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our American pilots. She called our POWs hypocrites and liars, and referred to their torture as understandable. Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture, but not for the rest of it. By the way, she still says she is not proud of America. So the moral indignation is a little much. She put her plastic surgery out there. She said she wanted to discuss the plight of older women in America. And honestly, she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive.
If last week’s leaked email wasn’t proof enough that Megyn Kelly Today is flailing, this needlessly combative, self-serving monologue might do the trick. The stench of Fox News doesn’t wash out easily, and 13 years of mentorship from Roger Ailes is apparently hard to unlearn.
And, you know, not that bringing up Fonda’s behavior during the Vietnam War has anything to do with Kelly’s thoughtless line of questioning back in September, but Fonda has spoken of her regrets just about as often as she’s brought up plastic surgery. As recently as 2015, she said:
Whenever possible I try to sit down with vets and talk with them, because I understand and it makes me sad. It hurts me and it will to my grave that I made a huge, huge mistake that made a lot of people think I was against the soldiers.
Nope! I definitely don’t miss this show! Not one little bit!