Over the past two days, Megyn Kelly has been a category 5 hurricane of righteous fury while defending the First Amendment in the wake of Sunday's shooting in Garland, Texas. There, two gunmen opened fire and wounded a security guard at an event held by the infamous Pamela Geller, who gave an award for best drawing of Islam's prophet, Muhammad. The shooting has rekindled a debate about whether it's wise or appropriate to depict Muhammad, which is an act forbidden in Islam. But don't tell that to Hurricane Megyn, who defended the contest and has been barreling through the primetime airwaves, and destroying opponents in her path.
The first casualty was Bill O'Reilly, who was blown apart on his own show Monday night:
O'Reilly: This is what happens when you light the fuse. You get violence.
Kelly: It sounds like you are attacking the event itself.
O'Reilly: I would do it another way. I would do it another way. I agree with your point that we shouldn't let these people intimidate us.
Kelly: You know what else the jihadis don't like? They hate Jews. Should we get rid of all Jews? That's the path we're going to go down catering to the jihadis. There's no satisfying them. There's no making them happy. You can't not do things because the jihadis are going to be upset!
Kelly's point cannot be emphasized enough. Allowing religious fanatics to cow us into not doing things because it will prompt them to commit violence sets a dangerous precedent. The mainstream media has already caved on this issue by not showing any depictions of Muhammad, and in doing so, has helped establish just such a precedent.
Then, on Tuesday's Kelly File, the host doubled down and slammed O'Reilly again for saying that drawing Muhammad "is stupid." She then turned her wrath on some poor guy named Richard Fowler, who appears to be utterly clueless on the First Amendment:
Fowler: There is nothing wrong free speech, but as Donald Trump said, be smart, not stupid. Why would you invoke [sic] attacks on the people coming to your event by doing something so ridiculous!
Kelly: Do you hear what you are saying? We in this country need to limit our constitutional rights, limit our free speech rights, lest we invite attack, or as O'Reilly put it, "spur" an attack against us. That is the way we need to look at this?
Fowler: Freedom of speech is an enumerated right which also come with freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom of association. Muslims should be free to worship, just like Christians are free to worship.
Kelly: And they are.
Fowler: Freedom of speech comes with limits. This is a clear limit.
Kelly: No it isn't! You are totally wrong.
Fowler: It is just like going into a theater and yelling out fire, or going into a black church and yelling out the n-word.
As fired up as Kelly was, she was actually being quite reserved given the abject nonsense emanating from Fowler's mouth. And the more Kelly pushed back, the less certain of his own position he became. He went from arguing that "Freedom of speech comes limits," to later acknowledging that "[t]he First Amendment does give us the right to free speech," but that "it doesn't mean you should go out and do it!"
Kelly finished with a flair, demolishing Fowler in spectacular fashion:
"When people exercise their First Amendment rights, and two jihadis show up to murder them, the relevant question at that time is not, 'What were they saying?' The relevant question is, 'What are we going to do about this group of people that wants to murder us because we believe in free speech and the First Amendment?'"
Advocates for censorship and self-censorship are urged to stay off the airwaves until Hurricane Megyn weakens.
Whenever that will be.