By Chez Pazienza: I never thought I’d say this but I’m kind of liking Megyn Kelly right about now.
I realize that in the past I’ve been pretty mean to her, saying that she “comes off like an extravagantly groomed chihuahua who’s very angry about being left in somebody’s Louis Vuitton handbag for too long” and insulting her mini-spread in GQ magazine, among other often admittedly petty nastiness. I say these things because she really does know how to peg the insufferability meter among Fox News’s cadre of interchangeable blondes — and also because I enjoy being a prick sometimes. But I have to give credit where credit is due: She’s willing to turn that look that combines condescension, incredulity and revulsion — the one that’s become her trademark — on just about anybody, even, apparently, Karl Rove.
Kelly had the best line of the night on Tuesday as the election results were coming in when she somewhat surprisingly broke the rules and acknowledged, live on the air, the existence of the Matrix. By now just about everyone has seen it: Kelly looking an increasingly desperate and bewildered Karl Rove right in the eye and asking him if the shit numbers he was trying frantically to spin into gold for Mitt Romney amounted to nothing more than “math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better.” At that moment, she may not have blown the air lock and contaminated the hermetically sealed room so many Republicans now live in, but she at the very least pointed out that it’s a real thing. A real problem.
This little scene was followed by her willingness to recognize the awkwardness of the entire situation and the pained look on her face as she was forced to Bataan Death March in heels down to see the nerds at Fox News’s “decision desk” at the behest of a very mad Rove. They were saying one thing because they, you know, actually had numbers and facts, but it was contradicting the suspension of disbelief of the bulbous turd who’d just blown $300 million on a guy who appeared to be losing, so somebody had to answer for it. Lord knows, if there’s one thing we learned on Tuesday night, it’s not really that Republicans don’t like it when the lie they’ve been living comes crashing down around them — that should’ve been obvious — it’s that they hate it when they find out that a shitload of money can’t buy everything. Or in this case, anything.
So Megyn Kelly managed to somehow be the only person on the Fox News desk on election night to hold onto a shred of dignity — and to her credit that could be because at some point her instinct for self-preservation kicked in and she realized it would be a smart long-term career move to distance herself from the raving madman sitting next to her who was determined to cling to the fantasy that Mitt Romney was going to be president. (I have no doubt that when he wasn’t on cam Rove was using an app to write “Karl Romney” “Karl Rove Romney” “Mrs. Mitt Romney” in dainty cursive all over his iPad and Kelly was probably privy to this.)
But then, yesterday, Kelly smacked down Rove again.
In case you haven’t heard, an almost astonishingly bitter Rove was back on Fox News yesterday, this time to offer his sage take on how his guy got the pants beaten off of him so badly by Barack Obama. Rove’s excuse for the loss: voter suppression. Yes, voter suppression — on the part of the Obama camp. Never mind that every instance of the attempted or successful disenfranchisement of an electoral bloc this past campaign season — and there were many, from legal maneuvers to outright intimidation — came from the right and was directed at the left; Rove was able to rattle off a bunch of statistics that really proved nothing and once again made it look like he spends his afternoons standing in the middle of Tompkins Square Park talking to a water fountain.
Kelly again didn’t let him get away with it. Her response was almost admirably patronizing: “You keep saying that, but he won, Karl.” It wasn’t simply a shutting down of everything Rove was saying — it was an outright disrespectful dismissal.
I get that by this time tomorrow Megyn Kelly will probably have done ten new things to make me dislike her, at least as far as her on-air persona is concerned. But for now — she and I — we’re okay.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.