Donald Trump, on Twitter at least, appears to be taking a pass on Megyn Kelly’s Vanity Fair cover in which she insisted, “I can’t be wooed,” while describing Trump’s effort to do just that shortly before announcing his presidential run. “I was never going to love him, and I was never going to hate him,” she said of the real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star.
“He would send me press clippings about me that he would just sign ‘Donald Trump,’” she said of her correspondence from him before announcing his White House bid in June. “And he called from time to time to compliment a segment.”
“I didn’t know why he was doing that,” she said in the interview, though it had been speculated that this time he really was to throw his hat in the ring. “And then when he announced he was running for president, it became more clear,” Kelly acknowledged in the interview.
Kelly became a news story herself when, in Fox News Channel’s first GOP debate, she kicked things off with a question to debate star Trump: “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals…. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton … that you are part of the war on women?” Trump got off a joke that the insults had been directed at Rosie O’Donnell, but Kelly did not let up, and the next night he suggested to CNN that Kelly may have been menstruating that night: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Small wonder that debate clocked a cable news record 24 million viewers.
In the cover story/love letter, Kelly, the first Fox News talent/exec to make the VF cover, is described as “a woman of preternatural charisma, with star power closer to that of Julia Roberts than to, say, Norah O’Donnell or Erin Burnett — two other beautiful TV newswomen who have made it big but have never exactly exploded.”
The article suggests Kelly’s trademark on-air “male-ego deflations” has helped her to sometimes pass FNC’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, in the demographic the network sells to advertisers, 25-54. That notably happened the night Kelly’s show followed that record-setting debate, in August.
The cover story is written by Evgenia Peretz, daughter of New Republic owner and sometime editor in chief Marty Peretz. Evgenia has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1999, and has written about many figures in politics, media, and the arts, Vanity Fair boasts, including Silvio Berlusconi, French president Francois Hollande, Al Gore, Sally Quinn, James Frey, and Donna Tartt. She also is a screenwriter, and co-wrote the 2011 movie Our Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd.
In the piece, media types are quoted praising Kelly. HBO’s Bill Maher stands alone urging moderation: “We think of Megyn Kelly as the sane one over there at Fox News. It’s just because she’s surrounded by Hannity and Bill O’Reilly,” he warns. “She’s like the blonde dragon girl on Game Of Thrones. Everyone else is a zombie or a dwarf or f*cking their sister, so she looks normal.”
Here’s Vanity Fair‘s cover: