Megyn Kelly was right, that was fun. When the former Fox News and NBC News host announced Tuesday that she would be a first-time guest on Real Time with Bill Maher she also predicted a lively time (“Now this ought to be fun…,” she told Twitter) and she wasn’t wrong. Some highlights below.
On her time away from the spotlight: “I guess miss being a voice of reason in the storm because there’s so much hysteria in media, for and against. And when I left The Kelly File I remember feeling like I might have a societal obligation to stay because I did owe it to my audience to separate the wheat from the chaff and I thought I did good job of it.”
On Bombshell anxiety: “I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t have anything to do with the movie. I didn’t know when they were shooting or anything…look, my takeaway on it is the movie was a force for good because it helped shine a light on how it’s done.”
On the twirl: “The twirl was demeaning…I had argued before Courts of Appeal across the country, I was covering the U.S. Supreme Court and you earn your way up… the thing about the twirl it isn’t about seeing your ass it’s about demeaning you. It’s about subjugation, it’s about controlling you.”
On her mother’s reaction to news that Bombshell was in the works: “My mother, who lives in upstate New York where I’m from, called me up and said , ‘How come you didn’t tell me they were making a movie about you?’ I’m like, ‘Mom I don’t know anything about it.’ She goes, ‘I want Stormy Daniels to play me!’ I had no clout, she did’t get a role, she was disappointed.”
On CNN’s swing to the left under Trump: “Now they’re indistinguishable from MSNBC.”
It was just Kelly’s third interview since NBC parted ways with the Megyn Kelly Today host in October 2018. The first was with Tucker Carlson of Fox News in October and the second was Frontline on PBS in December.
Kelly was a big booking for the HBO series that airs live from a Los Angeles soundstage. Maher kicked off his 18th season of Real Time the previous Friday with anther splashy get in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking elected female in the history of American politics and President Trump’s most problematic Washington foil.
Kelly was a high-visibility female foil for Trump, too, when the then-presidential candidate made coarse comments about the lawyer-turned-journalist following a nationally televised debate she moderated in August 2015.
That debate showdown is one of the scenes depicted in the Jay Roach-directed film Bombshell, which opened wide in December. Charlize Theron is nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Kelly in the provocative film, which tracks the sexual harassment scandal that enveloped and toppled Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and foreshadowed some dynamics of the #metoo movement.