Kelly believes there’s an opening for this kind of long-form journalism on TV. “Listen, Megyn is so good today that there is no interview I would not want her to do,” Ailes says. “The Kelly File” ranks as the second most-watched program in all of cable news behind only Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” and often outdraws other cable entertainment programming in the hour. program averaged 2.2 million viewers, up 4% from the comparable period last year, and up 23% in the adults 25-54 demo (to an average of 414,000), according to Nielsen.Kelly’s hour easily draws more viewers than Anderson Cooper’s and Rachel Maddow’s programs -— the top-rated primetime shows on CNN and MSNBC — combined.Viewers and critics are often befuddled, because they never know where she stands.
Kelly says she’s more inspired by events that happen off the political beat.
“I don’t feel passionately about politics,” she says, a remark that might come as a surprise to anyone who saw her question Fox News’ own research team during coverage of the 2012 presidential election, after Rove pushed back on the network’s findings that President Obama had won Ohio over Mitt Romney. Is it easy for me to get fired up about someone’s position on climate change? On most of these issues, I can see both sides.” She’s been able to successfully interview politicos, she says, by treating them as human beings.
This story first appeared in the June 22, 2015 issue of Variety. “I think Hillary Clinton could handle me — easily,” Kelly says on a recent afternoon in her Manhattan office. “Here she is, this powerful woman talking to somebody who is also a woman in a powerful post, who would never be accused of giving her a pass. But I respect Hillary Clinton, and all that she’s achieved.” Kelly makes the case that she’d be fair. If you want to get big-name Democrats who are running for president, do you want to annihilate them?
Of course not.” Kelly, 44, a former corporate litigator who continues to gain prominence at the country’s biggest news network, is poised to become a force in the 2016 election, and is already set to co-moderate an Aug. She will need to seize that opportunity to try to prove her detractors wrong, particularly the many liberals who still distrust her, and insist she’s way too soft on her subjects.
Megyn Kelly is bucking the conventional wisdom of what it means to be a Fox News anchor.
The take-no-prisoners newswoman isn’t afraid to throw hardballs at Republicans. Rand Paul over his penchant for arguing with female reporters.“I’m an independent.” She believes her lack of political ideology actually makes her a more effective reporter. “I’m a Fox News anchor, and I have no horse in the race.I can give anyone a hard time.” When asked if she considers herself a journalist or a personality, Kelly says, “I don’t really separate the two.“I don’t understand these politicians who want to be president, and complain when they get a tough interview,” Kelly says.“If you behave like a stupid moron, you’re going to get called out by me.” While debating disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner last year, she took a jab at the sexting scandal that forced him to resign: “I’m trying to understand how somebody with a secret like that could go on national television and be that cocky,” she snapped.Her boss, Roger Ailes, reveals that he’s giving his star a series of primetime specials to air on Fox News starting early next year.