Megyn Kelly may have left Fox News for the greener pastures of NBC, but she still defended her old employer from charges of racism in an interview with a former white supremacist on her program today.
Kelly was speaking with Christian Picciolini, a former skinhead, leader of a white supremacist punk band, and now a peace activist, and asked about the “dog whistles” that Trump has sent to the neo-Nazi, alt-right community.
“I do believe that there were dog whistles,” Picciolini responded. “But to somebody like me, I can tell you that’s a bullhorn. I heard them loud and clear. When they referred to globalism, I knew that they were talking about the global Jewish conspiracy. When they use terms like ‘the liberal media,’ those are terms we use to use but we use to call it the Jewish media.”
At that point, Kelly interrupted Picciolini and made excuses for her old colleagues at Fox News, who have pounded those same “dog whistles” into the brains of its audience repeatedly for years.
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“Can I just say,” she said. “Having worked at Fox News for 13 years, we used to criticize the MSM [mainstream media], some would call them the liberal media and it didn’t mean that.”
“It meant, you know, left leaning,” she continued. “People who were not open minded toward the views of half the country, conservative people.”
Picciolini didn’t quite accept the innocence of Kelly’s protestations, pointing out Fox News‘ complicity in the normalization of racist code-words.
“That’s also the power of their marketing,” Picciolini explained. “They can take words that are hateful and massage them to get them into the lexicon to make it normalized.”
Kelly then misinterpreted Picciolini’s intent, trying to return the focus to how white supremacists manipulate language, rather than on how Fox News purposefully uses racist code-words to appeal to that audience and spread hatred.
“So you pick something that is okay,” Kelly opined, “a term that has nothing to do with white supremacy and you adopt it. And to your people, it has a very different meaning. Like, with a wink and a nod.”
Kelly’s failure to acknowledge or even recognize the role of Fox News in promulgating the coded language of alt-right racists, even after it was obvious to everyone that they were disseminating a detestable viewpoint, is either a cynically protective protestation of innocence, a “What? Me, racist?” attempt at deflecting responsibility for her years at the network helping sell those ideas to a gullible public, or a serious failure to recognize the reality of Fox News’ blatant political advocacy of abhorrent propaganda.
Either way, Fox News‘ continued use of neo-Nazi “dog whistles” is its news coverage is a dangerous embarrassment, paving the slippery slope to fascist state-controlled media and Orwellian doublethink. Megyn Kelly managed to escape the network to the more friendly confines of the mainstream media during the height of the sexual harassment scandals at Fox News. She shouldn’t have to feel the need to defend them or their nefarious methods at this point in her career.
You can watch the complete interview with Christian Picciolini here: