Does Donald Trump need a filter — absolutely. Is Megyn Kelly a beautiful and talented air talent – no doubt about it. But neither of these realities absolve Megyn of her part in what was one of the worst debates in GOP history.
When Megyn Kelly said to Trump: "You’ve called women you don’t like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs,' and 'disgusting animals,”…in response to which he replied: "Only Rosie O’Donnell,”…was she engaging in “gotcha” journalism? Many believe that is precisely what Megyn Kelly was after.
Whether or not Megyn’s efforts may be considered successful in that regard, she most assuredly did succeed in breathing new life into the phony charge from the left that Republicans have waged a "war on woman" – and shame on her for that.
Rather than providing a substantive debate for the record number 24 million viewers — she made a mockery of the event by turning it into a Donald Trump trial. Fox News and Megyn Kelly had an opportunity — a rare opportunity - to introduce some very solid Republican candidates to newcomers to the first GOP Debate. They blew that opportunity big time.
Instead, it was all about Donald Trump. And in order for Megyn to make it about Trump — she had to travel back in history to find some really good dirt on him.
The feud between Rosie O’Donnell and Trump dates back to 2006 -- with Rosie throwing the first punch. Nine years ago — that’s how far back Kelly was willing to go -- to a time and a weird celebrity face- off most had forgotten.
Other disparaging remarks made by Trump can be found if you go back to 1997. In his book: “The Art of the Comeback,” Trump mentioned Miss Universe 1996. It was nothing quite like his "my nice fat little Rosie" comment (his actual comment about Rosie 9 years ago) -- but it does suggest that he clearly has a problem with women who've packed on a few extra pounds.
Additionally, the "on your knees" quote that Megyn attributed to him was taken out of context -- and from a "REALITY" show. Not real life. Kelly accused Trump of telling a contestant on his TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” that she’d look good on her knees. But, according to a VH1 article - about an episode, which aired March 2013, former Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick said she got down on her knees to beg to be a part of something. Trump asks, “Excuse me, you DROPPED to your knees?” “Yes,” she said, and Trump said; “It must be a pretty picture -- you dropping to your knees.” That was 2013. It wasn't news then — and it isn’t news now.
So the question is - Why? Why was Megyn Kelly so compelled, so bent on painting Trump as a misogynist? Some believe she is a little too full of herself. Perhaps, but, I have a sneaky suspicion it goes beyond that – and my suspicion has much to do with the guest she had on immediately following the debates:
Debbie Wasserman Schultz – Chair of the DNC and one of the most outspoken, liberal voices leading the charge against the so-called Republican war on women.
What many couldn’t understand was why Wasserman Schultz was invited to give commentary on our debate. Perhaps the two of them have forged a relationship. It happens – I’ve had liberal guests on my show - and we’ve cultivated decent relationships over time. I have found common ground with many of them and we enjoy each other's company. As a result, we spend time after a segment or after a show to get to know each other a little more and connect a little deeper.
I wonder if Wasserman-Schultz, having established perhaps a bit of a relationship with Megyn, might have suggested to her that something needs to be said to Trump on behalf of all women. You know, put him in his place. Perhaps she suggested that someone should address "Trump the misogynist".
Did Megyn plan to have Wasserman Schultz on her show as a way of saying -- see Debbie -- I did it? I confronted him - for you, for me, and for all women. If that weren’t the case, Debbie wasn't satisfied. She praised Megyn, telling her she’d done a great job on the debate stage. But when Megyn asked Schultz what it was that jumped out at her… "Well, the misogyny," answered Wassermann Schultz, and then she continued to discuss the lack of support overall for women from GOP candidates. She played right into the left’s narrative.
Rather than give the stage to debate, Megyn Kelly used it for her own purposes. She laid the groundwork for the revival of the war on women, and gave the floor to Wasserman Schultz – who by the way was permitted more time to answer Kelly's questions than the candidates. Megyn offered time and plenty of it to the DNC chair allowing her opportunity to disparage our candidates – every one of them.
And in case you think Wasserman Schultz is pleased to see that the Republicans have a strong woman running for president - think again. Friday, August 7th, Willie Geist, with MSNBC'S Morning Joe, asked Wasserman Schultz if she was impressed by Carly Fiorina, to which she responded, “No. Not—not, not in the least.”
It wasn't just the questions Megyn leveled against Trump that have many conservatives fuming. It was that she pressed Walker on his stance against an abortion ban exception for saving the life of the mother. It was pushing against Rubio on his position on abortion and the bizarre question about gay marriage she threw at Kasich. The candidates were forced to go on the defensive.
Putting candidates on the defensive is what we see all too often when the mainstream media is moderating the debates. It’s not something we would expect from Fox. We had hoped that the moderators would go directly to those issues that Americans care about; the economy, the border, and ISIS -- to name a few.
Megyn was going for a slick gotcha maneuver. What she accomplished instead was igniting the left's “war on women” charge against the Republicans and ultimately served to fan the flames of anti-Republican sentiment. Additionally, she forfeited a one-time opportunity to introduce a large portion of the record-breaking audience to some really terrific candidates. Our candidates should have been afforded more time to discuss issues that matter to Americans, rather than defend themselves against her antagonistic line of questioning.
Those candidates who didn't make the cut for Megyn’s Debate should be thanking their lucky stars. They had more opportunity to discuss important issues at 5:00 than they would have at 9:00. Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer moderated a debate they should be proud of. It was conducted with decorum and thoughtfulness. The 5 PM moderators allowed the viewers to get to know the candidates - which of course is precisely the purpose of a presidential debate.