Megyn Kelly should have been chosen as a debate moderator
She’s the only journalist who could hold Trump and Hillary to account
On Friday, the American public woke up to the news the moderators chosen for the presidential debates did not include Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Kelly emerged from a broad class of professional, talented anchors to become a household name overnight following the first debate for the Republican presidential primary. The Kelly File host dealt a sharp series of substantive questions earning the plaudits of the likes of The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and the pointed ire of now-Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Statistically speaking, the general presidential debates do not have significant or lasting ramifications for the polls. In 50 years of data aggregated by Gallup, debates changed the electoral outcome in only two elections, the notoriously close 1960 and 2000. Given the wide margin between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, it seems unlikely that the debates will modify the polls. Throw in a series of softball interviewers and that “unlikely” becomes impossible.
Obviously, the list could have been worse. It could have included previous moderator George Stephanopoulos, ABC News’ Chief Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent, as well as former Communications Director for the 1992 Clinton Presidential Campaign and prolific donor to the Clinton Foundation.
Or it could have included Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent whose wedding to top Obama official Julius Genachowski was attended by none other than President and Clinton surrogate Barack Obama. Oh wait.
The formal list includes Raddatz and Anderson Cooper for the second debate, Lester Holt of NBC News for the first debate and Chris Wallace for the third debate. Elaine Quijano of CBS News will moderate the vice presidential debate, also known as the oatmeal vs vanilla showdown.
Like the election itself has become, the debates will merely serve as a spectacle. A list of mostly tepid interviewers with soft spots for Hillary Clinton is a disservice to the American public, who deserve to see both Trump and Clinton, who has not held a press conference in 2016, grilled with tough questions.
But if we are going to treat these elections as mere spectacle, why are we not graced with the talents of the always entertaining Megyn Kelly?
“Fox News’s Megyn Kelly Was the Real Winner of the First Debate,” declared E! News, echoing millions of tweets applauding Kelly’s astute questioning. Kelly came second only to Cooper in a Morning Consult poll assessing registered voters’ preference for debate moderator. Kelly edged out fellow Fox News journalist Chris Wallace by three points.
And let’s momentarily discuss Wallace, who has been viewed as one of the most left wing anchors on Fox News despite having had a strange proclivity for Trump in the primaries. Wallace also has incredibly close ties to Roger Ailes, ousted President of Fox News and alleged serial sexual harasser. In a statement regarding Ailes’ departure from Fox News following reports of sexual harassment from numerous female anchors (including Kelly), Wallace deemed Ailes, “the best boss [he’s] had in almost half a century of journalism.” Ailes is now said to be coaching Trump for the debates.
Though Trump is largely seen as a master of the media, Kelly is one of the only journalists Trump has truly ever feared. He literally missed a debate to avoid her questioning in the second Fox News Republican presidential debate in late January. Furthermore, Kelly’s reporting has cast an equally critical eye on Hillary Clinton, featuring numerous exclusive interviews with WikiLeaks editor-in-chief and DNC email leaker Julian Assange.
But most importantly, in our era of political absurdism and near-Orwellian predestination of this entire election, we the people have the right to be entertained. Kelly drives massive viewership numbers, hosts the highest-rated cable news show, covers this ridiculous election in a humorous way and looks better than every other anchor on her station while doing it.
Never Trump and Never Hillary aside, the biggest loss of the general will be not watching the glorious Megyn Kelly eviscerate the two most unfavorable presidential candidates of all time.