"What is racist? You get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on black face on Halloween, or a black person that puts on white face for Halloween.It was okay when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character."
Megyn Kelly is an educated woman who made it up very far in the journalistic food chain, no easy feat in that people in the business do not like her. She doesn’t fit the mould of what a typical talking head is, and given all of that, she is not a stupid woman. She navigated herself into a multi-million dollar deal with relic NBC News after going as far as she could on Fox News.
She had said controversial things in the past. She took the heat, numerous times, and that alone is not a big deal. Women are expected to be some chirpy, politically correct den mommies who never veer into controversial and shocking thoughts.
I am perfectly at ease with this. 7.4 billion to appease is a stupid goal, and you will offend no matter what.
But then she uttered something racist and stupid, and now she is on the way out. This was an entirely gratuitous comment that served no purpose except to showcase some serious ignorance and insensitivity on her part.
Yet no different than the usual ignorant and insensitive spewing coming from the profession. Let us not pretend.
For the general record, Ms Kelly, just because something in accepted in your era, neighbourhood, or in-group, it doesn’t make it right.
There were always knives out for Kelly, however, The amount of internal jealousy that an outsider waltzed into NBC with her own crew and superfabulous salary in a competitive and cutthroat field is not a surprise. That there is a toxic environment at NBC — sorry, not Kelly’s doing. As I recounted elsewhere, I had interviewed people there in the late 1990s who all said working at NBC was a horrible thing because it was, and I quote, “the worst place.” Let us not pretend there was ever functionality over there in the first place. That would be spewing bullshit.
Her ratings were always troublesome, but she was always too much of a live wire and maverick to have a broad appeal. For all the talk of being woke, women in the West are expected to have gummy smiles, laugh like neighing horses at everything, be perky as they squawk, and not offend anyone for any reason. That’s not Kelly.
That’s not any woman, but the difference was Kelly didn’t play that game, and that’s why she succeeded: in a sea of politically correct Victorian Ladies, she went against the grain, which is a very cagey and effective strategy helped that she was blonde and comely, and of Western European stock.
But what makes you can ultimately break you. She had more than enough time in her career — one where you observe the world around you for a living — to see that trivializing skin colour with a selfish and self-centred Halloween costume is a vile and self-indulgent act.
If you had a tough climb being a woman in a business, have the empathy to know others who also do not fit the mould are facing the same problems, even worse, and do not need some white bread rich woman to say it’s okay to wear blackface.
Especially as we have collectively gone through this situation before.
Kelly didn’t need this self-inflected wound. Roseanne Barr didn’t need it, either. I do believe Barr when she says she was too ignorant to know the subject of her mindless attack was an African-American, but considering how badly she is reacting to not being on that show, she should not have waded into politics and done that.
Both women made it because they stood out from the typical sanctioned fairy princess persona that is favoured in the West, particularly with the Left who have proven to be no more enlightened or liberating than the Right in that regard. They have just repackaged the same sexist expectations, but give women a little more freedom by giving some of them birthday girl crowns and abortion rights in order to dangle it above their heads as the perpetual threat if they should want to explore or, heaven forbid, begin another political party.
It is the reason propaganda programs such as the Handmaid’s Tale keep the little ladies in check with scary monsters.
Kelly, I am sure, was too focussed on her professional battles to do the necessary ideological reality checks to keep her sensibilities in tune with the world around her, and it happens.
But in the bargain, she gave her rivals a legitimate reason to get rid of her as they virtue-signal, hiding amid those who were genuinely offended and hurt by those remarks.
NBC News will still be a garbage place to work. Her going away will not alter a single thing. It is still a garbage place to work even after Matt Lauer was given the boot. Her departure will make no difference to the toxic culture of broadcast news, as it encourages and enables the same mindsets, no matter if you are on your way in, on your rise to the top, or on your way out…