An abashed Mike Gallagher appeared today on “America Live with Megyn Kelly” to (sort of) defend the remarks he made earlier this summer about Kelly’s three-month-long maternity leave. Back then, Gallagher called such a luxurious leave “a racket.”

Today, once again in the host’s chair after the birth of her second child, daughter Yardley, four months, everybody’s favorite Fox anchor appeared keen to elicit a retraction from the radio host. She all but got it.

Gallagher shamefacedly muttered several unintelligible excuses — including a half-hearted hint that he had hoped the comment wouldn’t make it through the grapevine to the great Kelly herself — before saying (one hopes jokingly!), “I’d been drinking.”

“Now you’re more along the path of what I expected,” Kelly quipped back to the man she assured viewers is, in fact, her friend.

But the power mom didn’t let Gallagher off the hook that easily.

“What is it about getting pregnant and carrying a baby for nine months and giving birth to a child that you think doesn’t deserve a little time for bonding and recovery?” she asked, after asserting at the outset of the interview that Gallagher’s comment was a “moronic thing to say.”

Gallagher really had no words. As the interview faded out, he could be heard stating frankly, “I’m sorry,” before welcoming Kelly back to Fox’s dayside.

He wasn’t the only person glad Kelly is back to revive the program that bears her name. Numerous fans on social media sites happily sounded off about Kelly’s new haircut and celebrated her return to Fox.

Unlike Gallagher, I find nothing appalling in Fox funding a three-month maternity leave for one of the top names in news. If anything, I’m just disappointed for Kelly’s sake that she had to return so soon. She says she’s not the sort of mother to be effective as a stay-at-home mom (“I’d worry that I’d get stale because I’d be missing my old life”), but I can’t help feeling at least a little bit that America’s gain is Yates’, Yardley’s and Kelly’s loss. Mother-child time is pretty precious, after all. And while all kinds of families manage to make any number of approaches to child-rearing work, in general, daycare does few favors for children (which is not to say Kelly’s kids are in daycare — I don’t know that for a fact). So, as much as I love Megyn Kelly on-air, if someday we see a little less of her because she wants to scale it back and spend more time with her kiddos, I’ll be OK with that.

Tags: Megyn Kelly