Last night, Megyn Kelly’s much-anticipated and relentlessly-hyped interview with presumptive GOP nominee for president Donald Trump finally aired on Fox Broadcast Network, not Fox News Channel.
Here’s the full interview via YouTube:
So, what was the reaction to Trump and Kelly’s face-to-face interview after months of vitriolic and emotional feuding?
Here’s a sampling:
Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly Bury Hatchet in New Interview (NBC News)
As far as controversial retweets calling Kelly a “bimbo” Trump sheepishly said “excuse me” before offering that it’s probably “not the most horrible thing” Kelly has had said about her over the course of her life.
“You’ve been called a lot worse,” Trump said with a smile.
Earlier in the interview, the Twitter-loving Republican presumptive nominee acknowledged that it’s the retweets that tend to get him in trouble, calling retweets “more of a killer than the tweets.”
Megyn Kelly broadens profile with Trump-powered special (CNN)
“Let’s talk about us,” Kelly said, as a segue to the rancor that Trump has exhibited toward her. Trump ultimately sounded mildly contrite, while stopping short of an apology.
Throughout, Kelly sought to approach the talk with a sense of humor. But if she wanted to present another aspect of herself as a personality, featuring Trump — while obviously promotable — wasn’t really a good choice. That’s because the focus in many quarters will inevitably be on all the questions she didn’t pose.
Megyn Kelly’s awkward primetime debut was a little too focused on Megyn Kelly (WaPo)
Kelly arrived with questions, a few of them somewhat good: Has Trump made any mistakes in this campaign, anything he wishes he could take back? Has anyone in his life ever hurt him emotionally? Is he setting a bad example for America’s children, whose parents are constantly reminded not to become bullies? These are things one can imagine Walters asking in a soft-focus setting.
Trump, to no one’s surprise, came with his usual array of incomplete sentences, unfinished tangents and an obfuscating lack of specifics. Entirely too much time was given over to Kelly and Trump rehashing their spat, with editing so choppy that you couldn’t even trust the hidden meaning in their eye-contact and attempts at frenemy rapport. It’s certainly not news to anyone at this point that the only thing Trump is good at talking about are his ratings, his number of social-network followers and the size of the crowds at his appearances. Granting this interview, of course, will simply serve as another way for him to measure his popularity.
Megyn Kelly Finally Confronts Donald Trump for Attacking Her So Much (Mediaite)
She pressed him on his regrets before getting to the specifics of his attacks on her. Kelly asked, “Have you given any thought… to the power that your messaging has on the lives of the people you target and on the millions of people who take their cue from you?”
Without getting personal, she confronted Trump about the kind of crap people on the receiving end of his attacks get. Trump, who implored Kelly to recognize his humanity, didn’t seem to reciprocate that much and said he is just a man “fighting for survival.”
Kelly persisted and asked him if he understands the responsibility he has to change his tone. Trump said he does.
Megyn Kelly goes too easy on Donald Trump in her Fox infomercial, er, special (LA Times)
Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Donald Trump to headline her Fox special “Megyn Kelly Presents” so she could pin him down on foreign and domestic policy issues, or even confront him about the months-long troll attack he launched after she dared question him during the first Republican debate about his penchant for misogynistic language.
No, she invited him to costar in an hourlong infomercial for her new book.
After a near-clinically passive-aggressive conversation with the presumptive Republican nominee, Kelly then teased viewers throughout subsequent Barbara Walters-lite type interviews (Laverne Cox, Robert Shapiro and Michael Douglas) with a shocking admission by Trump to be provided at the end of the hour.
But the admission — either that his favorite book is “All Quiet on the Western Front” or that apparently he watched Kelly’s show even as he urged others to boycott it — was nowhere near as shocking as the show’s final moments.
Megyn Kelly Embraces Donald Trump in a Disgusting, Fawning Interview (Salon)
For all the disgusting insults Donald Trump has lobbed at Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly—from retweeting someone calling her a bimbo, to implying she was on her period while moderating a debate—even the most naïve observer of politics and media in the Age of Trump must have known that Tuesday night was inevitable. And by “Tuesday night,” I don’t just mean a television special—this particular one on the Fox broadcast network, and moderated by Kelly with Trump as her star guest. Equally preordained was the fact that, at a time when Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and most of the Fox News Channel have made their peace with Trump, Kelly would eventually conduct a fawning, boring, and pointless interview with the presumptive Republican nominee.
Despite the ridiculously positive media coverage she receives from a press mostly skeptical of her FNC peers (which ignores how racist her show continues to be), Kelly is less a maverick than a team player (on a rather dirty team). It’s true that she did a good job challenging Trump and other Republicans at the debates. But that challenge of Trump took place in the context of a network that was at least partially opposed to him, and at a time when Murdoch was uncomfortable with Trump’s rise. As Gabriel Sherman reported on Tuesday, one “high-level” Fox source told him that it was Murdoch himself who encouraged Kelly to go after Trump at that first debate.
For his part, Trump himself seemed to like how he came across in the interview and Tweeted a bimbo-free review:
Well, that is it. Well done Megyn — and they all lived happily ever after! Now let us all see how "THE MOVEMENT" does in Oregon tonight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2016
What do you think? Was the interview “disgusting and fawning”? Was it a softball “infomercial”? Or was the interview an effective way for both Trump and Fox News to bury the hatchet? Let us know in the comment section and share this post to see what your friends on social media think.