GOP Debate Moderator Megyn Kelly Has Long History Of Offensive, Out-Of-Touch Comments About Minorities

››› ››› JESSICA TORRES

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly will serve as a moderator for the Republican Party's first presidential debate on August 6. Over the past few years, as she has risen through the ranks at Fox, Kelly has exhibited a pattern of making inflammatory and discriminatory comments about minorities.

7 Disturbing Megyn Kelly Moments On Race

Megyn Kelly is moderating the Republican debate tonight - and that is disturbing. Here's why:

Posted by Media Matters for America on Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kelly Announced As One Of Three GOP Debate Moderators

Fox News Announces Kelly As Debate Co-Moderator. A press release from Fox News announced that Kelly will serve as a moderator for the August 6 Republican debate, along with Fox's Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. [Fox News, 5/15]

Kelly Has Repeatedly Belittled Minority Concerns About Discrimination

Kelly: "Santa Claus Just Is White" And "Just Because It Makes You Feel Uncomfortable Doesn't Mean It Has To Change." During the December 11, 2013 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly insisted that Jesus and Santa Claus were "white," brushing past Fox host Jedediah Bila's suggestion that a non-white Santa Claus makes non-white kids feel included in holiday celebrations. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 12/11/13]

Kelly Warned That Obama Plans To Force Communities That Are "Too White [And] Too Privileged" To Embrace Diversity. On the June 11, 2015 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly warned that the Obama administration plans to force "too white [and] too privileged" communities to embrace diversity "whether the communities want it or not":

KELLY:  They don't want, quote, 'unequal neighborhoods.' Unequal neighborhoods. They think too many communities are too white, too privileged, with too many big Mcmansions. And they want to diversify the communities whether the communities want it or not. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/11/15]

Kelly Criticized First Lady's Commencement Speech Because It Pandered To "Culture Of Victimization." On the May 20 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly criticized First Lady Michelle Obama's commencement speech at the historically black Tuskegee University, arguing her recollection of racial discrimination played into a "culture of victimization." Kelly added that discussing racial discrimination is the norm in "Cupcake Nation, that's what we're turning into." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 5/20/15]

Kelly: Jeb Bush Is "Married To A Mexican Immigrant" So "How Do You Say He Is Hostile" Towards Immigrants?" On the July 7 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly argued that GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush's Mexican-born wife gives Bush immunity from criticism of his immigration views:

KELLY: Ok, now the problem for her on that ... is Jeb Bush, who is considered to be the favorite by many polls, is married to a woman who is from Mexico. He has children who are half-Mexican. He -- Hostile towards immigrants? How's that going to fly?

[...]

KELLY: He is married to a Mexican immigrant. How do you say he is hostile? [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/7/15]

Kelly Has History Of Flippant, Inflammatory Comments About Police Brutality's Disproportionate Impact On Minorities 

Kelly: White House Ignored Kate Steinle's Murder Because "They Didn't Riot, They Didn't Protest In The Street" Or "Burn Anything." On the July 13 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly suggested that the Obama administration chose to ignore Kate Steinle's murder by an undocumented immigrant because there weren't riots or protests like those that happened after the deaths of black Baltimore resident Freddy Grey while in police custody, and Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in Ferguson, MO., by a white police officer. "If you take a civilized route, the respectful, quiet, sad objectioning route, you get ignored," added Kelly. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/13/15]

Kelly On Sandra Bland's Arrest: "Even If You Know The Cop Is In The Wrong, Comply And Complain Later." On the July 23 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Kelly and guest David Clarke found fault with black motorist Sandra Bland's response to the white police officer who pulled her over, despite widespread condemnation of the officer's behavior. Kelly ended the segment saying, "Even if you know the cop is in the wrong, comply and complain later." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 7/23/15]

Kelly On Incident Where Police Officer Violently Manhandled A Black Teen: "The Girl Was No Saint Either." On the June 8 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Kelly questioned whether a white McKinney, Texas police officer's excessive use of force while arresting a 14-year-old black girl at a pool party was a "race thing...where is the evidence that this is a race thing, not an excessive force thing?" Kelly added, "The girl was no saint, either." [Fox News, The Kelly File7/28/15]

Kelly Dismissed DOJ Ferguson Report Findings By Suggesting That Racist Emails Circulate At Most Companies. During the March 9 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly downplayed a Department of Justice report that found racial bias and stereotyping in the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department. Kelly said it is unfair to "tar the entire organization" because "there are very few companies in America, whether they are public or private" where "you won't find any racist emails [or] any inappropriate comments." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 3/10/15]

Kelly: "I'd Like To Know The Proof" That Race Had Anything To Do With The Deaths Of Several Black People Killed By White Police Officers. On the December 4, 2014 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Kelly discussed nationwide protests in the wake of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and asked several times for "evidence" that the deaths of Garner and Brown had "anything to do with race."

KELLY: All right. So, let's start with this, what is the evidence that what happened to Eric Garner and what happened to Michael Brown has anything to do with race?

MARC MORIAL: Well, it's surprising to me that in both of these instances, Prosecutor McCullough and the Staten Island prosecutor, deviated from what most lawyers know and understand -- and I am one, who spontaneous practicing law including criminal law deviated from standard procedure when it comes to managing a grand jury. And that is to present evidence and make a recommendation to the grand jury as to what charge should be brought. Then secondarily, both in Ferguson asking in Ferguson not even asking but releasing secret grand jury testimony into the public sphere. And here in Staten Island asking a judge for the release of such testimony. The judge for the most part denied that request allowing a release of only a limited --

KELLY: All right. It's the release, it's a request by the prosecutors for release of information. That plus the fact in Ferguson the prosecutor did not specifically ask for an indictment. Is that your evidence that these two cases have something to do with race?

[...]

MORIAL: So, let's look at these cases at hand. The cases at hand did not yield justice. And that's why I am pleased at the Department of Justice and the Attorney General --

KELLY: I get that.

MORIAL: I'm going to conduct --

KELLY: I get that. You're entitled to your opinion on that and to push for an additional investigation. And that's absolutely your right. But to say that this is a racist situation as Al Sharpton has suggested, as Mayor de Blasio has suggested, as many others have suggested, requires evidence.

MORIAL: What would it take for you to acknowledge -- what would it take for you to acknowledge that race is an issue? Maybe you don't want to acknowledge that race is an issue.

KELLY: I'd like to know the proof. [accessed via Nexis]

Kelly Helped Lead Fox News Defense Of Trump's Anti-Immigrant Comments

Kelly Used Ann Coulter's Book To Defend Trump's Anti-Immigrant Comments. On the June 29 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly cited Ann Coulter's inflammatory anti-immigrant book, Adios, America, to push back on criticism of Donald Trump's comments that the Mexican government had sent "murderers" and "rapists" to the United States. According to Kelly, Coulter's data "support[s] the fact that some obvious immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals":

KURTZ: A lot of people here, even when Trump goes over the top, they like the fact that he doesn't apologize. They like the fact that he doesn't parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.

KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Granted, she's not running for president. But she --

RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view.

KELLY:  But she cites data that does support the fact that some obvious immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to  be criminals.

RIVERA: I researched it tonight --

KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?

RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/29/15]

Kelly Didn't Push Back As Trump Called Mexican Immigrants "Killers." On the June 25 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly hosted GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and allowed him to defend himself against criticism for his anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican rhetoric. Kelly did not push back on Trump's assertions that Mexican immigrants are "killers." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/25/15]

Kelly Promoted Conspiracy Theory That Obama Was In Cahoots With The New Black Panther Party To Intimidate White Voters

Kelly Devoted 45 Segments Over A Two-Week Period Fanning The Flames Of Discredited Account Of Voter Intimidation. During the summer of 2013, Kelly repeatedly tried to scandalize an investigation about a New Black Panther Party member who stood outside a polling station on Election Day 2012, allegedly intimidating voters. Kelly claimed that her sources would shed light on the Obama administration's "decision to not pursue serious charges against members of the New Black Panther Party" and that "politics and race" were potentially to blame. [Media Matters6/30/107/16/10]

Kelly Accused First Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Of "Reverse Racism"

Kelly Misrepresented Sotomayor's Commencement Remarks, Claiming "Reverse Racism." During the May 26, 2009 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Kelly described then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor's remarks at the University of California-Berkeley as "reverse racism." In a speech, Sotomayor stressed the importance of diversity on the bench by saying, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 5/26/09]

Kelly Adopted Gender, Racial Stereotypes To Suggest Sotomayor's "Infamous Temper" Could Potentially "Flare Up." On the July 13, 2009 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Kelly asked if Sotomayor's "infamous temper" would flare up during her confirmation hearing. Kelly also suggested that Sotomayor's work with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund could "pose a roadblock" in her confirmation. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 7/13/09]

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Elections, Inclusion Matters
Person
Megyn Kelly
Show/Publication
The Kelly File
Stories/Interests
Hispanic Media Project
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