Should a Member of the Press “Clear the Air” with a Politician?

One of the arguments that is often used to point out unfairness is to suggest what things would look like if roles were reversed. For example, pointing out that a remark was sexist by asking what it would look like if the same thing were said to a man.

That kind of argument is so often abused that I tend to avoid it. Nevertheless, it was the first thing that came to mind when I heard that Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly had a private meeting with Donald Trump and reported that they had a chance to “clear the air.”

Let’s remember what happened here. In a Republican presidential debate Kelly asked Trump some tough questions. He didn’t like them and went on for days and weeks to say horribly sexist things about her. The feud disturbed the relationship Fox News had with the presidential contender and became the focus of a lot of press reports.

Here is where I want to employ the role change argument. What would we be saying about a media reporter who asked a Democratic candidate tough questions that eventually led to a private meeting to clear the air? I submit that holy hell would break out about the media’s collusion with politicians and failure to play their role as watch dogs.

In no way do I mean to imply any sympathy for Megyn Kelly. She is part of a media institution that, while pretending to be “fair and balanced,” is nothing more than a mouthpiece for conservatives. I’d propose that is why so few people find this whole episode to be unremarkable…it’s what we expect from Fox News.

I’ll not be breaking any new ground when I point out that this is actually a perfect example of how that network is not a news organization, but a PR arm of the Republican Party. But in this case, I think it still needs to be said out loud.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.