Born and raised in New York, Megyn Kelly is an infamous news anchor and political commentator; mainly known for her work over on Fox News. While she may have jumped ship over to NBC this year, her most talked about career moments will (probably) always come from her 13-year stint over on Fox News. Why? Because Megyn Kelly was never afraid to speak her mind. They call it “The Megyn Moment.”
The feisty, 46-year-old is no stranger to reading the headlines, but has also been known to make a few headlines herself. Whether it’s questioning Trump on the way he speaks to women or perhaps being one of the only Fox News reporters to clash with Republicans, Kelly has definitely had a memorable career so far. Let’s look at some of the most memorable Megyn moments.
Before reaching the dizzying heights of stardom, it seems as though Megyn Kelly had a rather different career in mind. Back in 1992 she earned her undergraduate degree in political science at Syracuse University. She then went onto obtain a J.D. in 1995, from Albany Law School. It was clear from the start that Kelly was a little bit different.
After being rejected for a communications course at Syracuse University, Kelly opted for political science instead. Not satisfied with just studying, she also became a member of the student senate and sat on a rather important panel, that investigated sexual-harassment cases at the school.
Taking on the Law
After graduation, Megyn Kelly became an associate at Bickel & Brewer LLP, based in their Chicago office. It was here she co-wrote an American Bar Association article entitled, “The Conflicting Roles of Lawyer as Director,” on the conflicts between business directors and lawyers.
After her time at Bickel & Brewer LLP, Kelly moved on to work as a corporate litigator at Jones Day; one of the largest law firms in the world. Here she worked with some rather huge clients in her nine years, including the credit bureau agency Experian. However, law began to feel stale for Megyn and she decided to look for a calling that challenged her, but which was fun as well.
Her First Gig
As everyone knows, breaking into the news industry is an uphill battle. That’s probably why Megyn Kelly decided to take things into her own hands to begin with, cold-calling as a reporter before she landed her first real gig. By 2003, she had moved to Washington D.C. and was hired by WJLA-TV, an affiliate of ABC. Here she covered significant events, particularly in the realm of law and politics – after all, that is her specialty!
It’s thought that Brit Hume, her mentor and friend, put Megyn’s audition tape in the hands of Roger Ailes, Fox News Chairman, back in 2004. After landing the Fox News job, it seemed that Kelly was everywhere. From appearing on Brit Hume’s Special Report, through to sparring with Bill O’Reilly on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ There’s no denying Megyn Kelly has had some pretty wow moments in her career…
Her First Kelly File
It was quite apparent to Fox News what Megyn Kelly was all about, from the very first moments of her “Kelly File” broadcast. Her very first case was with Senator Ted Cruz, known as the darling of the Texas Tea Party. And what thought-provoking question would Megyn Kelly start with?
“So, what’s it like to be the most hated man in America?” She asked the senator. It was clear that the news channel had made the right decision with this one. She was fiery, feisty, and ever-skeptical. And the Megyn Moments would just keep on coming from here on out.
The Duke Lacrosse Story
Back in 2006, Megyn Kelly made her own first big headline after being an early skeptic of the “Duke Lacrosse” case. The case involved a 27-year-old woman accusing three members of the lacrosse team, at Duke University, of sexually assaulting her at a party where she was the hired stripper. While most news outlets covered the story as one of racial privilege and injustice, Kelly took a different approach.
Quoting several defense sources throughout, Megyn Kelly cast doubt over the accusations. She was often the first person to report on stories related to the accuser, which aroused doubt and suspicion. Eventually, the case unraveled and all charges were dropped.
Calling Out Mike Gallagher
In 2011, Megyn Kelly had a few choice words to say in response to Mike Gallagher calling her maternity leave “a racket.” The radio talk-jockey was probably a little bit taken aback when Kelly addressed him on her afternoon show, ‘America Live’. It’s undeniable, she made total mincemeat out of Gallagher, who seemed to be stuck for words during the interview.
Her killer blow came when she asked him why he didn’t think someone who had carried a baby for nine months deserved a couple of months off, to recover and bond with their new child. Before letting him answer, she quipped that he couldn’t answer the question because there was no answer. Cue Mike Gallagher being put in his place!
Election Night 2012
Quite possibly one of the most standout moments in Megyn Kelly’s career came on election night, 2012. On November 6th, Fox News reported that they believed Obama would win a second term after a portion of the results had been released. Karl Rove was not best pleased with the prediction and insisted that Romney still had a chance to take the lead.
Quick as a flash, Kelly snapped, “Is this just the math you do as a Republican to make you feel better or is this real?” At around 11.30pm, the walk to the “decision desk” took place to confirm the real math, with Kelly owning the moment like only she could. It’s a moment that went down in both news and TV history.
Obamacare Round One, Fight!
It’s no secret that Megyn Kelly has never been too keen on the idea of Obamacare. Things first came to a head in 2014 after debating with Bernard Whitman, a democratic pollster and strategist. The pair argued over footage of economist Jonathan Gruber, in which he said that it was the “stupidity of the American voter” which had led to Obamacare being introduced in 2010.
Whitman was keen to prove that Obamacare was actually a good thing, but Kelly wasn’t having any of it. Putting her head in her hands, she told Whitman and the viewers that her “head was about to explode.” She then went on to fight that the law passed was based on lies.
Al Roker Calls Out Megyn Kelly
Around Halloween time in 2018, Megyn Kelly wondered allowed on her show why blackface costumes were considered racist. “When I was a kid, that was OK, so long as you were dressing up as a character,” the host said. After receiving backlash for her comments, Kelly said, “I was wrong.” But NBC colleague Al Roker didn’t find her apology acceptable.
On air during the Today show, Roker said, “The fact is while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.” He continued, “I’m old enough to have lived through Amos ‘n’ Andy,” asitcom featuring white actors portraying people of color, “just magnifying the worst stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is.” Roker wasn’t the only one who found Kelly’s comments unforgivable. Sources say NBC is in talks to cancel her show following the controversy.
Santa is White
While some of the things Megyn Kelly has done in her career have been pretty incredible, others have been… Well, rather questionable. In December 2013, Kelly made the headlines again (this time, for all the wrong reasons). She dedicated a piece in an episode of “The Kelly File” to a Slate article which said images of Santa should be more inclusive.
Instead of agreeing that this probably should be the case, she decided to address the kids at home instead, saying, “For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white.” After uproar due to her comments, she did later retract the statement, saying that it was just tongue-in-cheek. However, the damage had already been done.
Oh And Jesus, Too
If you thought telling kids that Santa was white is bad, wait until you hear what she said about Jesus! In the same segment, Megyn Kelly went onto say that, “Jesus was a white man too. It’s like we have — he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that.”
This backs up her claim that it was more of a tongue-in-cheek comment as opposed to something more sinister, but it still utterly bemused the world. Especially as she was not only making comments about race, but also saying that Santa and Jesus were kind of in the same boat. You know, like fake?
Kelly vs Kardashian
Okay, we’ll admit, there are a few people around the world who question Kim Kardashian. What her purpose is, why she’s famous… You know, that kind of thing. However, the world was a little taken aback when Megyn Kelly herself asked the question, “Is Kim Kardashian a force for good or evil?”
What was so surprising about this bizarre question, was that it came just after she announced she wanted to interview Kim K. While Kelly perhaps smugly thought she was onto a winner with this line of questioning, it was Kim Kardashian who had the last laugh. When asked what she thought of the comments, she simply replied, “I don’t know who that (Megyn Kelly) is.” Ouch.
Kelly vs Beyoncé
Kim Kardashian isn’t the only female superstar to have felt the wrath of Megyn Kelly. Considering she claims to care about women’s rights and female empowerment, it seemed bizarre to the world that she would then start picking on Queen Bey.
She has more than once questioned Beyoncé’s stance on feminism, while not forgetting to diss her music and message as the cherry on top. In fact, she once referred to Beyoncé’s lyrics as “skanky.” Nice. There was even a fake story circulating that Megyn Kelly was the “Becky” Beyoncé referred to in her song “Lemonade”. Jay Z and Megyn Kelly, now that would make headlines…
Megyn Kelly, Erick Erickson and Science
When Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson debated a study that more women than men are primary breadwinners nowadays, they probably weren’t expecting Megyn Kelly to get involved. Erickson was adamant that science proved men should be more dominant than women… All backed up by biology, you see. Except Megyn Kelly didn’t see, and she got Dobbs and Erickson onto her own show.
She told the pair she didn’t like what they wrote, and that she had a whole list of studies proving that their science, and so-called facts, were wrong. Turns out that Kelly will stand up for female rights after all. As long as those females aren’t Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian, obviously.
Not Shying Away
In fact, Megyn Kelly has been keen to stand up for female empowerment, particularly when it comes to their sexuality. Having always been proud of who she is as a woman, Kelly has often argued that she shouldn’t have to shy away as a female in the limelight.
Some of her most famous (or infamous) quotes have been on this topic, such as, “I think you can look at a woman’s legs while she delivers the news and still take her seriously.” And her call against feminists who believe you cannot be sexy and believe in feminism. We still don’t get why she doesn’t love Queen Bey for the same reason, however!
Obamacare Round Two, Fight!
Ding, ding! Yet another fight surrounding ObamaCare happened more recently in 2016 with Dr. Zeke Emanuel on The Kelly File. The ObamaCare architect had an issue with a statement released by Bill Clinton that said the system was failing. He told Kelly that Americans were simply cherry-picking the horror stories.
In true Megyn Kelly style, she wasn’t having any of it. She argued about the rise in premiums, the failing system, and asked Dr. Emanuel how he felt to have ObamaCare on the chopping block. This wasn’t the first time the pair had clashed in an interview, but it was certainly one of the most fiery.
Trump Likes Kelly
Some of Megyn Kelly’s most famous “Megyn Moments” have come in the form of clashes with Donald Trump. It’s believed that around six months before Trump announced he was running for President, he begun sending notes and signed press clippings about her. He also invited her to his resort in Florida.
When he finally announced his presidency campaign, it all became very clear to Megyn what had been going on. She told the press that it was one of the untold stories of the 2016 campaign and that it’s unlikely she was the only one sent gifts, in order to “shape coverage.”
Kelly Doesn’t Like Trump
Unfortunately for Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly made clear from the start that she wasn’t a fan. At the first Republican presidential debate in August 2015, the rumble first started. She questioned the horrid names he had called women, and Trump responded in true Twitter slating fashion.
Kelly was adamant she wouldn’t engage with the presidential candidate, but he continued to goad on Twitter. The two have continued to spar back and forth, much to the enjoyment of the general public. It has, however, led to her being a rather hated figure in the Republican Camp.
Megyn Kelly has seen her fair share of impressive ratings scores over the years, with things only seeming to get bigger and brighter for this star. One of her most watched shows was when she interviewed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting fame. This show beat the average ratings of 2.11 million to reach 3.09 million viewers.
Her one-hour special in May 2016 managed to top the charts once again, bringing in a whopping 4.8 million viewers. As she was nearing the end of her Fox News contract, it was clear that someone needed to snap her up. And fast!
Moving to NBC
In a move thought to shake things up in the media world, Megyn Kelly announced that she would be moving to NBC at the beginning of January 2017. Her 9 pm show over on Fox News was their key to primetime success, which could lead to Kelly’s move being a catastrophe for the channel.
However, it’s also a big risk for NBC who are reportedly considering getting Kelly to also host a daytime show; something that she doesn’t exactly have the warmth and female relatability to do. As one of the only standout female news anchors in the business, hopefully, Megyn Kelly will shine just as much at NBC as she did at Fox.
Why She Left
A few months after she left Fox News, Kelly gave more insight as to why she chose to leave the network in favor of NBC. With her Fox contract expired, and new role secured at NBC, the news anchor guaranteed felt more comfortable speaking on her experiences at Fox. So comfortable in fact, that she revealed in her book Settle For More that Former Chairman of Fox, Roger Ailes, had sexually harassed her.
Former Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly lashed back at Kelly for her statements saying, “If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave.” Kelly’s concern over whether the culture at Fox would ever change helped sway her decision in leaving the network. Both Ailes and O’Reilly have since been forced out of Fox News.