Friday, June 2, 2017 at 7:33 AM

Alas, Megyn Kelly Will Debut on NBC Looking like She’s Still on FOX …

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

With Roger Ailes still the chief operating pimp.

Fox News is still reeling from the allegations of sexual harassment against Ailes and other network honchos that caused Megyn Kelly to jump ship in January. Now she’s moving on.

She debuts on NBC this Sunday, and seems poised to get off with a bang. This, because she snagged the highly coveted interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, his infamous meddling in democratic elections in the United States and across Europe made Putin the biggest get any anchor could get.

Unfortunately, the promo suggests that Kelly was more interested in titillating than interviewing Putin. Only this explains her wearing a dress with a slit that invited peeping up her nether regions and spaghetti straps that invited visual disrobing. It would not surprise me if Putin obliged – by showing more interest in her looks than her questions.

On the other hand, I’m not sure what to make of the fact that the promo shows India’s conservative prime minister, Narendra Modi, sitting in on her interview with Putin. I gather this joint interview was not planned. But I suspect Modi would have felt even more disrespected by that dress than the Saudi king was by Melania Trump’s bare head. (Just ask her husband!)

Not to mention reports that Kelly compounded any disrespect by asking Modi if he’s on Twitter. But I suspect this gaffe embarrassed her far more than it disrespected him. After all, at over 30 million, Modi has almost as many followers as Donald Trump.

The point is that this is the same (appropriately dressed) news anchor who famously rattled Donald Trump during the first Republican Party presidential debate last year; so much so that she almost derailed his campaign. In fact, Kelly has established herself as such a bona fide journalist that NBC is pitting her program, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, against 60 Minutes on CBS, the most successful news program in broadcast history.

I watched her program on Fox News many times, and I can personally attest that she really is that good. Indeed, this is why I am so disappointed that her promo showed her looking more like a blonde bimbo than a bona fide journalist.

In “Women Complain that Fox News Head, Roger Ailes, Has Dick for Brains,” July 20, 2016, I decried what appeared to be women at Fox News objectifying themselves to keep their jobs.

__________________

Close friends will tell you that I have often decried the way all ‘prominent Fox News women’ seem to abide a dress code that requires them to bare as much leg and wear as much makeup as possible

Watching them, as I do on occasion for ‘fair and balanced’ news reporting, I always get the sense that they look more like beauty pageant contestants than cable news reporters. What’s more, camera shots invariably reinforce the impression that tits and butts are every bit as important as brains and skills.

Frankly, their objectification is such that Fox News women are often barely distinguishable from the vaudevillian ‘Benny Hill foxes.’ This might explain why Ailes treated them, eponymously enough, like his Fox News foxes.

Far more troubling, though, is the rumor that he hired women based solely on whether or not he found them ‘f**kable.’ After all, these allegations not only give credence to that rumor, but also make it impossible to watch Fox News women henceforth without wondering what sexual favors they performed to get, and are performing to keep, their jobs. …

The parallels in this unfolding scandal to the one that triggered Bill Cosby’s fall from grace are as unavoidable as they are instructive.

____________________

As for Kelly at NBC, evidently, you can take the girl out of Fox News but you can’t take Fox News out of the girl.

All the same, I gather she’ll be doing a number of interviews (with Putin and others) over the next few days at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Here’s to her dressing more appropriately for those.

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* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Thursday, at 7:47 p.m.

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