NBC decided to cast aside God’s treasure, Tamron Hall, to invest in noted deplorable Megyn Kelly, and now NBC executives are in a reported panic as Kelly seems to appeal only to old white people. And the real question here is: What did NBC expect?
Before coming to NBC, Kelly was an anchor for Fox News, which is known for being the news station for people who love monster-truck rallies, Confederate flags on clothing, hatred, sweatpants with names across the butt and hair scrunchies.
So is NBC really surprised that Kelly, with a Sunday magazine show on NBC earlier this summer, didn’t score higher among the cultural demographic? In fact, the entire black collective gave NBC the side eye when news of Hall’s departure was announced. In fact, many blacks believed that the move from Hall to Kelly was to appeal to the deplorable base that put President Donald Trump in office. But NBC is apparently shocked at Kelly’s inability to appeal to nonwhites—this as NBC is set to debut a morning show starring Kelly on Sept. 25.
“A lot of people were watching the [Sunday] magazine show to try to get a sense of her appeal to the daytime demographic and a sense of how she would be outside of the Fox environment,” an insider told the Daily Beast. “Fox News skews very male ... I always tend to think of her as more of a guy’s girl than a girl’s girl. ... It’s extremely challenging, and I’m not sure Megyn’s personality really connects with women.”
Before coming to NBC, Kelly had no history as a great unifier. In fact, the hiring and faux panic by NBC execs seem a bit disingenuous considering that Kelly had a long list of questionable race-related features on her résumé.
In a piece written shortly after Kelly was snagged by NBC, writer Michael Arceneaux wondered, “Would Megyn Kelly Be Less Racist?” In that piece for The Root, he noted:
In 2010 Kelly spent an ample amount of air time during her 1-3 p.m. ET block (the purported “real news” portion of Fox News) covering the New Black Panther Party—namely, positioning it as a larger threat to white folks than it ever actually was. In the article “Megyn Kelly’s Minstrel Show,” Dave Weigel said of that period, “Watch her broadcasts and you become convinced that the New Black Panthers are a powerful group that hate white people and operate under the protection of Eric Holder’s DOJ.”
At the time, her own Fox colleague, Kirsten Powers, described Kelly as “doing the scary black man thing.”
Just last summer, Kelly was reunited with Malik Shabazz, a now former member of the New Black Panther Party. During their exchange, Shabazz complained about her attitude and mentioned white privilege. Kelly responded by telling Shabazz that when making such “insensitive statements … it’s hard to take you seriously.”
Playing the role of victim while aggressively stoking racial fears is a constant of her career at that network. When Kelly decided to take up the mantle of defending the race of Santa Claus in 2013, she said on Fox News, “Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That’s a verifiable fact—as is Santa.” Jesus looking more like a man our president-elect would want to put on a watch list aside, Kelly went on to lament those who possess “the knee-jerk instinct to race-bait.”
Speaking of baiting, Kelly said in 2015 that the Obama administration intended to force “too white [and] too privileged” communities to embrace diversity “whether the communities want it or not.” That same year, Kelly dismissed a DOJ report that found racial bias and stereotyping within the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department based on the notion that “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.”
In the meantime, Tamron Hall is not concerned with the musings of NBC execs trying to figure out where they went wrong, since she is busy living her best life. According to Raw Story, Hall is working on a daytime talk show backed by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and continues to host a crime show on Discovery Channel.
Following Hall’s exit from NBC, the National Association of Black Journalists issued a statement that read in part: “The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is saddened by Tamron Hall’s departure from NBC. She broke ground as the first black female Today show co-host and was enjoying ratings success alongside Al Roker during the show’s third hour of programming.”
NABJ went on to accuse the network of “whitewashing” its on-air talent.
“NBC has been a leader for diversity in broadcasting, but recent reports that Hall and Roker will be replaced by former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are being seen by industry professionals as whitewashing,” the statement read.
So, yeah, NBC, good luck with that!