Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly suggested some cable and broadcast news channels may have traded the responsibility to ask tough questions for continued access to the prime ratings draw of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump.
“We have to worry about numbers to some extent…but we also have to worry about our souls and journalism,” Kelly told Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric in a discussion at the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center in New York.
Kelly, whose question to Trump in the first Republican presidential debate about a long history of sexist comments about women sparked months of nasty comments by the candidate about her, believes journalists who would ordinarily have joined in the tough questioning simply sat back:
“You can’t as a presidential candidate shut down everybody. You can’t shut down Fox, CNN, ABC…you can’t. So there’s strength in numbers on our side too. This was an opportunity for solidarity among the press that I think we missed.
“I wonder sometimes whether the question I asked him at that debate and the backlash against me has cowed other journalists because they don’t want it to happen to them or maybe they don’t have a boss who they think will stand behind them…or maybe they just want access and they want the numbers.”