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NBC insider accuses Megyn Kelly of exploiting #MeToo movement to bolster ratings
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Megyn Kelly is under fire from an anonymous NBC insider for allegedly “milking” the #MeToo movement for ratings.
The disparaging comments on the former Fox personality came after Kelly told Us magazine that she knows “too much that others don’t” about Matt Lauer to make recovery likely for the disgraced former NBC anchor, who was ousted in November 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
But a source close to Kelly said that the anonymous insider’s comment on her came from a Lauer supporter at the network, pointing to a rift between NBC veterans and the former host of The Kelly File. Meanwhile, rumors of conflict at Today have swirled since Kelly joined the daytime talk show last year.
Kelly “milking” #MeToo
Lauer, who made a name for himself as one of the most recognizable American journalists with his work on shows like Today and Dateline, was one of the earliest and most visible men to fall amid the #MeToo movement. But when Us magazine asked Kelly if she thinks Lauer can make a come-back, her response reportedly infuriated NBC veterans.
“I know too much that others don’t know,” Kelly said, and a source told PageSix that NBC insiders didn’t take well to the comment from Kelly.
“There were a lot of eye rolls,” the insider said. “What does she really know? She’s not close to anyone here.”
The source went on to accuse Kelly of “milking the #MeToo movement. People are counting down the days until she’s gone,” they said.
Meanwhile, a representative at NBC pushed back against rumors of conflict.
“Whoever is saying this is trying to start a war that doesn’t exist,” the NBC spokesperson said. “Her show is empowering and engaging, and we’re especially proud of her coverage of…#MeToo.”
Kelly has reportedly sparred with producers and cast behind the scenes at Today since joining the show last fall. The former Fox personality landed at NBC with lead feet last September and has struggled with low ratings ever since, which some say is the result of her history of steely, hard-hitting journalism, which didn’t make for a natural fit for the breezy feel of a morning talk show.
Some NBC insiders told the Daily Mail that Kelly has fallen back on coverage of #MeToo to boost the show’s flagging ratings and protect her job.
“Her strategy is the talk of 30 Rock. As soon as her show became a dumpster fire she actively positioned it as the only place on network television that it is ‘MeToo’ continually,” they said. “By aggressively reporting on every male accused of sexual misconduct at the network, it would make her much harder to fire.”
Opportunist or victim?
While her critics say she’s an opportunist, to Kelly, the coverage is sincere. The former defense attorney and mother of three even split ways with many #MeToo activists when she became fiercely defensive of now-Supreme court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as he faced allegations of sexual assault.
Kelly called the controversy surrounding Kavanaugh a “farce” and has criticized the idea that all women must be believed, insisting on the importance of due process. Still, Kelly herself has alleged that she was sexually harassed by former Fox executive Robert Ailes early in her career, and she said she remains passionate about speaking out on similar issues.
“All I’m going to say is that I feel very strongly about the #MeToo coverage,” Kelly said in the Us interview, “[and] the importance of doing it without fear or favor.”
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