Kinder, gentler times

Just 4 years ago, Megyn Kelly’s debate moderating skills were being praised by Trump

(L) Chip Somodevilla/Getty) Images; (R) Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Cosmopolitan Magazine and WME Live

What a difference four years has made for Megyn Kelly. Over that time she’s ascended to become one of the Fox News network’s most recognizable star anchors. A profile by The New York Times Magazine last year charted her meteoric rise and the unique appeal to viewers she brought to a network dominated by men with largely Republican followings. Her willingness to tangle with U.S. Marines who were at odds over the publicity surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden was one of the qualities that propelled Kelly to prime-time status on the network. Longtime Fox News veteran Brit Hume told the Times Magazine, “Attractive-looking blond anchorwomen are not rare. Attractive-looking blond anchorwomen who speak with a fierce authority are rare.” The profile billed the phenomenon as “The Megyn Kelly Moment,” but it couldn’t have predicted the moment that was still to come in 2015.

It wasn’t only her colleagues who were saying laudatory things about her (or remarking on her looks) over the years. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has made commenting on Megyn Kelly’s talent and appearance a hallmark of his once long-shot campaign. But, as several of his GOP opponents have pointed out about Trump on issues like abortion and his relationship with the Clintons, the invective he’s hurled at Kelly has been a major flip-flop. This week, Trump has railed against Kelly’s journalistic skills and suggested she’s unfit to be a debate moderator. But as recently as December 2011, Trump lavished Kelly with praise for her prowess at moderating presidential debates. “I could never beat you,” Trump told Kelly after she asked about whether he might be a better debate moderator than her. “That wouldn’t even be close. That would be no contest. You have done a great job, by the way,” he continued. “And I mean it.” Watch the clip below.


So what happened? One tough question completely altered Trump’s view of Kelly’s debate moderation skills? Evidently so. And Trump has continued his attacks Wednesday and Thursday. His supporters on Twitter have followed his lead, peppering Kelly with sexist insults on Twitter. Trump even retweeted one supporter’s “bimbo” insult that criticized Kelly over a racy GQ photo shoot she once appeared in — despite the nice things she said about him in an interview with TIME.

Kelly will be a participant at our Women in the World Summit coming up on April 6 through 8 in New York City.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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