Megyn Kelly, the TV personality who once used her massive platform at Fox News to argue that Santa Claus, a fake person, could not be portrayed as black, used her even bigger platform at NBC on Tuesday to cover for her former employer’s history of racism.
Speaking to Christian Picciolini, a repentant white supremacist, on her NBC show, Kelly made a point of defending her former network when the conversation veered toward Trump’s coded language during the 2016 campaign.
“I do believe that there were dog whistles,” Picciolini said. “But to somebody like me, I can tell you that’s a bullhorn. I heard them loud and clear. When they referred to globalism, I knew that they were talking about the global Jewish conspiracy. When they use terms like ‘the liberal media,’ those are terms we used to use but we use to call it the Jewish media.”
“They’ve learned to massage their language to make it more palatable,” he continued, before Kelly interrupted him.
“Can I just say,” Kelly said, “having worked at Fox News for 13 years, we used to criticize the MSM, some would call them the liberal media and it didn’t mean that. It meant, you know, left leaning, or people who were not open minded toward the views of half the country, conservative people.”
“That’s also the power of their marketing,” Picciolini replied. “They can take words that are hateful and massage them to get them into the lexicon to make it normalized.”
“So you pick something that is okay, a term that has nothing to do with white supremacy and you adopt it,” Kelly said. “And to your people, it has a very different meaning. Like, with a wink and a nod.”
Some possible examples of such winks and nods: saying that an African-American girl tackled by police was “no saint”; opining that Michele Obama promoted a “culture of victimization”; portraying the New Black Panther Party as a massive threat to voting rights; amplifying voices like that of Ann Coulter; and characterizing ESPN anchor Jemele Hill’s description of Trump as a white supremacist as mere political bias.
Those were all things Kelly said—mostly on Fox News—and she can’t run away from such remarks on her new, more mild-mannered NBC show. For clues as to why Trump’s dog whistles found such a big audience among white supremacists, she may want to revisit her own role in conveying them to millions.