Journalist Megyn Kelly, well-known for her years anchoring news shows across multiple networks, is now free from corporate media – and she’s letting everyone know exactly how she feels about it.
After a tumultuous departure from NBC News in 2018, Kelly laid low, telling the Daily Caller media reporter Shelby Talcott during an exclusive interview that she did take some time to lick her wounds. But, she soon bounced back, launching her own media company “Devil May Care Media” in Sept. 2020, which is home to her unfiltered podcast – and Kelly is giving her old stomping grounds hell amid it all, declaring that “legacy media is dying a very slow death.” (You can listen to her podcast ‘The Megyn Kelly Show’ here on Apple Podcasts.)
“These are all money-making engines. They’re not there as a public service,” Kelly said of cable news, adding that Americans should absolutely “not trust the media.”
“They’re not honest brokers,” she explained. “The media gets paid to get eyeballs, right? To get you viewing them. And the way you do that is to stoke outrage. That’s why whenever you turn off the television from cable news, you feel pissed off. You may not even know they’re doing it to you, but that’s what they’re doing to you. It’s one of the reasons I wound up leaving.”
The former Fox News anchor even brought up her old network, noting that while they do “allow dissenting viewpoints,” they’re “doing the same thing on the other side.” She slammed the majority of the media as being “genuinely, ideologically hard left,” suggesting they act more like activists than people reporting the news.
Despite the gloom and doom of cable news, Kelly spoke of a bright spot in the journalism world – the rise of independent reporters taking to platforms like YouTube and Substack to get their work out. Kelly is one of these journalists, but she’s far from the only one.
In October, Glenn Greenwald rebuked The Intercept, a publication he co-founded, accusing them of censorship. Former New York Times writer and editor Bari Weiss publicly departed from the Gray Lady in July, saying that “intellectual curiosity … has become a liability.”
The list goes on, and Kelly, for one, does not think it’s just a fad.
“There’s no way, when people sort of understand what’s happening in the digital world and how forward-looking it is and how much more meaningful and substantive it is, and how much more honest you can be here, that they would choose that other model [cable news],” Kelly told the Caller, adding that “younger viewers are leaving” traditional media “in droves.”
The veteran journalist has a few reasons why corporate media is bleeding talent. For one, she said, most media companies believe they’re “pursuing something noble” and therefore may be “relieved” to see “somebody like a Glenn Greenwald leave.”
Additionally, according to Kelly, it’s not possible to keep talented journalists under lock and key, forced to abide by corporate rules and cookie-cutter stories that fit neatly into one particular narrative.
“You can’t keep somebody under your thumb whose really talented for very long,” Kelly explained. “Both of those folks – Glenn, Bari, Andrew Sullivan of New York Magazine, even Matt Taibbi, who opened up a Substack column instead of just Rolling Stone – you can’t take talented journalists like that and keep doing this to them,” Kelly said, making a “squashing” motion with her thumb. “And think they’re going to accept it. They’re not.”
Those opting for this new world of journalism, Kelly added, are all hard advocates for freedom of speech. This is something that is stifled at traditional news publications, according to Kelly, who called the world of online journalism a “safer space.”
“We understand what actual controversy is, like when you’re in Iraq and someone’s shooting at you, and we’re not going to stifle her right to speak words that we risked our lives to protect,” Kelly said. “We protected that right on a battlefield. So, I feel like those people get it, and as a result this is a much – forgive the term – safer space than being out there in traditional media, where you really do have to be very careful or you could get fired.”
Kelly also explained to the Caller why cable news has lasted so long, and the answer, she said, lies in the one person the media loves to hate: The model has been “kept alive by one man: Donald Trump,” she said.
“They’d better hope and pray that he’s got some sort of a network or a show or just comes on everybody else’s show, because say what you will about Donald Trump, being boring on television is not one of his problems. And they need him,” Kelly said, adding that she doesn’t “know what they’re gonna do without him.”
“It’s very unlikely Trump will go away,” she continued, meaning that cable news may die a slower death. “They’ll try to feed off of those crumbs for awhile.”
“As long as he stays somewhat active, they’ll have a little bit more of a lifespan. But their ratings are going to go down, I have very little doubt: Without Trump in the office every day, there’s no way, especially CNN and MSNBC, sustain the numbers they are getting.”
Media reporter. Follow Shelby on Twitter