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The sexism in Donald Trump’s latest swipe at Fox News’s Megyn Kelly

Megyn Kelly listens as Chris Wallace begins introductions during a Republican presidential debate at Quicken Loans Arena last year in Cleveland. (John Minchillo/Associated Press)
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Donald Trump’s treatment of women drove Megyn Kelly’s controversial question to the Republican front-runner on Aug. 6 during a GOP debate in Cleveland:

Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women.
You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Your Twitter account … has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?

Trump tried to play off the question, interrupting Kelly to say, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” When it came time to actually respond, he blabbed about political correctness, his knack for kidding around and the need to be strong as a country. Ever since then, Trump has hammered Kelly whenever inspiration has arisen, though most often on Twitter. Saturday’s version addressed Kelly’s participation in Thursday night’s Fox News GOP debate:

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that aired today, Trump was asked whether he’d show up for the Fox News debate. “Probably. I mean, I don’t like her. She doesn’t treat me fairly,” said Trump. A Fox News spokesperson issued this statement: “Sooner or later Donald Trump, even if he’s president, is going to have to learn that he doesn’t get to pick the journalists—we’re very surprised he’s willing to show that much fear about being questioned by Megyn Kelly.”

Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to defend himself after his controversial comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. (Video: Alice Li/The Washington Post)

In any case, Trump riffed about Kelly: “I’m not a big fan of hers at all. I don’t care,” said the candidate. “I mean … I might be the best thing that ever happened to her. Who ever even heard of her before the last debate?”

Well, at least those thousands and thousands who saw her profiled in grand fashion in the New York Times Magazine. Or Elle. Or The Washington Post. Or in GQ. Or those thousands and thousands who saw the viral clip of her ripping conservative commentators over their views on women breadwinners. Or the thousands and thousands who have seen any number of other Kelly interviews, including the time she ripped former Vice President Dick Cheney or embarrassed herself about the race of Santa Claus.

As all those Megyn Kelly profiles demonstrate, this is a woman who made her way from Delmar, N.Y., to the top of the No. 1 cable network because of hard work and risk-taking. Nowhere in those profiles is any mention of a “small” $1 million loan given to Kelly by her father, as is the case with Trump. In fact, Kelly’s father died when she was 15, not long after he’d canceled some of his life insurance coverage, as reported by the New York Times.

But yeah, she owes her professional success to big-man billionaire Donald Trump. Why can’t she just thank him?