For all you cable-news junkies out there, here’s a big, big story: Fox News media guy Howard Kurtz yesterday penned this piece pinpointing with great exactitude where expectations should hover for Megyn Kelly’s May 17 interview with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. “It’s already being hyped as some kind of super smackdown, a highly anticipated round of televised combat,” writes Kurtz. Omissions swamp that particular sentence, which doesn’t link to or cite a single piece of journalism hyping the Kelly interview. For our part, the Erik Wemple Blog knows of no example of any media critic bloviating about how Kelly will, like, “lay waste” to Trump, or, like, “dismember” him.
If such an opinion were expressed, it would be mistaken, argues Kurtz: “If people want to unload on the interview once it airs, have at it. Television is a spectator sport. The stakes are high, as Kelly knew they would be when she booked Trump for her first special. But it is not Kelly’s job to pummel him, ambush him or derail his candidacy. Her role is to ask questions that are tough but fair.”
More down-tamping comes in this Kurtz paragraph:
What’s more, we’re not talking about a presidential debate here. It’s not a segment on “The Kelly File.” It’s for a broadcast network hour in the vein of the old Barbara Walters specials, taped well in advance and designed to focus in part on personality. The other guests, Fox announced yesterday, are actor Michael Douglas and former O.J. lawyer Robert Shapiro.
Then Kurtz writes: “When the Washington Post calls for a ‘slowly executed dismemberment’ of Trump, it sounds like the only acceptable outcome is torture.” What ill-informed, moron colleague of the Erik Wemple Blog ever could have written such trash? We will investigate.
All the credit in the media universe accrues to Kurtz for this strong piece of journalism. So experienced, so instinctive, so all-knowing is he that he can channel the intents and expectations of a star like Kelly without — apparently — even interviewing her. There are no quotes from Kelly in Kurtz’s strong piece of journalism. As we’ve always said, the best media journalists know exactly where to place expectations for the upcoming interviews of dear colleagues, and here Kurtz sets new and lofty expectations of his own on that front. Along the way, he lays waste to some punk at The Post.