We really thought Donald Trump’s feud with Fox News — and Megyn Kelly in particular — was over. He made nice with Roger Ailes and soon Fox & Friends was back to openly promoting his campaign on Twitter.
But last night, with Kelly back from vacation, Trump was at it again, accusing the host of being “off her game” during a segment with Dr. Cornel West and once again retweeting one of his followers who called her a “bimbo.”
This time, the reaction from Fox News personalities was swift, with a large number of Kelly’s colleagues shaming Trump on Twitter. Some were appropriately harsh, like Kirsten Powers, who implored Trump to “please shut up” and Janice Dean, who said, “This needs to stop.” And this afternoon, Fox head Roger Ailes issued a strong statement urging Trump to apologize.
But a certain type of Fox News personality had a different reaction to Trump’s Twitter trolling. Figures like Brian Kilmeade, Geraldo Rivera and Sean Hannity included some pretty huge caveats in their defenses of Kelly, making sure the world — and more importantly, Donald Trump — knew they were still friends with the GOP frontrunner.
Rivera urged his “pal” to cool down:
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) August 25, 2015
And Kilmeade made it clear that he still “likes” Trump despite his “unwarranted” attacks on one of Fox’s biggest stars:
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) August 25, 2015
Finally, Hannity, who hosted Trump’s big post-debate sit-down on Fox, included even more praise for the candidate in his Twitter response Tuesday afternoon:
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 25, 2015
Why such tepid criticism from these Fox men? Are they afraid that if they are too tough on Trump they will be added to his list of enemies alongside Charles Krauthammer and Chuck Todd? If Trump’s offenses against Kelly really are “unacceptable,” then why should their responses be so careful?
Despite the concerted — and possibly coordinated? — response to Trump’s latest outburst, there are a few Fox hosts who remained conspicuously silent on Twitter Tuesday morning. Most notably, one of Trump’s closest “friends” at the network had nothing to say in Kelly’s defense: Steve Doocy, who recently defended Trump following his immigration debate with Bill O’Reilly.
Perhaps his silence speaks even louder than Kilmeade, Rivera, and Hannity’s cautious words.
[Photo via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]