It has been something of a rough start for Megyn Kelly and her new NBC morning talk show. Ratings are middling and the early reviews have not been kind. She’s also had to deal with some outsized negative attention given to segments featuring Jane Fonda and the cast of Will & Grace.
During this morning’s broadcast of CNN’s Smerconish, host Michael Smerconish discussed the struggles Kelly has experienced out of the gate and came to the conclusion it is due to her being under a microscope due to her time at Fox News. In his opinion, she’s a victim of the huge partisan and cultural divide in this country.
“Lost in all the Zaprudering of her work is the real reason that she’s struggling,” he noted. “It’s not because of professional deficiencies. She’s the total package. She’s smart. She’s compelling. She’s attractive.”
The CNN host continued, “No, Megyn Kelly is struggling because of the political cannibalization of the television market. Another symptom of our partisan divide. We don’t watch the same shows as a nation anymore.”
He went on to say that in the minds of her Fox News viewers, Kelly committed “ideological heresy” by jumping to NBC. Additionally, while Fox News’ primetime audience was mostly older, white and male, the morning audience she’s now trying to reach skews female and includes a large percentage of women of color.
He concluded by stating that Kelly would have had a much better chance if she came out of the gate fresh and without her past at Fox News, At the same time, he’s not betting against her because “in this country, we love a comeback story and ultimately she rises.”
If this analysis sounds somewhat familiar, it is due to the fact that Mediaite founder Dan Abrams made many of these same points in a column earlier this week. In that piece, Abrams explained that in today’s climate, “[i]f you play in the political arena, which includes the media these days, you are either on our team, or the enemy.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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