Megyn Kelly is red hot right now, according to Politico.
The site writes that she’s achieved an unusual status for a host in the middle of the often-ideological cable new wars: Kelly’s earning respect across the political divide. She prods interview subjects whether they’re from the left or the right, at times treating them like hostile witnesses; her questions are pointed and she’s quick to interrupt an answer that’s off point or meandering - no matter who it’s from.
Members of Congress who have been interviewed commend her lively style, competing producers praise the content on her show, even left-leaning journalists like Greenwald, among others, say they have to respect Kelly’s forceful challenges to the right, and former colleagues and media watchers say she’s just got that “X-factor” - the mix of qualities that produce a cable news superstar.
Recognition has come from viewers - she often comes in a close second to ratings king Bill O’Reilly - and from the press, too. Kelly, 43, was the only woman in media to be included in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list this year.
Kelly has shown that she is not afraid to grill Fox friends like Dick Cheney and/or other Republicans.
In June, for instance, she shut down Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) as he tried to explain the nuclear option.
“My bad for asking a lawyer and a U.S. senator to try to explain something so complex in a quick 30 seconds,” Kelly said, adding later in the program, “If you’re boring, I tend to just call you out.”
In another memorable and widely covered put down, Kelly interrupted Bill Ayers and told him, “You sound like - with respect - Osama bin Laden” when the ex-Weather Underground leader was trying to justify the use of violence.
Kelly may be tough when she wants to be, but the ease with which she shifts from prosecutor to bubbly anchor giggling over a “throwback Thursday” photo can be disarming.
“I always felt she was solid and excited about her interviews because I knew they’d be spot on,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who regularly appears on Fox News. “They’d be fair. They wouldn’t be slanted or tainted, trying to get you in the gotcha moment. Megyn puts you at ease. You don’t look at her as a threat as someone just trying to get you to get somewhere else.”
Brent Bozell, president of the conservative-leaning Media Research Center and a frequent guest on Kelly’s show, went so far as liken her to the legendary NBC newsman Tim Russert.
High praise indeed.
More from Politico