Thursday night’s final 2020 presidential debate was (hopefully) the last sparring match between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But Trump found an unlikely ally at the end of the debate, when former Fox News host Megyn Kelly — who has been shilling for the president in the last weeks leading up to the election — dubbed Trump the winner.
“Trump won this debate, handily,” Kelly wrote on Twitter. “Biden wasn’t a force at all. Trump was substantive, on-point, well-tempered. Definitely helped himself, when it mattered most.” Kelly live-tweeted the debate throughout the night and gave Trump lots of credit for his talking points on criminal justice reform and minimum wage, and suggested the president had a particularly strong moment when he told Biden, “I ran because of you.”
Kelly went on to add commentary about how the president had more control over himself during this debate, where he didn’t repeatedly interrupt Democratic nominee Joe Biden (perhaps the mute button escaped her attention?). She suggested that his incessant interruptions in previous debates must have been a “strategy,” but based on his Thursday night performance, Trump “can control himself just fine.”
But whether the president interrupts Biden or allows him to respond to debate questions doesn’t really matter because Kelly has named Trump the winner of both debates. She even mocked Biden when he couldn’t cut through Trump’s interruptions the first time around, which, she was very much alone in thinking that was some sort of weakness.
Despite her obvious support for the president (and maybe potential play to get her former job back), the former Fox News anchor insists she is engaging in “fair analysis” and chocks it up to the fact that she apparently doesn’t “suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome” (ok!). But this isn’t the first time she has basically endorsed the president on Twitter, even as she continues to deny her support for him.
When Refinery29 previously reported on Kelly’s apparent loyalty to the president, she retaliated with a weirdly sexist jab, stating that Refinery29 was "taking a break from watching The Bachelor and The Kardashians" to critique her tweets, before suggesting we “consider trying” news analysis her way. Aside from the obvious internalized misogyny her comments, Kelly stated at the time that she’s “just not in the tank for Biden and able to report fairly on both sides.”
But Kelly’s method of news analysis often involves hosting the leaders of hate groups and engaging in discriminatory commentary about marginalized communities. It's no secret that Kelly has opposed much of the initiatives put forward by the Black Lives Matter movement, making racist suggestions about how police acted appropriately when shooting an unarmed Jacob Blake in the back seven times in front of his children. Kelly has also promoted stories calling the "politicization" of Jacob Blake, George Floyd, and Eric Garner's deaths "dishonest."
It's actually quite unsurprising, given her stances, that Kelly has chosen to throw her weight behind a president who espouses racist ideas himself — despite the fact that Trump suggested she was hormonal after moderating a 2016 debate, saying she had “blood coming out of her wherever.”
Kelly may consider herself bipartisan and providing "fair analysis," but she also may be the only person who believes that to be true. After attempting to rehabilitate her former Fox News image with a brief stint at NBC, it’s clear there’s no redeeming the woman who once insisted on a supposedly hard-hitting news segment that Santa Claus is both real and, uh, white.