NEW YORK, March 18, 2016 – Fox News has had enough of Donald Trump’s constant attack on its anchor Megyn Kelly. Fox News has released a statement saying Trump’s sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land. Fox News called Kelly an exemplary journalist and one of America’s leading anchors. “We’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults.”
The response follows days of comments the billionaire businessman has made over social media about Kelly. The final straw for the network apparently was Trump’s Friday afternoon tweet in which he called for a boycott of Kelly’s show, as well as referring to her as “sick.”
Trump has attacked Kelly since August, when he complained that she treated him unfairly during the first Republican presidential debate. He has frequently accused Kelly of bias and unfair coverage, often with little to no evidence of any specific offense.
Fox News also defended Kelly in January, when Trump said Kelly should not be allowed to serve as moderator for that Fox debate, saying Trump is afraid of Kelly and therefore unfit to deal with foreign leaders. Trump responded by skipping the debate.
Trump and Kelly were reunited at the third Fox News debate, on March 3, where Trump struck a much more convivial tone. Kelly once again proved to be Trump’s toughest adversary that night, asking pointed and well-researched questions that won her the praise of journalists and observers on both sides of the aisle.
It’s not exactly clear what precipitated Trump’s latest outburst against Kelly. Throughout the week, Trump has been trying to brand Kelly as “crazy” and obsessed with criticizing him.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks released a statement saying, “Megyn Kelly is a highly overrated reporter and anchor that constantly disparages Mr. Trump with negative and inaccurate reports. Despite the fact he wants nothing to do with her, much of the program is about him anyway on a nightly basis.”
Kelly, as she has in the past, has stayed out of the line of fire, choosing not to respond personally to Trump’s provocations.
In the eyes of many Trump critics, it is he who appears to be obsessed with Kelly. And while it’s hard to see how such attacks could have much success with the American public, it’s also true that a plurality of the country’s Republicans have so far supported the man making them.