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Megyn Kelly Takes Missteps in Interviews with Jane Fonda and Debra Messing
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6 Oct 2017 02:49 PM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Jane Fonda (Image Source: Screenshot)

It's a little unclear exactly what NBC was looking for when they hired Megyn Kelly away from Fox News Channel.

Sure, she carried a lot of name recognition with her after the 2016 election, but what they've ended up with is someone bringing her caustic Fox News personality to their morning show and offending stars like Jane Fonda and Debra Messing.

Last January, the newswoman announced she was leaving Fox News and taking on a new position at NBC. They were promising her multiple spots, including a Sunday night interview show and her own hour of Today.

But when she premiered Megyn Kelly Today, fans were left a little confused. She announced there would be no more politics and just fun.

"If my producers and I do our jobs," she said, "you'll find out what you need to know today to get yourself through the day to have a laugh with us, a smile, sometimes a tear and maybe a little hope to start your day. Some fun!"

Okay, I can dig it. I always say something similar about my writing. I say my goal is to make people feel, think, and maybe even laugh a little. So this sounded promising.

But maybe Kelly was at Fox News so long she forgot what fun was.

On a recent episode, her guests were Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, who were there to support Our Souls at Night, their new movie on Netflix.

But instead of talking about the movie or that the pair are working together again, Kelly addressed Fonda, saying, "You admit you've had work done, which I think is to your credit."

When Fonda said nothing, Kelly continued instead of covering it and moving on: "But you look amazing. Do you — have you — why did you say — I read that you said you felt you're not proud to admit that you've had work done. Why not?"

"We really wanna talk about that now?" Fonda asked, as this isn't normal morning talk show banter.

Kelly pleaded her point, and Fonda played it expertly: "Let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery."

Debra Messing isn't too happy either. She posted to Instagram that while she was guesting on Kelly's show, she asked an audience member, "Is it true that you became a lawyer, and you became gay, because of Will? ... I don't know about the lawyer thing, but I think that Will & Grace thing and the gay thing is going to work out great."

Messing commented, "Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments."

You have to wonder what NBC was thinking hiring Kelly. Were they thinking once she got into the Today studio that she'd suddenly become Katie Couric? As that's not what they got. They didn't even get Oprah Winfrey. They got a caustic Fox News personality.

At this point, it is seeming like you can take the woman out of politics, but you can't take the politics out of the woman. She may be done talking about Donald Trump, but she's approaching her interview the same way she approached the presidential debate where she asked him about his treatment of women.

That's not what people sipping their coffee before work are looking for. The celebrity interviews on morning news shows are supposed to be light, and yes, fun, but badgering a nearly 80-year-old woman about plastic surgery isn't "fun," and neither is badgering an audience member about his sexuality.

This is NBC, Megyn. You need to leave the caustic personality behind you unless you're interviewing people in prime time. And even then, it's not okay to badger them about such private things unless agreed on beforehand. That's just plain rude.

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