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August 11, 2011

Megyn Kelly on Good Looks, Fox News & Jon Stewart

None of Fox News' anchors compete for airtime quite like her. We caught up with the 40-year-old mother of two, just back from maternity leave, for a chat about her controversial boss and famously short hemlines.

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megyn kelly

Photo Credit: Fox News/2MK Studio

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On air, your colleague Mike Gallagher said of your maternity leave, "What a racket that is." What do you make of those remarks?
I couldn't figure out whether he was jealous that men don't also get that time, or whether he was objecting to anyone having it. If it's the former, good for him — I agree. Men should have more time with their newborn babies. If it's the latter, what a stupid thing to say. For him to suggest that I'm eating bonbons and doing something other than raising my infant is really ignorant.

You have a very close relationship with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Tell us something we may not know about him.
Obviously he's very powerful, a television genius. Even his critics will cop to that. But he is also somebody who looks out for the people who work for him. A couple years ago, I had a very bad stalking problem. I was living alone in D.C. In addition to security Fox provided me, Roger offered to pay out of his own pocket for special dead bolts throughout my home. It was just a small thing, but he didn't have to do it. I had a boss who cared, and it made me feel better.

Last year, you posed in a slinky slip for GQ. Do you think that compromises your credibility at all?
I don't. My viewers know that I'm a reasonable, credible, intelligent person. Would I have done the GQ spread when I first started in this business? No, because I didn't have any of that currency built up. The audience might have thought that was all I had to offer.

You don't think those kinds of spreads influence how people see you — that it's about the looks instead of the substance?
The way I look is a part of my business. It is a visual medium. It's not irrelevant, and it doesn't bother me. I guess it would bother me if people were writing about how unattractive I was, but I don't think my looks are the only thing I'm known for.

Slate called you a "postfeminist news babe." What do you think of that characterization?
I don't like that term. It's pejorative. I don't know who wrote that article, but I'm gonna bet it was a guy.

Would you agree that Fox has cultivated a reputation as a stomping ground for news babes? YouTube is filled with videos of Fox anchors wearing really short skirts.
Roger is very good at finding attractive people who are also interesting and smart. But you have to be careful what you're looking at. Some on-air talent have objected that some websites will Photoshop the skirts and make it seem like the women were wearing something more like a belt than a skirt. Don't believe it unless you've seen it live.

I assume you believe in free speech. How do you feel about the fact that Sarah Palin doesn't talk to the press unless it's Fox News?
Well, I don't know if the premise of the question is correct, because she has talked to other outlets. I think there are certain outlets she doesn't like. And I think she thinks she's been treated unfairly by people in the press.


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