TV Review: Megyn Kelly’s ‘The Kelly File’ on Fox News Channel

megyn kelly's 'The Kelly File' Review

The new face of Fox News sure looks like the old face - only with better hair

In advance interviews, Megyn Kelly has insisted that she is “not an ideologue,” but rather a news anchor. Yet the premiere Monday of her Fox News Channel program, “The Kelly File,” highlighted how easy it is for a host to strike that posture and still use choices of bookings and guests to operate squarely in the network’s ideological wheelhouse.

Long considered a rising star at Fox, Kelly took her place between Bill O’Reilly — who graciously gave her almost as much plug time as he did his book “Killing Jesus” — and Sean Hannity. As noted when Kelly’s move was confirmed, this represents less a shift in tone or style for Fox News than a cosmetic change, recognizing that its primetime lineup plays to an audience mostly past retirement age.

While TV news can afford to skew older than most ad-driven programming — and Fox can do fine preaching to the choir — there are certain realities of television that dictate younger is better, or at least potentially more profitable. Moreover, it’s hard to argue with the notion Kelly’s ascent owes at least something to the fact that she is not only an engaging presence but attractive enough to inspire GQ to run the unfortunate headline “She Reports, We Decided She’s Hot” along with some sexy photos of her a few years ago.

Kelly opened the program with a fairly straightforward but not especially tough interview of GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. Tellingly, she teased the segment by citing the blowback against the Texan within his own party, then only obliquely touched on that in the course of the discussion, where she seemed fairly content to let Cruz engage in another filibuster.

Later, Kelly featured the hosts of Fox’s afternoon roundtable “The Five” (where the conservative/liberal ratio is 4 to 1) to weigh in on whether the government shutdown was intentionally being made more painful by the Obama administration — a key Republican talking point.

Kelly’s other main drawback is a tendency to get a bit too giddy, as she was during the interminable “Five” chat, where she prodded the panelists about whether any of them had hooked up, before segueing to tiresome talk about Miley Cyrus. Any excuse to run the video, right guys?

Like most Fox hosts — and indeed, a lot of news/talk talent in general these days — Kelly had no problem making a portion of the premiere all about her, showing the audition video that landed her on Fox a decade ago and, for good measure, a photo of her baby son. It was a cutesy way to close the telecast — if a slightly awkward transition to Hannity railing about “The Obama Shutdown.”

Nevertheless, add it all up and Fox has provided Kelly a perfect environment to succeed, sandwiched between its two most-watched personalities and drawing upon an assortment of Fox correspondents to flesh out her hour. Simply put, it’s not like the folks who leave Fox News on as white noise will see Kelly and run screaming toward Rachel Maddow or Piers Morgan, and the obvious hope is she’ll woo a few younger viewers as well.

Still, look past the dazzling smile, and Megyn Kelly isn’t really a new Fox News host; rather, much like almost every significant player at the network, she’s Roger Ailes in drag.

PHOTOS: Faces of Fox News

TV Review: Megyn Kelly's 'The Kelly File' on Fox News Channel

(Series; Fox News Channel, Mon. Oct. 7, 9 p.m. ET)

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  1. Susan says:

    I cannot stand to hear or see Megyn Kelly, she is so full of herself it is disgusting!. She dresses like a whore trying to get men to drool over her, and to keep ratings up, as they say sex sells. I switched to another channel when she comes on….CNN, OAN, ETC…staff dress much more professional, they have more class.

  2. Joyce wagner says:

    Ms. Kelly, I DOUBLE DARE you to ask as many question of Dr. Ben Carson as you ask of Cruz, Rubio, or Trump. We are tired of the quibbling back and forth between those three. We want to know how Dr. Carson would solve various problems, but even when he was running second to trump, you and the other moderators all but ignored him. It is clear that you and Foxnews want to control this election. What you do not seem to realize, is that the hype does not equal to a good president; it is the resolve and intelligence that make a good president.

    Joyce Wagner
    Farmington Hills, MI>

  3. Steve Hampton says:

    I am done with Kelly. She truly seems to have an agenda now. Changing the face of fox. I used to love and couldn’t wait to see her. Now she is just another pathetic sympathizer of anarchy in the name of injustice. She makes me wish every cop in amereica would bow out and let the chips fall where they may. Very disappointed in her. But on the other hand, I guess it figures.

  4. jacky says:

    Was waiting for some spectacular interview with the sisters (Duggers) BORING!~ I much prefer to listen to something of importance!~Boston shooting of a terrorist!~ A ship that is missing 400 people!~ Colorado floods!~ On & on & on.. Shame on you… I felt as if I was watching E!~

  5. Jeanne Kleinman says:

    My husband and I applauded every word mayor Rudy Giuliani said tonight on your program! I had goosebumps, tears and clapped as he spoke so fervently about his love for America! We are so grateful he did not back down one inch! He spoke of being embarrassed – so have we been at how Obama portrays this wonderful country. Embarrassed, angry, saddened, etc. We totally respect mayor Giuliani and thank him for his strength, and his outspokenness.

  6. Carol Fallon says:

    I know longer have a country. John B drove the last nail into the coffin. This sound has been heard around the world. He stepped on us just like the White house has. My American flag that I so proudly fly on my porch will be coming down. Lady Liberty stands alone with tears fallings from her face and they can not be stopped now!

  7. Barbara Willis says:

    What is the purpose of The Kelly File? It neither proves nor disproves any point. There is only bickering between the guests. Very disappointing and not worth watching.

  8. Goldie says:

    He need his ass put out office

  9. Goldie says:

    I like your show

  10. Michael Lonon says:

    Oh, please forgive me, I also failed to mention that I really like your show and love the way you attack today’s issues. Some of us in this country still have some common sense. :)

  11. Michael Lonon says:

    I also totally blame Mr Obama for the healthcare chaos and for the government shutdown. This man is very money hungry. This man needs to be impeached and NOW. My final conclusion based on his actions, tell me that this man is deliberately causing confusion for the purpose of destroying America. I hope I’m wrong. This is only my opinion.

  12. Michael Lonon says:

    Hi Kelly, my question is, when are people going to wake up? I made my decision in 2007 NOT to vote for our current president. Why? Because I listened close to his campaign speeches. My final conclusion was that this president wants total control of all citizens of the United States of America. I also came to the conclusion that this president has a desire to De-Americanize this country. I have read articles where mr obama has alledgedly made comments that he wants to turn this nation into a muslim nation. But noone seems to be takng this seriously.

  13. Ed says:

    Hi Kelly, thought you need to know I was on Medicaid, and they let me know that as of Oct. 1st, I would not be on Medicaid unless I pay a deductible of $7,218.00 dollars. I am on disability and I have a feeding tube. Hope Our Commander in Chief sees this. This is what his has done.
    Thought it was suppose to help but it don’t. And I am sure that is why my Medicaid was set to pay a deductible because of this healthcare he put into law. Oh and by the way I am disabled and only draw 1384 a month and yes I get food-stamps $16.00 a month. And yes I have bills to pay, bet you didn’t see that one coming. lol

    • This lady that’s in charge of Obama Care stated that the people who want her fired are not anyone for whom she works? Doesn’t her paycheck come out of the taxes we Americans pay? Ill soon be 70 years old and the very idea that our president paid a cpmpany from Canada to install an American computer and gave them the money our people sweated for really ticks me off!

  14. Donna Theall says:

    Kelly. I am a 84 year old

    Kelly I am an 84 year old WHITE woman and would love to be associated with a NFL team so why don;t you sugest to Red Skins change their name to Washington WHITE SKINS……….(I think it’s funny)

    Kelly, I am an 84 year old WHITE woman and would love to be associated with an


  15. Just watched your interview with the mom who posted herself on FB with her three kids. Love the line about the spanx. Had a good laugh, thanks for being just a regular woman.

  16. Charles Hill says:

    How can they try a soilder for murder when he is fighting in a time of war,this is absolutely insane, why would any one want to go to war and fight for a country that would turn around and try them
    for murder if they killed the enemy!!!
    Absolutely insane !!!

  17. henry smith says:

    The best looking news person on the tube!

  18. Mac says:

    Obama’s Health Care “Affordable Care Act” Where’s the paper version for all of those who are not computer literate or can’t afford a an electronic device??????

  19. Kim Nicholas says:

    Sad, making ridiculous accusations to distract the world from the issue!

  20. ed morales says:

    seems to me a balanced budget is possible if the American people demand house and senate produce a balanced in six months or resign…. this has been going on for years and were sick of it

  21. mary paisley says:

    Thanks for showing the vets when others ignored their feeling they’re the reason we are still free

  22. Ray Stecker says:

    Kelly’s set up looks very awkward. It looks as if she has two artificial legs underneath the desk. Forego the “leg shot” and show a more serious newsworthy desk.

  23. Elizabeth Samson says:

    A doctorate degree. substantive judicial experience, a whirlwind speed climb through the Fox News ladder, I believe unmatched in news analysis/reporting history; a compelling presence, great looks, a talent at managing guests, including directing the conversation; an admirable family life, as far as I can tell. All that and more assembled in a beautiful woman at the prime of her career is hard to beat. I bet Megan Kelly will go far – farther than colleagues (and foes) in comparable position in the non-fiction entertainment world. As a conservative, I am glad she is on my side, but ready and willing to honor other ideas, just as I am.

    Welcome back, Megan. And thanks to classy Fox News, my prime time schedule is all set!

    P.S. Occasionally, I take a fast peek at Jeopardy. Sorry, Greta (you’re great, too).

  24. Charlotte Lynn says:

    I love Megan Kelly’s New show. I’m so proud of her. She is one of the best. I also love Judge Judy and I think Judge Judy should run for our next President. One smart Judge. Thanks Kelly for having her on. I would have really Missed out. Keep up the good work.

  25. Mr. Lowry, I don’t know what you were listening to but, as a conservative, I thought Kelly was more
    liberal than I wanted her to be. As a matter of fact, I said to my friend, if her “fair & balanced” continues
    to lean left, I won’t be watching anymore. I’ll go to Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. On tonight’s
    show, (10-11,) she leaned more left then right. Diane Sawyer her role-model, what more needs to
    be said?

  26. John Andra says:

    It is too early to tell how Megyn will do. She has done okay in her first week.

  27. allyson rowen taylor says:

    This article is more tilted and preachy than any program on Fox. Megan Kelly is smart and articulate. She happens to also be beautiful. She can out argue Rachel Maddow any day.
    The comment she is Roger Ailes in drag is a cheap shot. It makes you look partisan and frankly jealous.

  28. Diane says:

    A little misogyny here. Megyn Kelly is a natural beauty who enjoys enhancing it for the cameras. Your denigration of her is hilarious and a bit pathetic.

    Megyn Kelly is a lawyer, a journalist, and a mother of three. She has always treated Fox News staffers with kindness and respect. And she has a great sense of humor.

    Roger Ailes in drag? You wish.

  29. Mike Tierney says:

    If Megyn Kelly is really Roger Ailes in drag, can we get the same makeup artist to work on Chris Matthews and get him to look like a babe.

  30. Pam says:

    If you can see beyond all the glitz and glamour–candescently blinding hair, too much eye makeup, and enough lipstick to make her into another Tammy Faye Baker, then maybe Meghan’s new show will succeed. Shame on Fox News for their lack of dignity in the make up room. Ms. Kelly is a natural beauty with keen intelligence. I hope her show won’t end up in an inactive file cabinet, albeit The Kelly File, right above the Halloween edition of Playboy mag.

  31. RelaxingDB says:

    I do not think Ms. Kelly’s question to Ted Cruz was accurate nor was it appropriate, sounded rather insulting to me! He had over 100,000 conservatives on just one townhall meeting so obviously a lot us really like him and appreciate the fact that he is a true Patriot!!

    Perhaps she was trying to make Americans think he is hated–I would like to hear her explanation/rationale for opening which such a negative statement!!

  32. Duncan says:

    Okay, so tell me what you REALLY think — did you like her? No liberal bias in this review, although I’m not a fan of Kelley.

  33. Charles CALABRESE says:

    Unfortunately it is clear that Mr. Lowry’s obvious visceral disdain for the perceived message forces him into assassination of the messenger. Perhaps he will find reviewing other, less impartial news networks more grayifying. What a waste of a platform on his part and a waste of bandwidth on mine this column has been.

  34. pat says:

    welcome back, and go truckers, block everything in dc like they block our constitution , god bless you all ,our prayers are with you ,stand your ground, thank you

  35. Ruth Spira says:

    Thank-you for airing the segment on the trucker’s protest…..finally some John Waynes.
    In support, I’m not buying a THING…even gas…I’ll stay put for 3 days.

  36. Yvonne Benedict says:

    I was so upset over the National Mall being opened for the Immigrants and now to hear that the Fallen are not first and formost in our priority screen makes me even more embaraced with our Government.

  37. Francis says:

    And Brian Lowry sounds like another effing liberal hack.

  38. RRG says:

    Intelligent and “on top of her game” as an insightful, cutting edge news anchor, Megyn shows a warm, human side that you MSNBC-ers cannot stand. She won the prime time spot on the most watched channel for a reason. Go Megyn!

  39. Sheila Moke says:

    Her first question to Senator Cruz was totally uncalled for and with no substance to back it up. Calling him the “most hated man in America” turned me off instantly and I will not watch her show again. The look on her face when Cruz answered her questions was condesending and not without bias.

  40. Joe Smith says:

    ignorant see you next tuesday

  41. Tricia says:

    I don”t like her, she comes off as unpolished and unprofessional…total ditz! I hope her show fails.. Bring back Sean!

  42. The Butcher says:

    I’m a fan of snark, insults, sarcasm, and sour, biased, cranky, lazy reporting as anyone. Bravo! It satisfies my taste for good trashy smear writing. So, when do we get to read a review of the The Kelly File?

  43. Goodbyenoway says:

    Incredibly mysoginistic article.. Shameful.
    I wonder if the writer has ever seen MSNBC? Not a single conservative anywhere on that network and no news, just opinion all day long. At least Fox showcases an occasional alternative voice.

    • Stevens says:

      Quote: “Not a single conservative anywhere on that network”

      Do you even watch MSNBC (because it sure doesn’t sound like it)? MSNBC has a morning show hosted by a conservative (Scarborough) that has conservative guests (and I’ve seen some conservative guests on the daytime shows too). For crying out loud, even the uber liberal Chris Hayes has had several conservatives on to interview…’s the latest: Rep. Ribble (R-WI), conservative businessman/AEI scholar/Romney supporter, Edward Conard, conservative journalist/AEI fellow, T.P. Carney, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Robert Costa, conservative political analyst/editor at the NRO, etc. And, while conservatives invited to appear on Maddow’s show rarely take her up on her offer, there’s always her interview with Rand Paul (R-TN). “Not a single conservative anywhere on that network”…..ha! You might try actually watching the network before you spew such silly nonsense.

      • Stevens says:

        No, I did not miss the point – these people ARE conservatives (with Congressmen Ripple and Mulvaney receiving an 80% or higher on the ACU’s conservative ratings system and Paul garnering a100%). Scarborough stands by his conservative principles as do the 2 AEI guys I named. Conservative voices may not be heard very often on MSNBC but to say that not a single conservative is on this network is beyond ridiculous (as is your bogus cry of RINO).

      • hmazza says:

        Conservatives,not RINOS.

  44. sybilll says:

    This was the only time I’ve seen the family of the Capitol Hill shooter/victim being interviewed at length, yet it was glossed over to rag on The Five segment? Got it.

  45. buddyq says:

    Seriously? Bitter much? Ha! This is so expected now it’s not even funny. I bet you just love Chris Matthews though huh? What a guy!

  46. jabber jaw says:

    Is a review after one show supposed to be taken seriously?

    • Tim Kerr says:

      The liberal bias is out of control. The show was good and I didn’t notice any Conservative/Republican cheerleading. Liberals are so jealous and vindictive it’s insane.I guess they just don’t like white women,white men,white anything,men and Fox News.

  47. Sharon Rosalyn Paich says:

    Your review of Megyn Kelly’s new show sounds “bitter, bitter, bitter” as my college English professor is fond of saying when the situation calls for it. I am certainly younger than than the target audience you assume FOX news shows appeal to, and I enjoyed The Kelly File debut. You need to address your obvious bias and apply yourself to some real constructive analysis on the failure of so many reporters on other networks to adequately cover the Fast & Furious failure that resulted in numerous deaths – both American and Mexican, the monumental security failure under Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State at that time to protect the American embassy in Bengazi that resulted in the death of four Americans, and similar gross oversights we Americans should be informed about.

  48. Roger says:

    We must have watched different shows. Megyn Kelly’s new show was fresh, interesting, different for FoxNews. What was wrong with introducing her video that got her a job with Fox tied in with their anniversary? Which you failed to mention in your one sided and obviously biased article. Typical review that you would never give MSNBC.

    • kara says:

      Hmmm Chris Matthews screaming in my face, Rachael Madwoman,always pissed off about something or Megyn Kelly’s sweet smile, I will take a sweet respectful smile any day :)

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