In Megyn Kelly’s first televised interview since exiting NBC, the former Fox News and NBC News anchor took to “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday evening to criticize NBC News management for its handling of the outlet’s Harvey Weinstein coverage and internal Matt Lauer investigation.
In an appearance that spanned three segments of Carlson’s show — the Fox News host bumped a recorded segment with Dennis Rodman to extend Kelly’s time on the air — Kelly and Carlson discussed the “mainstream” media’s coverage of Trump, CNN’s Jeff Zucker and Ronan Farrow’s reporting on NBC News in his new book, “Catch and Kill.” Farrow says in the book that NBC News looked to contain his reporting on sexual harassment claims against Weinstein; the outlet has maintained that it backed up Farrow’s reporting efforts.
“What did they know, and when did they know it?” asked Kelly of NBC News, additionally questioning how much management knew about the allegations against former “Today Show” anchor Lauer.
“Show us the money,” said Kelly. “The number one that needs to happen now is they need to release any and all Matt Lauer accusers from their confidentiality agreements. NBC says it has nothing to hide. Great. Let’s not hide anything.”
Kelly and NBC parted ways last year, with the network cancelling her morning talk show after a broadcast in which she opened with a discussion of Halloween and blackface that drew criticism both online and from colleagues at the network.
Carlson also brought up Kelly’s Sept. 2018 appearance on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today,” in which she had expressed the strength of hiring external investigators to an internal inquiry. She reiterated several times during her appearance on Carlson’s show her belief that a third-party investigation is necessary.
“The question is open as to whether [NBC] put dollars ahead of decency, about whether they were more interested in protecting their star anchor than they were in protecting the women of the company,” Kelly told Carlson. “There needs to be an outside investigation into this company. They investigated themselves. That doesn’t work.”
She pointed to Fox News, CBS News, NPR and the NFL and other organizations that had hired third-party investigators to aid in probes, and criticized NBC News leaders Andy Lack and Noah Oppenheim, who have come under fire in recent days in the wake of Farrow’s book.
“If these are the people overseeing the investigation into NBC — they had Kim Harris, the general counsel, do the investigation — then how are people supposed to trust it? That’s why you’ve got to get somebody on the outside.”
Kelly went on to question whether NBC News’s choices surrounding the network’s Weinstein coverage was a political decision or whether it was “something else.” Farrow’s book alleges that Weinstein had threatened to expose Lauer’s behavior during Farrow’s reporting on the claims against the movie producer.
“Was it to protect someone internally?” she asked, adding, “What Ronan is suggesting is they worked to cover up one sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, in order to protect another — Matt Lauer.”
Kelly also alluded to returning to television soon, though she said she is currently still taking some time off.
“I’ll get back on that horse soon — because this has been fun,” she told Carlson. “So I’ll probably get back out there, but right now I’m still enjoying my day-to-day life with my family.”