In her first appearance on Fox News since she left the network in early 2017 and her first on-air interview since departing NBC late last year following her blackface controversy, former Fox News star Megyn Kelly told Tucker Carlson that there needs to be an “outside investigation” of NBC over allegations made in former NBC reporter Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill.
Carlson noted that just roughly a month before she was fired by NBC, Kelly called for an outside investigator to look into the sexual harassment and assault allegations surrounding former Today host Matt Lauer and the accusation that the network killed Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein.
The Fox News host then pointed out that MSNBC host Chris Hayes recently took to the air to back Farrow’s reporting while addressing the credibility of the network’s higher-ups, asking Kelly if Hayes should be concerned about being fired.
“No comment on that,” Kelly answered. “I will say the question is open as to whether they put dollars ahead of decency. If they were more interested in protecting their star anchor than protecting the women of the company.”
“There needs to be an outside investigation into this company,” she added. “They investigated themselves. That doesn’t work. Fox News had an outside investigator. CBS News had an outside investigator. NPR, the NFL. This is how it’s done.”
NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim has pushed back on the claims in Farrow's book, calling some of the allegations a "smear" and "conspiracy theory" while defending the network's handling of Farrow's reporting and insisting they had no advance knowledge of Lauer's behavior.
Kelly, meanwhile, called on NBC to release any former or current NBC employees who have accused Lauer of sexual misconduct from any confidentiality agreements.
Noting that there’s a “legal sleight of hand” that NBC could have used to hide any settlement made to an accuser by calling it “enhanced severance,” Kelly said the network needed to disclose any payouts.
“The No. 1 thing that needs to happen now is they need to release any and all Matt Lauer accusers from their confidentiality agreements,” she declared. “NBC says it has nothing to hide. Great! Let’s not hide anything.”
“Show us all of the agreements, the enhanced severance agreements that were reached or at least the numbers, so we can see which ones pop out and which ones were super high,” Kelly added.
Carlson announced the Kelly interview during his Monday night broadcast, suggesting at that time that Kelly would largely be focused on the current turmoil at her former home NBC while saying he was sure she’d have a “lot to say.”
“Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming guest appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight was coordinated weeks ago and is a one-time occurrence,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. “Any future programming changes we are considering do not involve her.”
Carlson booking the Kelly interview, however, was a sore spot for many at Fox News. Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that nighttime hosts Martha MacCallum, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham were “spooked and irked by the prospect of Kelly’s return,” prompting Fox News chief Suzanne Scott to reassure each one individually that their jobs were safe.
Kelly, who played a prominent role in the downfall of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in July 2016, is also downplaying any speculation that she’s looking to come back to the network that made her a star. A source familiar with her thinking told the Beast that she “has a good relationship with Lachlan [Murdoch] and Tucker, among others, but left Fox News for good reason and has no intention of going back.”