After all she’s been through since the August 6 Fox News Republican presidential debate—not only the relentlessly nasty insults from Donald Trump and his crazed supporters, but also the vestiges of an attack of food poisoning on debate night—no one would begrudge Megyn Kelly a few days of R&R.
Well, almost no one.
In the hours since Roger Ailes’s star anchor told her 3 million viewers on Wednesday night that she’s taking a break from The Kelly File for the rest of this week and next—a long-scheduled vacation, according to the cable channel—some of the reactions in the Twitterverse have been downright churlish.
One detractor tweeted at the embattled Kelly that “a lousy performance as a so-called moderator can ruin one’s career. Think about that while you’re on vacation, dear.”
Another, apparently mining a sarcastic vein, tweeted: “Glad you’re on vacation! Take an extra week or two!”
And another non-fan opined: “Oh gee, lookie there—ratings dropped & @megynkelly going on an unplanned ‘vacation’ for 1.5 weeks. Being all debatey coinky-dinky n’ stuff.”
Leaving aside the mysterious meaning of “coinky-dinky n’ stuff,” the latter tweeter—courtesy of a compendium of Kelly tweets assembled by the Young Conservatives website—is wrong on two key points: The anchor’s August vacation was locked in well before last Thursday’s debate, and ratings for her 9 p.m. program have spiked on recent nights.
Here’s what Kelly, the mother of three young children, said at the end of Wednesday’s show: “It’s been an interesting week. A long six months, without a vacation for yours truly, do you know that? It’s been six months since I’ve had a vacation. Just ask my assistant.
“So I’ll be taking the next week and a half off, spending some time with my husband and my kids, trying to relax.
“The big challenge is trying to put down the Electronica [her personal communications device] and unplug it.
“Can you do it? When you go on vacation, I am going to try to look at my little one’s faces and go for bike rides and play at the beach and not look at you.
“And when I see you back here on the 24th, we’ll pick it all up again. Have a great week. See you soon.”
The timing of the post-debate vacation, albeit serendipitous, is a welcome development for Kelly—whose on-air questioning of Trump, along with that of co-moderators Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, was the subject of a “blunt” phone call on Monday between the reality television star-turned White House wannabe and Fox News Chairman Ailes.
According to various published accounts of the conversation, Ailes made it earthily clear to his old friend that continuing to pursue a pissing match with Fox News would not go well for him.
Meanwhile, far from getting out of the risky business of moderating Republican primary debates, Kelly will be front and center at the next Fox News debate in January—with or without The Donald.