Early in this memoir, Megyn Kelly writes, “I was chief telemarketer,” referring to her brief stint as a phone worker at a “1-800 number” entity while a college student. She was excellent at this job, she exclaims, and would later hone and parlay (if this was possible) the skills learned there into the art of “deposing powerful, high-rolling clients in cases where millions of dollars were at stake.”
This self-appraisal pervades the book from her days as a “popular” high school student, an award-winning law student (I was “the highest-scoring candidate they’d ever had,”) apparent superstar lawyer (she would have made partner but for her decision to pursue “journalism”), being a perfect mother, with perfect children, perfect husband (although on the effeminate side, he once demonstrated a willingness to rough up older gentlemen who had verbally attacked Megyn after a tennis match her hubby lost), to her ratings-winning performances as a Fox News reporter and anchor. To hear Ms. Kelly tell it, there is not much that she doesn’t excel at, and in many ways, the book seems like a 20-hour-plus infomercial on Megyn Kelly’s greatness.
There are some redeeming paragraphs in the book. Kelly recognizes the woes of alcoholism and drug abuse and how addiction affects family members. The discussion of her father’s early death and the impact that his passing had on her is touching. She appears, at times, genuinely sentimental, caring, and has a humorous and visionary side. But mostly, Megyn Kelly is for Megyn Kelly. The book reads well, but this does not save it.
Kelly’s interaction with President-Elect is well known. Some people are critical of Kelly, accusing her of capitulating to him. We see this differently. Trump was the main attraction for all the key news networks; he appeared on competing venues and even on Fox News excepting the “Kelly Files.” She had to make nice with him; she had little choice in the matter. Although in this book, Kelly tries to downplay this, suggesting that she was taking the higher ground to end the feud, and “Trump needed badly” for the independents and women to see him on her ever-increasing popular hit show (according to her), the evidence indicates that she needed Trump. She went to him on bended knees (a description concerning Trump she seemed obsessed over).
At the end of the day, Kelly presents as an opportunistic cable television personality. She is attractive, and regardless of the feminist perspective, this fact draws viewers. Her aversion to Trump has cost her and the network plenty of viewers. It is unlikely that she will have any significant access to a Trump administration. She gambled wrongly on Trump’s chances and now will be a diluted outlier. – although Hannity and O’Reilly will continue to have Trump’s ear.