Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts

Scott D. Pierce: ‘Santa is white’ controversy means publicity for Fox News
First Published Dec 19 2013 11:33 am • Last Updated Dec 19 2013 04:20 pm

Megyn Kelly’s recent bout of foot-in-mouth disease should at least make all of her detractors glad she’s a Fox News host and not a comedian. Although she claims to be quite the humorist.

After proclaiming on air that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are white, Kelly used the "Just kidding!" defense and attempted to rewrite history. She said her original comments were "tongue in cheek" and that she was just joking.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Doesn’t look like that in the clip. She approaches this "issue" with the same attitude she approaches just about everything, proclaiming categorically, "For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white."

If Kelly is attempting humor, she’s really bad at it. And she attacked those who didn’t get her joke. "Humor is part of what we try to bring to this show, but sometimes that is lost on the humorless," she said.

Perhaps they could flash a "humor alert" graphic onscreen.

She later backed off the "Jesus was a white man, too!" comment, acknowledging there’s some debate on that topic.

None of this matters much, except that Kelly’s defense against charges that she’s a racist amounts to "I’m not a racist, you’re a racist. Nyah!" She accused her critics of having "the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel."

Ah, yes. The Fox News defense. We’re the victims. People are bullying us.

It plays well to the Fox News audience, which skews older and, yes, white.

Never mind that Kelly has a tortured history with the topic of race baiting, including an extensive history involving disproved allegations that the Obama administration ordered the Justice Department not to prosecute African-Americans accused of voter intimidation.

story continues below
story continues below

It was so bad that Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers took Kelly to task for "doing the ‘scary black man’ thing."

Kelly made herself a target and then complained when pundits took aim at her. That, a cynic might believe, is her way of provoking headlines and raising her own profile.

It’s certainly Bill O’Reilly’s way. Perhaps feeling the competition from Kelly — FNC’s Next Big Thing — FNC’s Current Big Thing jumped in, blaming it all on "the far left," proclaiming that "Miss Kelly was correct" and adding that "any talk of skin color brings out the zealots" bent on destroying Fox News.

"Because they cannot defeat us on the media battlefield, the far left seeks to demonize Fox News as a right-wing propaganda machine and a racist enterprise," he said.

Poor, picked-upon Fox News. Ultra-powerful, ultra-thin-skinned. That plays well to the network’s viewers.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.