A New York Magazine writer and author of the 2014 book about Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” said in a recent televised interview the cable station’s biggest star, Megyn Kelly, may not be re-engaging in public disputes with presidential hopeful Donald Trump because she doesn’t want to hurt her chances to move to a more mainstream network, like CNN.
Kelly, on the heels of widespread criticism of her debate night questioning of Trump – after which the billionaire businessman called her a “bimbo” in a tweet – went on what she and Fox officials said was a long-planned vacation. Trump, on the other hand, claimed her vacation was due to the fireworks she faced from her presidential debate questions about his previous treatment of women. As soon as she returned, he retweeted messages from Twitter posters that once again, called her a “bimbo.” Various Fox personalities called Trump wrong for reigniting the dispute with Kelly, while Ailes came out and called for the presidential contender to apologize.
Kelly, meanwhile, took the high road and didn’t directly respond to Trump’s latest attacks. And Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg wanted author Gabriel Sherman to explain why.
“I think she, up until this point, was kind of the fastest rising star at Fox,” Sherman said. “She was really becoming the face of the network. … I don’t think she wants to get down in the weeds and in the gutter…”
But there’s another reason, Sherman said.
“Part of this is she also wants to go mainstream,” he said. “There was some talk before her most recent contract that she was flirting with CNN to kind of jump from Fox to CNN. I think she wants to leave all options on the table and if she gets down in the weeds and really slugs it out with Trump, that would hurt her brand.”
If so, Kelly wouldn’t be the first high-profile Fox star to make the jump to CNN. Alisyn Camerota, long-time co-host of the morning Fox & Friends, moved over to CNN’s “New Day” in mid-2014. Prior, Camerota had worked for the Fox network for about 16 years.