After inviting me as a guest for Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show tonight, and my agreement on Monday morning to appear, Megyn Kelly lied on air on Monday night saying I’d refused to appear (transcript of her comments here). She lied again in claiming I tried to intimidate Fox into silence over the Honor Diaries film.
When I first learned of Kelly’s verbal assault on me last night, I wrote to the producer who’d invited me, Karrah Kaplan. The reply came today not from her, but from her boss, the executive producer of the show, Tom Lowell:
Dear Mr. Silverstein:
We are always interested in discussing the day’s top issues with intelligent, reasonable, and thoughtful guests. Sadly, your ad hominem attacks on Ms. Kelly and the puerile postings on your website make it clear you are not a member of that group. The a priori attempts to quash the debate by impugning our motives and questioning our integrity didn’t help either.
The Kelly File
In fact, his staff knew what I’d written about the show the whole time they were cajoling me to appear, because I sent them the link to my post just after publishing it. In fact, that’s how Lowell knew what I’d written. If he allowed his staff to invite me without reading the post, he’s incompetent. If he allowed his staff to invite me after reading the post, then he’s also incompetent and a jerk. Which one is it?
What it really comes down to is that FoxNews wants to control which critics it brings on air. When it finds that critics are too unmanageable, it drops them, after inviting them. That’s pre-emptive censorship. And the mark of a cowering, demagogic journalism.
Kaplan, while wooing me to appear, had assured me my concerns that the show would be a smear were unfounded because of her own independent journalistic credentials as a producer for Soledad O’Brien on CNN. All I can say is that if this isn’t an act and she does believe in her journalistic integrity, she’s working for the wrong show.
Earlier today, Kaplan assured me the show was still trying to get CAIR to participate for tonight’s segment:
My colleague has been working to get somebody from CAIR all day and has tried alternate groups. We do want the other side represented and have been pursuing somebody all day.
Which dumbfounded me considering the character assassination to which Kelly subjected the group last night.
I sometimes wonder whether anyone on that show knows what the other producers are doing. It seems a model of journalistic dysfunction. For all I know, Megyn Kelly may not even realize she was lying when she claimed I’d refused to go on air. If that’s the case, then Lowell ill-serves her.
At any rate, Fox News is a cesspool fully deserving of garbage like Honor Diaries and the Clarion Project.