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How the Left and Right Covered the Megyn Kelly-Newt Gingrich Fight

Fox News host and former Speaker of the house polarize voters, media

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that conservative media outlets saw the dust-up between Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich somewhat differently from almost everyone else.

It’s the rare situation in which a Fox News Channel host is earning praise from mainstream media outlets and liberals, while being criticized by conservatives.

When Kelly began to speculate on Tuesday’s “Kelly File” about what it might mean if Donald Trump is a “sexual predator,” Gingrich, a Trump supporter, interrupted: “I’m sick and tired of people like you using language that’s inflammatory, that’s not true… You are fascinated with sex.”

The Fox News host stood her ground, stressing that she was talking about sexual assault — which is not the same as sex, as Stephen Colbert and others have helpfully explained.

The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan called the moment a “welcome return to badassery” by Kelly. She also called the Fox News host “the hottest property in TV News” and said the Gingrich interview was a “rarely seen mic-drop.”

But Conservative outlet Breitbart covered the same story with the headline, “Newt Gingrich challenges Megyn Kelly on anti-Trump bias in epic showdown.” Breitbart also said that Kelly wouldn’t call Bill Clinton a sexual predator, though Kelly said her show has covered Bill Clinton’s issues with women in the past. Breitbart veteran Stephen Bannon is the CEO of Donald Trump’s campaign.

The Conservative Washington Times covered the story with the headline, “Bill Clinton accusers rip Megyn Kelly for Newt Gingrich interview.”

The New York Times’ news story called the exchange “bizarre” without taking a side. Other headlines included, “Fox News’s Megyn Kelly doesn’t take dictation from Newt Gingrich” (Washington Post), “Anderson Cooper smacks down Newt Gingrich over Megyn Kelly sex claims” (Huffington Post) and “Megyn Kelly torches Newt Gingrich in heated interview” (Business Insider.)

Rival cable news networks also got involved. MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace was quick to take Kelly’s side while CNN called the clash “epic” and Don Lemon sided with the Fox News host.

“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah ripped Gingrich over the interview by saying, “This is the same dude who cheated on two different wives.”

Team Trump, predictably, was on Team Newt.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his new hotel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Trump said, “Congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview.” Trump aide Dan Scavino tweeted that Gingrich “destroyed” Kelly.

The hashtag #ImWithMegyn quickly trended on Twitter, with even some self-identified Fox News haters taking Kelly’s side.

However, not everyone with a Twitter account supports Kelly.