One of the leading candidates for the Republican Party's nominee for president of the United States, the man who wants to be commander in chief of the U.S. military, Donald Trump, once summarized his toughness by stating, "I can deal with anyone." Well, perhaps not everyone. It seems that Trump is afraid of strong, confident women, and Fox News host, Megyn Kelly, in particular.
During the August Fox News debate, Kelly asked Trump about inappropriate statements he had made about several women. In response to this question, considered unfair by Trump, he skipped last Thursday night's debate because Kelly was on the panel again.
According to Trump, "Megyn Kelly's really biased against me. She knows that, I know that, everybody knows that. Do you really think she can be fair at a debate?" Imagine that, a Republican worried about Fox News being fair. Now that's a first. Interestingly, Trump has never complained about the bias against President Barack Obama, Secretary Hilary Clinton, or any other Democrat roasted by Fox News over the years.
Considering Fox's treatment of Democrats, if Trump thinks Fox News is biased against him because of a difficult question from Kelly during a debate, then he has very thin skin and shouldn't be a candidate for a job that requires very thick skin.
Poor Trump. Kelly is probably the first woman to ever stare him down and let him know that she could take him on. It seems that the emperor has no clothes. Indeed, ever since Kelly challenged Trump's treatment of women, Trump has more than proved her point. He has criticized Kelly's looks and her skills as a TV host. For Kelly's part, she has kept quiet about Trumps rude and inappropriate comments. By remaining professional, however, she has infuriated Trump. Guess he is not used to dealing with an intelligent woman.
Trump and his people have not stopped harassing Kelly and, by some accounts, threatening her. Attacking her on Twitter, Trump wrote, "I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!" And Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, stated that Kelly had a rough couple days after that last debate and that he "would hate to have her go through that again." Sounds like a threat to me.
According to Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters of America, "If Fox News conducted itself as an ethical news outlet, these kinds of messy spats and hurt feelings wouldn't be an issue. Fox is often run as a Republican National Committee marketing arm, or a GOP clubhouse, raising expectations from Republicans in terms of how they'll be treated."
To their credit, Fox News has stated that, "We can't give into terrorizations toward any of our employees." Perhaps not, but according to his poll numbers, it seems that a significant number of Republicans support this kind of bullying and intimidation.
Kelly has not been the only target of Trump's temper tantrums. He has had other journalists removed from events, or prevented them from attending events, if they said or wrote anything in their newspapers that Trump did not like. Interestingly, while Republicans are always pointing to the Constitution as their guide, they now has a party leader who doesn't believe in the freedom of the press. Trump is a dictator in training.
Trump may not be talking to Kelly, but he is still in love with former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin, who endorsed him last week. Unlike Kelly, it seems that Palin's intellectual skills are more in line with Trump's expectations for the women in his life. During her rambling, unintelligible endorsement speech, Palin stated that the Trump campaign was "going to be fun."
In my opinion, the Trump campaign has crossed the line from fun to scary a long time ago.
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Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.