In her review of Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming memoir Settle for More, the New York Times’ Jennifer Senior sums up the contradiction that is the Fox News host, Donald Trump foe, and unwilling feminist hero: “She is trying simultaneously to appeal to both her new Lean-In fan base and the regular Fox news watchers who abhor identity politics.”
For an example, look no further than Kelly’s response to the Times’ review. Senior obtained an early copy of the memoir, which comes out on Tuesday, and she reports that Kelly makes a number of shocking revelations about Trump, covering the 2016 campaign, and her employer. The most disturbing possibility: She may have been poisoned. Senior writes:
On the day of the debate, Ms. Kelly writes, she woke up feeling great. Then an overzealous, suspiciously enthusiastic driver picked her up to take her to the convention center. He insisted on getting her coffee, though she’d repeatedly declined his offer. Once it was in her hand, she drank it. And within 15 minutes, she was violently ill, vomiting so uncontrollably that it was unclear if she’d be able to go on and help moderate that evening. It was so bad that she kept a trash pail beneath her desk throughout the debate, just in case.
Also deeply disturbing: the president-elect’s behavior toward her — and not just their public feud. According to Senior, Kelly says that prior to the first debate, Trump was angered by a segment on her show. He refused to make a scheduled appearance on her show unless she called him. “I almost unleashed my beautiful Twitter account against you,” Trump said, according to Kelly, “and I still may.”
She also claims he called Fox executives to complain that he’d heard the first debate question “was a very pointed question directed at him.”
Kelly writes that Trump had tried to woo her at first, inviting her to Mar-a-Lago and offering to let him pay for her stay at the Trump SoHo hotel. She says she heard Trump made similar offers to other journalists. Then, after she angered Trump, she would receive “a flood of intense nastiness,” including death threats, every time the candidate “acted up.”
Kelly’s description of unwanted sexual advances from Fox News chairman Roger Ailes — who was ousted for alleged sexual harassment — was leaked earlier this month, but Senior reveals that she went to Rupert Murdoch and his sons to inform them that “they might actually have a predator running their company.”
As Senior notes, the book is vague on whether Kelly actually thinks she was poisoned, or if people inside Fox News were colluding with Trump; readers are left to draw their own conclusions. But in an apparent response to the stir caused by Senior’s review, Kelly clarified that she doesn’t want anyone drawing those disturbing conclusions:
One thing we can say for Trump’s America: The book reviews are a lot more exciting.