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Megyn Kelly sat down with OutKick for an in-depth conversation.
Megyn spoke about the push for children to question their genders, the racialization of the country, the collapse of the media, Donald Trump, changes since she left Fox News, who is behind cancel culture, as well as her new radio show.
Megyn’s new radio show launches today on SiriusXM’s Triumph channel. The Megyn Kelly Show will air weekdays between noon and 2 p.m. ET.
Bobby Burack: Why did you choose to partner with SiriusXM?
Megyn Kelly: First of all, thank you for having me, Bobby. I’m a fan of your work. So, I wanted somebody who had a steely spine. I wanted a company that wasn’t going to fold if and when the cancel culture mobsters come for me. Sirius has a good history in that department.
I wanted someone who is as close to my old bosses, Rupert and Lachlan, in terms of their unwillingness to be cowed by the mob, as possible.
Also, I knew that I wanted to stay independent. I didn’t want anybody to own me or to eventually sell my show or business. That said, it still made sense to partner with a blue-chip brand because that makes the show bigger and gives it better exposure. Reaching more people is the name of the game, right? So with this move, I could keep my independence but expand my reach.
Those were my main concerns going into negotiations. I needed someone who wouldn’t insist on acquiring or controlling me, and also someone who is strong.
We are going to have a big newsmaker join us in the first week. I can’t say anymore.
Burack: What has been the most significant shift in American culture from the time you left Fox News until now?
Kelly: The racialization of the country, as you talk about, is definitely one of them. As is this never-ending insistence that our children focus on the question of their gender, as though it’s a menu choice they get to flip around. This idea that it could change from day-to-day. As a mother with three young children in schools, I can tell you that’s almost as prevalent as the racialization issue they focus on.
Bobby, both of these issues are very, very damaging to children and to the country. I’m trying, in my own way, to push back against what these warriors are doing to our culture. It’s the same group doing all of this.
I want to add another, and that’s the complete collapse of the American media as a trustworthy source of information. While it certainly was coming, that was not yet the case when I left cable in January of 2017. It was on its way, but it had not completely collapsed. There were still people who had a belief that CNN could still be a reliable news source. The CNN that I knew, that I used to watch before I did The Kelly File in 2015 and 2016, is completely gone. All the way gone. There is not a scintilla of it left.
The same could have been said in 2017 about ABC, NBC, and CBS. They were trusted. That’s one of the reasons I went to NBC. I thought, “We’ll do the news. I won’t do a lot of politics on my morning show, but I’ll do the news with a respected news organization.” In my mind, NBC wasn’t going to be all about partisan agendas.
What a moron I was. What a stupid mistake I made. Now, I don’t think it was all my fault because I think the ground was shifting under my feet as I made that leap. But that was a huge mistake.
None of these networks I just mentioned are what they were when I left cable. They are no longer trustworthy. And I think it’s had catastrophic consequences on our society.
Burack: Not only are schools questioning students’ genders, but some of these viral sex-ed courses appear to almost pressure students to admit something they don’t believe.
These videos, in essence, ask, “Are you sure you’re straight? Are you sure you’re not actually a girl living in a male’s body?” It’s closer to persuasion than education.
Kelly. Oh, you are so right. In my son’s school — the one we left because of these agendas — they asked the boys, one of the best all-boys schools in the country, whether they were “still sure” they were boys. Are they “still sure”? They asked them that weekly.
And none of that was disclosed to the parents. It’s one of those things you find out when your kids come home after the fact. It’s outrageous, it’s confusing, and 100%, abusive.
And if we don’t have parents with microphones standing up against it, then we surrender and are complicit in it. That would make us to blame.
Burack: What caused this? I don’t believe educators — at least not most of them — woke up in 2019 and said we need to find out which students could convert their sexuality.
Kelly: I do believe it starts in a relatively decent place, in an effort to not be abusive or cruel. However, well-meaning people started to get a bit confused about what those words meant. Words like “non-bullying.” That doesn’t mean agenda-pushing. Instead, it means, kindness, non-judgment, and teaching your children to love and to be a friend. Teaching someone to not be alienated based on somebody’s gender preference or confusion is not the push anymore. It’s far greater.
Now, Bobby — and this is the sad part — we’ve crossed over instead to “unless you would openly consider it yourself, you are a bigot.” Right now, straight men, straight cis-men, with no gender or sexuality confusion are deemed bigots. If they are 100% straight, that’s what they are. They are told they are bigots if they would not have sex with transwomen. You are a bigot if you don’t like exactly what’s delivered to you, no matter what the origins of that person’s sexuality or biological gender.
So unless sane people push back against this to say that is not allyship, that’s insanity, it will go on. This is actually creating mental health problems in perfectly fine kids. And again, if you do nothing, you’re complicit in it.
For those who won’t get fired for saying this, or are not worried about terrible things said about them in the paper because they show up at the school board meeting, they must, MUST say something about all of this.
We are in the midst of a very consequential culture war.
Burack: But are there enough people who have the freedom and security to push back? People at the top feel they may only shield themselves from their own cancelation by proving they are not racist or sexist or bigoted, terms that ruin people’s careers and lives.
Forget standing up against the mob. Decision-makers are now trying to prove they are not racist, not transphobic, not homophobic, and not against a bunch of other terms no one heard about until last week.
This is why you see places like ESPN aggressively releasing white talents and desperately finding roles for black people. They are trying to prove they are not racist, which demands a racist mindset aimed at the appropriate groups.
As far as what is next, Americans in the public are just trying to ensure they are not next.
Kelly: Sadly. It’s a testament to human weakness. No strong, independent executive who is male or female can believe this is the right way to function as a society. No one who knows who they are and understands the basis of morality can actually stand with this. They know and see how racist that attitude is and just how confused these people are on the gender front.
The only reason people are doing what you are saying — and they are — is because they’re weak. They don’t have the stones to stand up against it. And I think then they deserve what they get. I believe in the law of natural consequences. If they are afraid to stand up against it, they will have a racially-divided company, one of only BIPOC transgender people to the exclusion of everyone else. If there’s no more meritocracy of any kind, well, good luck. Let’s see how that works.
If that’s the kind of company you want to run — I’m speaking to you, Nike — let’s see how it goes. I’ll be interested in that thought experiment.
Bobby, I believe in a sort of corporate Darwinism, where eventually good people of all colors, of all genders, of all sexualities will land where they ought to land and will be promoted based on merit. Eventually. It may not be in 2021 or 2022. It will take time. But long term, a country can’t function like this. Capitalism can’t function like this long term.
Burack: Are we headed to a place where these vultures force major institutions to categorize everyone into two groups: victims and perpetrators because of their ancestors?
Kelly: Hmm. So I think you’re giving too much credit to these wokesters. I don’t think that they’ve actually managed to capture all these industries. I think they’ve led us to believe they have, and then you have cowards running major corporations like Coca-Cola.
I think the vast majority of the American people feel as we do, which is that this is bullshit. They don’t want to live like this, they don’t want to raise their kids like this, they don’t want to live in a country that’s like this. And so I’m always careful about not calling the push as wokeness — the weird racialization issue, the weird transgender pushing issue — a left-right issue. Because I think it’s more of reason and unreason. It’s sane and insane. I know that because I interview liberals, I interview people of color, I interview trans people all the time. They also think this is absurd.
The right does itself a massive disservice by characterizing this as a right-left problem. It is not. Or by pretending that the woke — distinguished here from the left — has captured every major institution. They haven’t. They’ve pressured them enough that they changed their public messaging, but they’re not yet captured. The hearts and minds are not yet captured in all these industries.
That’s distinguished from the left. I concede that the left has captured Hollywood, media, sports, big tech, corporate America. But that’s not the same as the woke. The woke is an annoying, probably 10-11% group, that won’t shut up and is incredibly squeaky. But I believe they can be stopped
Burack: Earlier you mentioned the fall of the media’s credibility. The success of independent media outlets and personalities suggests that’s true.
Major media companies have neglected average Americans to cater to a group of media writers, elites, and blue checks — a group which no one can ultimately satisfy. Thus, Americans have turned off CNN, unsubscribed to the New York Times and have begun to follow Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, and writers on Substack
Kelly: Totally. There’s no appeasing the woke. There’s no amount of woke that’s acceptable to the woke. They will even turn on and eat their own in a New York minute. Just ask Christy Teegan.
It doesn’t matter how many chips you deposit in the Woke Bank. They will come for you, they will cut you.
Let’s say when Bob Iger was running Disney and ABC, there had been a major scandal. Does Bob Iger think for one minute that the woke work that he’s done at Disney would save him? Absolutely not. There’s no insurance against this. To quote a line from War Games, “The only winning move is not to play.”
That is why I have no sympathy for these people who play along then get eaten by the woke. Like when Rachel Nichols took a hit. Too bad, you have been out here for how long about how bad this country and certain industries are. Well, guess what? The monster came back to get you. I don’t feel sorry for you because you were fighting the wrong battle.
And Nichols is in no way the worst offender. Don Lemon is out there every night telling everybody what bigots they are. Meanwhile, this is a man who has been credibly accused of shoving his hands down the pants, fondling the genitals, and rubbing his hands all over a stranger in a bar. He denies it, but he’s been accused and there was an independent eye witness who said he saw Lemon do it. Who is Don Lemon to lecture us on anything?
Don’t even get me started on Chris Cuomo.
These are our moral arbiters who are casting judgment on regular American citizens who, for the most part, are powerless to fight back.
Burack: And then there is Joy Reid, who is truly a grotesque person.
Kelly. Haha. She is absolutely one of the worst offenders. All of her anti-LGBT comments, her obvious lies about her blog, her double-down lie about the FBI, the fake FBI investigation, which we all know didn’t happen. Prove it, Joy. Prove it, MSNBC. Let’s see it after all these years. Can you produce an affidavit? Just one from an actual expert attesting to what happened and how it came out? We’ll wait.
But, you know, it’s MSNBC. They put Brian Williams back on the air after about dozens, if not hundreds, of lies. I’ve got some information on that, by the way. But I’m not at liberty to share.
One of the good things that happened in 2017, back to the original point, is the exposure of these organizations as utterly soulless and completely partisan. It’s better to know that, right? If that’s what they were in December of ’16, then it’s better that we know it today.
To this moment, I’m still not sure whether the media were this bad prior to Trump. Did they just do a better job of hiding it, or did Trump, in essence, bring them face to face with their worst demons, which then engulf this radicalization?
I don’t know that answer, Bobby.
Burack: That is Trump’s impact on the mainstream media.
Meanwhile, his impact on conservative and independent media is more complicated. Trump’s supporters, which make up a significant portion of conservative news viewers, judged this group of pundits on how Trump felt about them. Jedediah Bila and Chris Wallace come to mind.
I don’t know that conservative viewers will have a lukewarm opinion on Wallace again after that debate.
Trump turned on you at the debate in 2016 — how much impact did that have on your reputation among conservative viewers?
Kelly: I can see how on paper you’d say my interaction with Trump on the debate stage cost me with my audience. But the truth is, my ratings never dipped even a little after that debate on Fox. In fact, they only grew.
When I left cable news, my show had been and remained the No. 1 show in the demo. As you know, Bobby, that’s the only number that matters. That is how we view cable news — in terms of success. I had surpassed Bill O’Reilly, I surpassed Sean Hannity. I had beaten O’Reilly several quarters, which Hannity had never done.
My show was extremely successful. So, if anything, I was rewarded for not showing any partisan line. I think what hurt me with some conservatives more than the Trump question was leaving Fox and going to NBC. People thought that, in combination with Trump’s repeated attacks on me, was taken as some sort of evidence that I wanted to “switch teams.”
The truth is I was never on a team, I wasn’t on a Republican team while I was on Fox. I wasn’t on the Democrat team when I was on NBC. I was always just on journalism’s team, as I view that term, which is to ask tough questions of anybody in service of my audience.
Burack: You made the point in November that Trump, in part, challenged the election results because he owed it to his base. He won the job by challenging the establishment and doubting the system. He wasn’t going to stop when Biden was declared the winner in November.
Spinning it forward, will Trump feel he owes it to his base to run in 2024?
Kelly: Quite an interesting question. If I could predict what was in Trump’s head, I would have lived my life very differently for the past few years.
I do think he’s got a special relationship with his most core supporters and he does think about what they need, what they want, how he can get it for them. And those needs and wants tend to align with his own, so it’s very symbiotic.
But I also think that if Trump thinks for a minute he wouldn’t win, there’s no way he would run. I don’t think he would do that. I think Trump would much rather see a Republican beat Joe Biden than Kamala Harris take on what would effectively be Biden 2.0. He does not want a second term for Biden or a first-term for Harris. So if he thinks somebody like DeSantis has a better shot, I think he’d want them to run.
However, I can’t see Trump ever thinking he’s not the best man for the job. I just can’t. He would have to have a medical issue to think that. Or think his life in Mar-a-Lago with Melania is too amazing. But he’s hard to figure out.
If you would have asked me 11 months ago, or however long it’s been, would he do anything to screw up Georgia, I would have said say he’s not stupid. No, he understands the stakes. Again that was me totally misreading Trump. So he’s totally unpredictable.
I really have no idea what he will do. I do think at 78 years old, it’ll be tougher for him after what we’ve seen for years and we’ve seen that the natural processes of age take hold on a senior citizen’s brain in a way it’s uncomfortable for most of us to watch.
Burack: How large is the disconnect between how unhappy Americans are online and how they are in the real world?
Kelly: This is a great question. Happily, my world is not really media. I do a pretty good job of not filling my friendships and personal relationships with media people. There are a couple of valid exceptions, though.
I’m here at the Jersey Shore and my neighbors include a lawyer, a firefighter, a guy who works on the ferry system in Staten Island, and a real estate agent. These people are just living their lives.
The wokeness, the constant culture wars seep into their world here or there, but they find it annoying and they can’t stand it. But they’re still living a life where they’re a military spouse, they’re dealing with their kids, they’re focused on what matters. It’s only when something like CRT insists on sticking its nose under the corporate or the education blanket that they have to deal with it.
So I think overall, my friends who are not political are happy. I think those of us who are in politics, in news, are the unhappy ones. It’s just a fucking toxic industry. You and I breathe the fumes all day long.
But here is why I don’t regret it. I in no way wish to compare myself, or you, or Tucker, or Ben Shapiro — who I know you know — to the military. I revere them, they occupy special roles in this country. However, I do think culture warriors, people who are pushing back against this nonsense, are, in a way, fighting a battle that’s important to the country. This country needs people to fight back, even if they have to step into a toxic arena.