Megyn Kelly Explains Maternity Leave And Entitlement Reform To Jon Stewart

Last week we highlighted Fox News host Megyn Kelly sparring with guest Mike Gallagher over his comments against maternity leave. Then we looked at Jon Stewart‘s mocking of Kelly’s views on maternity leave. He suggested she was inconsistent in that she doesn’t equally support every government program that has come down the pike. Now she responds.

In an interview with Mediaite‘s Colby Hall, Kelly discusses that bit and a few other maternity-related issues. She mentions that she was in no way offended by Stewart’s comedy bit and says it’s his job to be funny and not necessarily accurate. She adds:

But on the substance of it, it got me thinking, because all my remarks were clearly out of context and he was trying to create a narrative. It is not actually inconsistent for somebody to be pro-entitlement reform and pro-strong maternity leave. And Bill Clinton is the best example of that, because he was the one who signed welfare reform into law, and yet also signed the FMLA, which is very controversial and a lot of conservatives didn’t like it. While you may not be somebody who wants a lot of government tentacles in your life, you may also be somebody who thinks that a working woman who has just given birth to a baby shouldn’t have to choose between keeping her job and having her physical recovery and bonding time with her infant child.

Stewart suggested she was only in favor of the unpaid maternity leave benefit because it benefits her. But, she points out, she was advocating on behalf of that benefit even though she doesn’t benefit from it. Fox News gave her time off with pay — something that is not required by any government regulation.

Kelly also says she was unplugged when she was on maternity leave. Asked if she watched any TV, she said:

A little bit. I became a normal news consumer. I think the amount of news we take in, being in this industry, is unrealistic for the average viewer. I mean, we’ve read all the blogs, we’ve read papers, we know what’s in the magazines, we spend hours a day interviewing newsmakers and getting commentary and perspective on it. That’s not real. That’s not what the average American does for news consumption. So when I was on maternity leave, I became an average American in terms of news consumption I watched some TV, I took in some information online, but most of the time, I went about living my day-to-day life. It was actually really refreshing.

Now that I’m back, I think I have a better perspective on how my viewers are coming to the news. You can’t assume that they are as immersed in these stories as we are, and you can’t assume when you write an intro to a story that you may have been following that they know the background to the story. You’re actually doing them a service if you assume they don’t know about it. And for those who do know it, they’ll forgive you a line or two of repetition on a story they’ve already heard about. For those who don’t know, they’ll be very grateful that you’ve not assumed they’re up to date, and brought them into the loop and then they can hear a meaningful debate.


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  • thehumburger

    Megyn Kelly didn’t explain anything to anybody. She was fortunate she had an easy interviewer who asked no follow-up questions. But I imagine that was by design.

    The fact is that Megyn and Fox generally are adamantly opposed to government-enforced regulation including benefits and entitlements. Whether the government-enforced benefit of maternity leave is an entitlement is debatable; it’s currently unpaid, so no direct monetary value is gained, though being able to have a job after not coming in for 3 months certainly benefits you financially at least indirectly.

    Furthermore, she argued that the U.S. government should have paid maternity leave, stating that the U.S. is still in the dark ages compared to other countries (the vast majority of countries provide for paid leave, even ones most would consider backwards 3rd world countries compared to the U.S.). So, she actually argued for making maternity leave an entitlement while previously decrying entitlements and all other government “tentacles” in our lives. That is a textbook definition of hypocrisy.

  • TheThinkingMan

    Thank you, Mr. humburger for pointing that out even more explicitly for Ms, Hemingway. I absolutely agree with Jon Stewart and also with you. One cannot rail against entitlements of all kind and then be for something that benefits you directly. Surely, we are all for entitlement reform: we all want programs that work for us and that help us and we don’t want people taking advantage of those programs. This is a given. What Megyn and the rest of the Faux news network continuously does is paint the picture of a terrible government controlled by some “left wing” conspiracy, and then tries to take credit for other things that are beneficial to them whilst never admitting to their blatant hypocrisy.

    You CANNOT be against the system except for when it benefits you. That, by definition, is hypocrisy. We saw it highlighted even more blatantly when Gallagher tried to point out that men do not receive that particular benefit and her response was that they, in fact, do. Only months before that she had been railing against the fact that men are allowed that same privilege.

    So, where does she stand.
    Once again, as always, the Network is hypocritical and ignorant of the facts and of their own actions.
    I am glad that Jon has the courage and ingenuity to call them out with cleverness and humor, though still being 100% accurate the entire time.
    And I hope others will begin to see this when they turn on their television to watch these hypocritical fear-mongering deceivers of the masses.

  • Bellissima Maternity

    Sounds so interesting, keep up the good job!