On Tuesday, she laughed off blackface as no big deal, justifying the minstrel show-type makeup as routine over the years, certainly for Halloween.
On Wednesday, back at her desk hosting her morning show at NBC-TV, she wasn’t laughing. Her eyes were red from sleeplessness and her face was pale from worry.
Her job was on the line. Her career was at risk. She had touched the third rail.
Her own NBC partners and colleagues, Al Roker among them, joined the thousands from twitter-land who denounced her for being so racially insensitive.
Overnight, she became the headliner on CNN, and not in a good way, and that was only the beginning.
From all over the airwaves and social media, she was featured as the poster-girl for white privilege. They mocked her for her ignorance, and on her own show on Wednesday, she sat still, well-behaved and fully chastened as African-American personalities lectured her on the history of racism in America.
They were heated and their indignation was proper...and somewhat hypocritical.
Will she ever be forgiven? I ask because as King Solomon would have had it, there is a time to accuse, and there is a time to forgive.
But this is not the time to forgive, here in America. Guilt is always to be assumed.
As for Megyn Kelly, whom we covered in this noir newsroom novel, the girl can’t help it; keeps suffering from foot-in-mouth disease, from Fox News and now to NBC, and the details are fascinating, but you will have to read about it in the book…where it’s everything you need to know behind the scenes, and how people get that way.
Next question: is it correct to scold her without pity? Are her accusers being fair? The lady misspoke. Shouldn’t an apology be enough?
No, not on race. That is a special kind of prejudice. Listen to her black colleagues. Listen to them explain how hurtful it is, any trace of the suffering endured by themselves and their ancestors.
Listen to Al Roker: “The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”
Right. There is nothing casual about a remark that pains an individual or a group. People of color have a right to be offended and to declare, enough is enough.
So where was Al Roker – where were all of them – when Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan loudly and publicly compared Jews to termites?
He said it loudly enough for all of them to hear and yet, far as I know, not a peep of denunciation from the same people so quick to jump on Megyn Kelly.
Anti-Semitism is likewise a special prejudice, the oldest, and our friends of color – where are they when we need them?
Mostly – silence.
When Roger Waters, when Linda Sarsour, when leading US imams, when thousands of others all go wailing against the Jews, we wait for words of comfort from black leaders.
Mostly – zero.
Can we count on something similar, by way of outrage and indignation, for the blood that cries out to us from the synagogue in Pittsburgh where today 11 were murdered?
For what reason? For being Jewish, the gunman heard yelling, “All these Jews need to die.” We have heard this message before, but without the outrage that singled out Megyn Kelly.
You have to go back to MLK to find any leader from the black community who understands anti-Semitism, and how it hurts.
Megyn Kelly’s detractors kept saying that we need to have a discussion about prejudice in America.
Yes, we sure do.
New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.
He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and most recently the classic noir novel “Slot Attendant,” plus the two inside journalism thrillers “The Bathsheba Deadline” and “News Anchor Sweetheart, Hollywood Edition.” Engelhard is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com