Shortly before Megyn Kelly officially left Fox News for NBC, the cable news network star feuded publicly with her soon-to-be-former colleague Bill O’Reilly. The latter was especially incensed by the former’s accusations of sexual misconduct against network founder Roger Ailes, who died nearly a year after he resigned from his post as Fox News CEO. While promoting their books during separate media tours, Kelly and O’Reilly kept sparring with each other’s previous comments before the NBC deal’s announcement ultimately overtook the controversy.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, however, it seems O’Reilly may be trying to bury the hatchet while simultaneously attempting to one-up the newly minted broadcast news star. The fired Fox News-er, whose internet series No Spin News pales in comparison to his O’Reilly Factor days, admitted he’d watched a few episodes of Kelly’s lackluster Sunday Night news magazine program. He also said he felt “bad” for her:
“I watched it. I feel bad for her because it’s the same old game; you build them up and tear them down. I mean, what has Megyn Kelly done wrong? I don’t get [the media criticism]. She worked her way up from being a reporter, and now she’s making good money, and she’s in a good position. So what has she done wrong? You don’t like her haircut? Is that it? I don’t get it. Megyn and I, we worked well together at Fox. She was very successful on The Factor. And after me, at 9 p.m., she did very well. So I don’t get it. What is the hysteria about this?”
On the one hand, O’Reilly is defending Kelly and her Sunday Night show against what he perceives to be flagrant and unnecessary criticism. On the other hand, he apparently couldn’t resist insisting that her success at Fox News depended on his popular program, which preceded her own and on which she appeared frequently. What’s more, O’Reilly said he watched Kelly’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin simply “because I want to interview Putin.” He also indirectly said Putin made her “look stupid,” though he did clarify his assessment by saying it wasn’t her fault.