Worth the 30 minutes if you can spare it, although if you can’t there’s a three-minute snippet posted elsewhere by Kelly addressing Ailes’s infamous habit of asking women anchors to “spin” for him so he could check them out. I was a law-school grad, a successful lawyer, a professional woman, says Kelly. But when he asked me to spin I did, she adds, mortified.
Which makes a certain twisted sense. If you’ve chased your dream of newscasting far enough and long enough and with enough good fortune to land a meeting with Roger Ailes, traveling a thousand miles to finally arrive at the doorstep of mega-success, it must be hard to decline to enter when that door opens and you’re told the price of entry is a moment of casual sexual denigration by the boss.
And later, in some cases, much more than a moment.
The inspiration for this interview was “Bombshell,” the new movie about the downfall of Ailes at Fox News after first Gretchen Carlson and then Kelly, among others, finally reported his habits to investigators. Carlson is conspicuously absent here but former Fox reporters Juliet Huddy and Rudi Bakhtiar as well as former producer Julie Zann, all of whom allege harassment while at Fox, participated. (Neither Huddy nor Bakhtiar has worked in television since, notes Kelly in the intro.) They watch the movie together at the start of the interview and then revisit some of the scenes during their conversation, often emotionally; a notable example comes at 22:25, when Kelly’s character in the film is confronted about how her years of silence on Ailes enabled him to prey on other women. The character is cavalier and ruthless about that. The real Kelly is not.
If you only have time for one newsy tidbit, though, skip to 14:27 and listen to Juliet Huddy tell her story about Bill O’Reilly. Hoo boy. Not to be missed, trust me.