I usually disagree with just about everything Megyn Kelly says or stands for. The 1 PM host of America Live, the Fox News Channel’s mid-day opinion show, usually has Kelly spewing right-wing talking points and propaganda. But today something CRAZY happened.
For some background to today’s situation: a couple of months ago Mike Gallagher, a Fox News contributor and talk radio host of The Mike Gallagher Show was hosting another Fox News host, Chris Wallace on Gallagher’s radio show when he called Kelly’s maternity leave a “racket.”
GALLAGHER: She’s ni — and she does a good job. She really -when is – and Megyn’s on, still on maternity leave, right?
WALLACE: What do you mean, you complaining she’s, she’s bonding with her baby.
GALLAGHER: What a racket that is. I mean, men don’t get to bond —
WALLACE: What a racket?
GALLAGHER: Well, how much time does she get off to have to —
WALLACE: Probably three months.
GALLAGHER: That’s unbelievable. Do you think you’d get three months off when – how much time did you get off when your kids were —
WALLACE: Let me tell you. When my children were born, one week was all I could stand. Then I wanted to come back, and that wasn’t even very happy about that —
GALLAGHER: Nice, that’s great
Today, when Kelly returned, Gallagher was one of her guests and she had some choice words for him. When Gallagher couldn’t defend his remarks, this exchange took place:
KELLY: Are you doubling down? No, no, no the, no, are you not taking those remarks back? Is maternity leave, according to you, a racket?
GALLAGHER: Well, do men get maternity leave, Megyn?
KELLY: Guess what, honey, they do. It’s called the Family Medical Leave Act. If men would like to take three months off to take care of their newborn baby, they can.
GALLAGHER: All right. Let me give you an explanation. I was drinking that day —
KELLY: Now you’re more along the path I expected.
KELLY: Just in the case you didn’t know, just in case you didn’t know, Mike, I want you to know that the United States is the only country in the advanced world that doesn’t allow pay, doesn’t require paid maternity leave. Now, I happen to work for a nice employer at gives me paid maternity leave.
GALLAGHER: Yes, you do.
KELLY: But the United States is the only country that doesn’t require paid maternity leave, and what is it about getting pregnant and carrying a baby nine months that you don’t think deserves a few months off so bonding and recovery can take place, huh?
GALLAGHER: I even think one of the people on your staff said, “Oh, Mike, she didn’t even notice. Megyn isn’t even aware you said this.” I said; “let’s not bring this to her attention.”
KELLY: You can’t answer the question because there is no answer, my friend.
What was surprising for a frequent viewer of Fox News such as myself was not only Kelly’s defense of paid maternity leave but Fox News’ granting of said leave. Kelly isn’t exactly a champion of the causes of women, and anyone who watches Fox for more than a few minutes can easily figure out the network isn’t really a fan of women’s rights. But Kelly, having a personal experience of the necessity of paid leave, not only defends the practice but also defends a father’s ability to take paid leave as well.
It has been noted that one of the reasons women don’t get higher-paying jobs is because of the “liability” of child birth that would keep them out of work—a practice known as pregnancy discrimination. As much as it pains me to say, more companies should begin to follow the lead of Fox News and Megyn Kelly. Awareness that paid leave is not a liability but a necessity for new mothers and fathers will hopefully end the stigma for women and men who decide to take the time to bond with and care for their newborns.
Today, Fox News and Megyn Kelly, I applaud you. Maybe you can take on fair pay next?
This post is brought to you by Salvatore, who works for PoliticalCorrection.org. In the interest of political correctness, we must tell you that opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of PoliticalCorrection.org or MediaMatters.org (althoughttoday, all progressives might applaud Fox News and Megyn Kelly).