Why Megyn Kelly is a role model for young journalists (column)

 

Almost everyone at some point in their life has been bullied.  However, not many have been bullied in the national spotlight. Even fewer, have been bullied by one of the most powerful men in America.  One woman has been through all three, and continues to do her job with poise, elegance and class.  This is why, as an aspiring journalist, I look up to Megyn Kelly.

The feud began during the first GOP debate in August, during which Kelly asked Donald Trump a question about his treatment of women, mentioning several terms he has previously called women.  Trump didn’t react well to the question and later stated on Twitter:

“Wow, @megynkelly really bombed tonight.”

She was simply doing her job.  She was being a journalist in a world that is dominated by negative press and a negative connotation to the word “journalism. ” All Kelly did was ask the questions that everyone else was too afraid to ask and she was slammed for it. In my opinion, Trump’s reaction was a defense mechanism. He wasn’t prepared to have to own up to what he had done. He didn’t see Kelly as capable of asking thought provoking questions.

Trump repeatedly called her “Crazy Megyn” on Twitter and even stated that people needed to boycott her show. He also referred to her as “unwatchable,” “sick” and “average.” All this because he felt she was unfairly harsh to him during the GOP debate in August.

                                    freedom of press photo

(At the Newseum in Washington D.C. // Photo: Sophie Barnes )

 Now, Kelly is a powerful woman also.  Her show “The Kelly File” is on Fox News and covers all sorts of issues. Nothing was stopping her from firing insults right back at Trump and shooting down all his comments. With more than 1.7 million followers, she could have tweeted anything in retaliation, and it would have definitely been reposted. However, she simply turned the other cheek.

These hits continued to come, the names were thrown, and the shady comments were made, all by Trump. Kelly didn’t lash out, she didn’t return the hate, and she continued to do her job.

She asked to have an interview with him, and instead of slamming him, she carried her constant elegance through the interview. She was courteous and conducted it as a professional.  The entire nation, along with me, was anxious to see what potential backlash would occur.

And yet, we saw none of that.

I truly respected and looked up to Kelly during this interview. Her ability to simply talk with her bully, while still being respectful and professional, was very inspiring to see.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is the biggest load of baloney I have read in my life. Words do hurt.  Lowering someone’s intelligence or abilities to seemingly raise your own confidence is such a contradiction. I have been told hateful and hurtful things in my career as a student. However, Kelly helps to inspire me to keep my cool and stay respectful to the antagonists.

Hurdles will not stop me from achieving what I want. One leg at a time, I will get over it, no matter the height and I will do so with dignity, grace and respect, just like Kelly.

I want to be like Kelly both now, and hopefully in the future, as a journalist.  I want to be able to continue to do my passion without the stigma of being called “unwatchable” or “sick.” I want to bravely find the facts, and share them with people regardless of what others say. I want my only press pass to be the First Amendment to the Constitution, which no one can take away from me. Kelly’s resilience is a true mark of her professionalism and her passion for the work she does. Her confidence is not only in her job, but more importantly in herself. With more confidence comes a stronger journalist.

 Sophie Barnes, who will be an eleventh grade student at Dover Area High School in the fall, is a member of the YDR’s Teen Takeover program.

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