Megyn Kelly rips into Jane Fonda on 'Hanoi Jane' and plastic surgery

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
Jane Fonda, Megyn Kelly (Photo: NBC)

In a daring bid to alienate as many viewers and future guests as possible, Megyn Kelly took some time on Monday morning’s Megyn Kelly Today show to ridicule and insult Jane Fonda. Kelly was apparently offended that Fonda made a little joke about her when Fonda and Lily Tomlin were out promoting the new season of Grace and Frankie on Hoda Kotb’s real Today show last week. When Tomlin said she’d known Fonda “since before your first face-lift,” Fonda shot back, “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?” This, it seems, was all it took to rile up Kelly, who is still smarting from Fonda’s tart refusal to talk about the “work” she’s had done when she appeared on Megyn Kelly Today back in September.

On Monday, Kelly took a pause in her morning proceedings to say “a word about Jane Fonda, who appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago.” Kelly said that Fonda “has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive.” What did Kelly use to support that argument? The fact that Fonda was against the war in Vietnam. Yes, Kelly’s old Fox News instincts were back out in full force as she scornfully referred to Fonda as “Hanoi Jane,” the nickname bestowed upon her by her critics. Kelly said of Fonda’s digs at her, “It’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine.” Kelly went on: “For years [Fonda] has spoke about the joy of giving a cultural face to older women. The truth is, most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80. And if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore.”

First, Fonda hasn’t done a “poor me” routine; that’s just condescending. What Fonda has done is, in a recent Variety interview, say that Kelly is “not that good an interviewer” — a considered opinion from someone who’s been interviewed thousands of times. Second, Kelly’s scornful “her plastic surgery is tough to ignore” drew derisive laughs from her studio audience. So Kelly, who has lately been getting bigger ratings by refocusing her show to cover women’s issues such as the #MeToo movement, isn’t above ridiculing the appearance of a woman she has a beef with.

Gee, I wonder if publicists are shuffling their clients out of Kelly’s reach for the future. Who needs to appear on Megyn Kelly Today and then get attacked for it by the host months later? Who will Kelly alienate next? Maybe tomorrow she’ll take a slap at her Today colleague Hoda Kotb for hosting Fonda.

Megyn Kelly Today airs weekdays at 9 a.m. on NBC.

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