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The Book of the Week is “Settle For More” by Megyn Kelly, published in 2016.
Born in November 1970, Kelly was raised Catholic in the suburbs of Syracuse and Albany in New York State. She conveyed a few simple principles on life. One is, “The only place ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary.”
The late, great college basketball coach John Wooden said one should be worried about one’s character, not one’s reputation. The true test of one’s character is: how you treat people who can do nothing for you. Like so many others, Kelly got caught up in worrying about her reputation when Trump and his followers smeared and lied about her.
Anyway, Kelly wrote that there occurred an egregious breach of journalistic ethics during 2016, leading up to election day. It was this: some idiot-box interviewers of Donald Trump told him prior to airtime, the critical things they would be saying about him, so they would appear to be “fair and balanced” in their reporting. Trump knew to behave himself and didn’t react with hostility to those questions or comments. Scripting and rehearsals are the new unethical normal in “journalism” nowadays.
Unsurprisingly, Kelly was the victim of a misogynistic Tweet by Trump. He knew this Tweet would become the subject of a 2015 post-debate news story, rather than her debate questions and his non-answers. He is, after all, the master manipulator of distracting messaging. His distractions are analogous to the scene shown during the closing credits of the movie Animal House: While a parade is passing through the college town, a frat boy says to a guy, “Look at my thumb.” The guy does and the frat boy sucker-punches him and says, “Gee, you’re dumb!” the same way Trump makes outrageously offensive comments for shock value, and then watches the fireworks.
In 2016, Kelly was forced to confront an ethical dilemma in connection with sexual harassment in her workplace– Fox News. Having succeeded in two male-dominated fields, she advised her female readers to get some advice on how they sound, and the clothing and makeup they wear so that they will be taken seriously by their male coworkers and bosses.
That said, it is unclear whether Kelly had the authority to choose the photo (in which she is wearing skimpy clothing) appearing on the front cover of the hardcover version of her book. The question is, would a male TV-news-show host wear a sexy shirt in the cover-photo of his book? Resounding no.
Kelly’s choice in that photo could have been an act of rebellion, or an act of naivete and poor self-awareness, on her part. With it, she hurt her cause of telling female readers to behave in ways that even the playing field with their male counterparts. If Kelly couldn’t control the photo on the cover, one might suspect her publisher was engaging in political retaliation.
Nevertheless, read the book to learn about how Kelly became super-successful as an attorney and as a TV “news” anchor, and how she was also able to have a family life in her time and place in the United States, despite the fact that her society gives males advantages over females.