Fox, like rival CNN, initially reported that the law had been struck down. Kelly sensed the error and called the report from Washington into question within two minutes, ordering producers to remove a misleading graphic. Painfully to viewers, CNN took a much longer time to correct the high-profile mistake.
Afterward, the New Yorker magazine dubbed Kelly "the brains of the Fox News operation."
Kelly said she considers "America Live" a news show, not an opinion one, and there's a clear contrast between her show and ones on Fox or MSNBC's prime time. The lineup of stories, however, usually won't upset a Fox audience dominated by Republicans.
Last week, for example, the show led with a story about an e-book that alleged dysfunction in President Obama's presidential campaign, and returned to it a handful of times later. The story about Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's statement that women's bodies can break down pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape," which broke the previous weekend, wasn't reported until the last five minutes of the two-hour show (except for when Obama was asked about it during an impromptu news conference Fox covered). Another new story, about a Republican congressman skinny-dipping in Sea of Galilee, wasn't covered.
"I don't think that we consider the political makeup of our audience," she said. "At the same time, I understand that my mission here is not to pick up The New York Times and put their headlines on TV. That's not what we do at Fox News. That's never been our formula and it wouldn't be a winning formula for us."
Her show offers two sides to a story "and I think people are not used to hearing the Republican side on some issues without mocking or diminishing, especially on issues like abortion, home schooling, guns or even small government. People are used to hearing these issues discussed where you're made to feel like you're in the minority if you don't agree with the slant of the news presenter."
Kelly has occasionally run afoul of Stewart on "The Daily Show." One time Stewart showed a segment where Kelly confronted a conservative commentator who had mocked her maternity leave, and the comic contrasted it with clips where Kelly had questioned people about entitlement programs. Kelly, he suggested, is "suffering from post-partum compassion."
He called Kelly recently after hearing her call him mean on his Comedy Central show.
It was cordial. Kelly said Stewart explained he was a satirist and his comedy didn't come from a mean place. She didn't back down, telling him that "I feel like you're the school bully and I'm one of your victims and you're looking for absolution and I'm not giving it."
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