- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2015

She’s not just an anchor anymore. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes himself has given Megyn Kelly a new series of broadcast specials to augment her top-rated primetime hour on the network, prompting Variety - a leading industry source for TV and film - to compare her to longtime interview maven Barbara Walters.

Kelly has evolved into the fresh face of Fox News, and her influence in cable news just keeps growing,” the publication says, noting that her recent hour-long interview with the Duggar family drew over 3 million viewers.

She appears to be ready to assume the Walters media mantle.

“Barbara Walters has retired. Diane Sawyer left her anchor role. Oprah has moved to the OWN network and is doing a different thing now. So why not me?” Ms. Kelly said in her interview with Variety, published Tuesday - and she is the covergirl.

“Listen, Megyn is so good today that there is no interview I would not want her to do,” Mr. Ailes said. PBS and CBS interview heavyweight Charlie Rose also noted, “Longform interviewing is different than anchoring a newscast. To be good, you have to be very spontaneous. She has the capacity to do that.”

LET US IN: THIRD PARTIES SUE FOR RIGHT TO DEBATE

Both the Libertarians and the Green Party want in. Now. The pair of third parties demand to be included during the 2016 presidential debates, and are suing the Federal Election Commission for the right to appear at the high profile political matches - destination viewing for millions of American voters.

The first of the officially sanctioned matches between the top-10 polling Republican candidates will be broadcast in a matter of weeks. Protesting under the aegis of an umbrella group titled Level the Playing Field, the Libertarians and Greens are vexed at the Commission on Presidential Debates, which they describe as “a Democratic- and Republican-run agency that sets rules designed to exclude third parties and independents from presidential debates.”

As for the federal commission itself, the new coalition claims the agency is not enforcing the law.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates is another example of the two old parties working hand in hand to keep the American people from hearing real, bold ideas for how to fix this country. Nothing scares them more than having a fresh voice on that debate stage,” says Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.

“Any candidate eligible for the Presidency and on enough ballots to be elected should be on the debate stage,” he said. “Anything else is unfair and perpetrates a fraud on the American voter.  This lawsuit is just one way we are calling out this sham and fighting for all Americans to hear from all of the candidates for president,” Mr. Sarwark adds.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. The first GOP primary debate, moderated and broadcast by Fox News, is Aug. 6 in Cleveland. The network has scheduled an additional candidate “forum” for hopefuls who don’t make the top-10 cut.

GREEN PARTY LAUNCH

Good timing, perhaps.  Jill Stein, the official Green Party presidential candidate, launches her campaign Tuesday at the National Press Club in the nation’s capital with a strident new plan for voters to consider.

“The Power to the People Plan creates deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit,” Ms. Stein explains.

CARLY’S MESSAGE FOR HILLARY

Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are afraid of Carly Fiorina - and they should be. Carly is running for president because she knows that right now the country needs a leader it can trust, and she’s shown she can be that leader. Carly has also made it more than clear that she is ready, willing, and more than able to take on Hillary and the Clinton machine. ‘I’ve traveled a million miles!’ Clinton boasts. But what has she accomplished? Even Clinton’s supporters don’t have an answer,” notes Steve DeMaura, executive director of Carly for America, in an aggressive new campaign message from the GOP presidential hopeful.

“Carly has a message for Hillary: ‘Flying is not an accomplishment, it is an activity’.”

POLL DU JOUR

70 percent of Americans say the Supreme Court should allow financial assistance for lower income people seeking to buy health insurance; 41 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 88 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent of Americans overall approve of Obamacare, 44 percent disapprove.

55 percent overall say Obamacare has some good things but “changes are needed”; 37 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

31 percent say it should be repealed entirely; 55 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats agree.

9 percent say Obamacare is working well and should be kept as is; 2 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS/New York Times poll of 1,007 U.S. adults conducted June 10-14.

Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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