Fox News’ Megyn Kelly doesn’t think Lt. John Pike’s pepper spray use was that bad

Megyn Kelly prepares for the Fox News/Google GOP Debate in Orlando, Florida.

The UC-Davis pepper-spray incident poses a challenge to Fox News. On one hand, it was a classic case of Occupy Wall Street protesters vs. police, in which case, the network’s mental calculus is easy. “Side with the police!” On the other hand, well, you’ve seen the pictures. They look bad. No one wants to be the person to come right out and defend the UC-Davis campus cops’ indiscriminate use of pepper spray against students sitting helplessly on the ground. So instead, watch Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly step right up to the edge of defending the police, without actually doing it.

This required Kelly and O’Reilly to make the following arguments:

Pepper spray is not that bad, because it is a food product. That is not a reducto ad absurdium, that is an actual quote from Megyn Kelly: “It’s a derivative of actual pepper. It’s a food product, essentially.”

No one is allowed to question police after they do something wrong. “I don’t think we have the right to Monday morning quarterback the police…” O’Reilly argued, because throwing two interceptions against the zone blitz is the same thing as spraying pepper spray into a group of peaceful protesters.

Pepper-spraying UC-Davis students is not as bad as pepper spraying normal people, because the students are probably liberals. We can’t criticize the police for their actions, O’Reilly said, particularly “at a place like UC-Davis, which is a fairly liberal campus.”

The campus police were only following orders.
The police were ordered by the university to disperse the protesters, both anchors argue, and they were within their legal rights to use pepper spray to do so. That second point is debatable; precedent says that using pepper spray on nonviolent protesters counts as excessive force.

But we do agree with O’Reilly and Kelly on the first, as they shift the blame from campus police to UC-Davis chancellor Linda Katehi. (Or, from blue-collar working stiffs to an elite educator, which makes the network much more comfortable.) Katehi, after all, was the one who decided that the protesters needed to be cleared by any means necessary, and then lied about it afterward. What great harm would have come to the university if they had been allowed to stay?


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.