Forget Louie CK. Forget Kevin Hart. Forget Amy Schumer. Forget Aziz Ansari (especially Aziz Ansari).
Roger Ailes is the newest sensation in stand-up. Politico reports
Late Monday night Trump tweeted several times about Kelly, who had just returned to hosting after a vacation, writing that he "liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!”
Trump also tweeted that Kelly was "really off her game" and retweeted a tweet that called Kelly a "bimbo."
While declining to remember those stand-up comedians, you may recall that at the main GOP presidential debate (repartee below) in Cleveland, Trump whined "Honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, even though I don’t have to be given the way you treat me, but I wouldn’t do that." The next night, he would say "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, "Blood coming out of her wherever."
Trump refused to apologize. As e-mails and tweets to Fox News overwhelmingly supported the candidate, Ailes and Trump kissed and made up. Trump appeared on the network to chat it up with Fox and Friends- including the friendly and approving Brian Kilmeade- and then with Sean Hannity.
Kelly was sent away on a ten-day vacation. But now after Trump's tweets, Ailes complains
Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise.
He certainly had not rejected it a couple of weeks ago. Still, he continued
I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer...
As if by script, Ailes' belated defense of one of his network's stars was preceded by criticism of Trump by Fox News' personalities Brian Kilmeade, Dana Perino, and Sean Hannity.
Why Trump would back off the snide comments he tweeted last night was a mystery, But Ailes must continue the charade, and remarked further
Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.
Trump pointedly has refused to apologize or back down, which Ailes must have expected, given that he failed to back his employee when he should have. It probably was unsurprising to anybody that the candidate Tuesday responded in part "I do not think Megyn Kelly is a quality journalist. I think her questioning of me, despite all of the polls saying I won the debate, was very unfair...."
Of course, Trump's response was nonsensical because Kelly's "questioning of me," given that it occurred at the debate, could not have been "despite all of the polls" (which did not show him a clear winner, anyway). That doesn't matter, however. Typically, there is only one way to handle a bully- to act in kind. Trump understands that, and has gotten the best of Roger Ailes, at least for now. Call it being hoisted by one's own petard.