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The Schmooze

That Time Jon Stewart and Megyn Kelly Duked It Out Over the Phone

There’s plenty of candid tidbits in Megyn Kelly’s new memoir “Settle for More.” The Fox News anchor details the well-publicized sexual harassment scandal with Roger Ailes, her feud with Donald Trump, and chronicles her rise to the top.

But one story, a little known anecdote about what happened after Jon Stewart attacked her for a segment on maternity leave, was particularly intriguing.

It all started with the birth of her baby.

Kelly took time off for maternity leave, and on her first day back got into a spirited battle with radio host Mike Gallagher on the merits of taking time off for maternity leave. Stewart, then the host of “The Daily Show,” proceeded to attack Kelly for only wanting entitlements that support her. After several episodes similar to this one, Kelly called Stewart ‘mean’ on air.

According to Kelly, that very evening, Stewart called her and wouldn’t get off the phone until she explained why she thought he was mean. The conversation went on for more than an hour, during which time Kelly called the comedian a “class bully.” When Stewart protested that she could hit him back on air, she explained that she was “not Bill O’Reilly.”

But finally, closure came:

“You are the one person at Fox News I actually respect,” he confessed toward the end, in an apparent moment of weakness.

“I hate myself for loving that,” I responded in a weak moment of my own.

Kelly wrote that the Stewart bits didn’t bother her after that.

When she called out Trump for his misogyny, Megyn Kelly was attacked with such nastiness that she had to bring armed guards on her vacation to Disney World. But after her experience with Stewart, she created a new mantra.

“With every hit I’d take, I felt that I was getting stronger,” she wrote. “Yep, still standing.”

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