US POLITICS

Donald Trump Fans Attack Megyn Kelly With Sexist Slurs

Vocativ analysis reveals the anchor is facing an onslaught of verbal abuse after Trump announced he won't participate in Fox News debate

Trump fans are trolling Megyn Kelly. — REUTERS
Jan 27, 2016 at 11:45 AM ET

Since Donald Trump announced he wouldn’t take part in Thursday’s GOP debate over his dislike of Megyn Kelly, Trump’s fans reacted just as expected: by unleashing a vile torrent of sexist rage against the Fox News anchor.

Looking at 80,000 tweets directed at Kelly’s official Twitter handle from Tuesday to Wednesday morning—as well as close to 1,200 comments posted on her Facebook page over the last month—a Vocativ data analysis showed that in both data sets, Trump’s supporters are trolling the anchor. Hard. Thousands of critics, who largely appear to be on Team Trump, have flooded Kelly’s Twitter and Facebook accounts since Tuesday with offensive comments, calling her a “bimbo” and a “whore” and demanding that she not moderate the debate, which will be the last before the Iowa caucus on February 1.

Other than Kelly herself, “Trump” was the most-mentioned name in all of the Twitter and Facebook posts directed at the Fox News host since Tuesday morning, the Vocativ analysis discovered. On Twitter alone, Trump’s campaign hashtags were among the most-used hashtags in posts by critics tweeting at Kelly.

Their language was largely gendered, using phrases like “dumb blonde” and other words derogatory to women. “Bitch” appeared the most—a total of 423 times in tweets from the last 24 hours—followed by “bimbo.”

Alongside the sexist language, a number of users called on Kelly to give up journalism. Over 100 Twitter users proposed that Judge Jeanine Pirro replace Kelly on Thursday as a debate moderator. Fox News executive Roger Ailes reportedly said on Tuesday that the network will stand behind Kelly, even if it means Trump won’t attend the Republican debate.

More Trump-Kelly Feud Splits Conservatives

Kelly and Trump first butted heads in August, when Kelly questioned the firebrand presidential contender about his inflammatory statements about women. Trump responded after the interview by saying she had “blood coming out of her wherever”—a comment many perceived as a reference to her menstrual cycle. He also broadcast tweets calling Kelly a “bimbo,” and a broader confrontation between Trump and Fox News has since persisted.

“NOBODY wants to see your bitchy bias mug on the television,” Facebook user Tom Brooke wrote in a comment on a picture of Kelly, showing her with children in the snow. Another Trump supporter, Frank Hoffman, replied to comment on a Facebook photo showing Kelly preparing for the debate: “She needs to stick to stripping.”