Fox News host Megyn Kelly is everywhere right now, including the current cover of Vanity Fair. The glowing cover story, "Don't Mess with Megyn Kelly, Fox News's Toughest, Brightest Star," will only increase her rise and prominence. Kelly is not only covering the news, but making news by going head-to-head with GOP candidates during the debate she moderated and its aftermath.
I am not a regular viewer of Kelly and don't know her daily work, but I do remember a segment she did on drugs and the drug war. Five years ago, Megyn Kelly did a long segment on my organization, the Drug Policy Alliance and a PSA we did that featured Sting, Montel Williams, George Soros and others speaking out against the failed drug war.
The segment is a classic. Megyn Kelly starts off by showing clips of our PSA. We loved it. Here is Fox showing millions of their viewers our promotional video. Thank you Fox. Then Kelly debates her Fox colleague John Stossel about the war on drugs.
While I disagree with John Stossel on most things, the guy knows his stuff when it comes to talking about the disasters of our county's failed drug prohibition. He comes across as intelligent, rational and confident going up against Kelly's drug war hysteria.
Kelly just can't believe that Stossel would agree with people like Sting and George Soros. He happily admits that on this issue, he totally does. Kelly makes the quick leap that that the people in the PSA, Sting, The Drug Policy Alliance and John Stossel want to legalize all drugs, including crack and PCP. She basically implies that anyone who opposes our failed drug war wants to give out crack and heroin to everyone and we will be responsible for the murder and chaos that will follow. Stossel is smooth in his responses.
When Stossel, pointing out the failures of prohibition and asks Kelly if we should ban alcohol, she scoffs at the comparison and says that alcohol has an addiction rate of 10 percent while cocaine's is 75 percent. In reality, leading experts, like Columbia University neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart find that roughly 10 percent of people who use alcohol, heroin or cocaine develop an addiction to these drugs, nowhere near the 75 percent number that Kelly rattles off with confidence.
Kelly ends the segment by telling us she knows people who know Sting and she hears he is a man who loves substances and that folks at the Drug Policy Alliance are "drug abusers."
There has been major changes in people's attitudes and our country's laws in the five years since the Kelly segment on drugs and the Drug Policy Alliance. Let's hope that Kelly's views and opinions have evolved as well.
Tony Newman is the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance (www.drugpolicy.org)
This piece first appeared on the Drug Policy Alliance Blog:http://www.drugpolicy.org/