Out of habit I left the family room TV on after last night’s O’Reilly (hosted by Juan Williams) and moved to my den to catch up on happenings from the internet. I could hear but not see the next show which should have been Hannity. But it wasn’t. It was a Megyn Kelly interviewing Wade Rathke, founder and former and chief organizer of ACORN.
My initial impression was this was a very fair and objective interview by Kelly. She took him through his formative years of the radical 60s to the present. As the show went on Kelly, with the help of Stanley Kurtz and others, proceeded to eviscerate Rathke to the point he boiled over. It was devastating to ACORN because it exposed and documented visually their extortion techniques and the hard left political leanings of its founder. But the revelations were only half the story. The special was powerful because it relied heavily, very heavily, on the subtle audio and visual effects pioneered by CBS’s “60 Minutes.” So much so I thought I was listening to Leslie Stahl, not Megyn Kelly, on the voice-over of the historical video clips. Her voice-over had exactly the same cadence and remoteness, while the interview itself carried normal voice animation. The documenting clips started even handedly, but became more pointed as the special went on.
Someone at Fox did his/her homework analyzing the techniques that have made “60 Minutes” so powerful and authoritative. It isn’t just the subtle movement from even-handedness to pointed probing. It’s making the subject react. But the audio is the killer. Watch and listen to the whole show here. Congratulations Fox!