Newt Gingrich claims Megyn Kelly is “fascinated by sex” for covering sexual assault allegations against Trump

There are lots of reasons to not watch Fox News, and Megyn Kelly is almost always one of them. But since she’s trying to be extra famous lately, and being extra famous means being appealing to as many people as possible, we’re probably about to enter an era of Megyn Kelly hitting vaguely feminist softballs in the hopes of winning over women beyond the conservative Fox News demo. And like, respect. Get your money. Whatever. You suck, but whatever. If you need any proof, watch Newt Gingrich tell Megyn Kelly she’s “fascinated with sex” on live television and how she deflects him. She makes him look like the weird, blubbering pervert about to have a heart attack that he is.

All Kelly did was ask Gingrich about the 10 women who have accused Republican nominee Donald Trump of sexual assault, and he totally lost his shit. Running out of reasons as to why Trump is losing in all the most recent polls, Gingrich went with the Trump campaign’s defense that the media is paying too much attention to the “scandals” (some would call them alleged crimes). He told her, “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.”

Kelly kept her cool and responded, “You know what Mr. Speaker, I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office, and I think the American voters would like to know….” Of course he cut her off.

He then tried to bait her by saying that former President Bill Clinton, also accused of sexual assault, would be in the East Wing of the White House if Trump loses, asking whether she was OK with that. He continued to talk over her until she cut him off with, “We’re going to have to leave it at that and you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker.”

She got in some other good jabs before that, too, saying at one point, “I think you’re defensiveness on this, speaks volumes, sir.” This is not the first time this election season that a female anchor had to deal with the alternate reality that Trump surrogates live in and came out on top. Keep it classy, ladies.

But the real problem with this exchange is the “fascination with sex.” On a superficial level, Gingrich is one to talk about fascination with sex, since he’s had more wives than one can count on one hand and bangs 20-something congressional staffers. Gross. But it’s bigger than that.

Gingrich also had the entire country fascinated with actual sex when he led the charge to impeach President Clinton because he lied about a consensual blowjob. But Kelly wasn’t asking him about sex on Tuesday night — she was asking him about sexual assault. When the media cycle runs tapes of Trump talking about “pussy,” that doesn’t mean it’s “fascinated with sex.” It means it’s appalled at the idea of a presidential candidate who thinks he can “grab” a woman’s pussy as a form of greeting. It’s appalled that there are 10 women who claim he did that to them in real life.

Gingrich says in the interview that Americans are in two “alternate universes” when it comes to Trump’s success in the election. We obviously are, because sex and sexual assault allegations are two different things, just in case that’s not clear. Does Gingrich not understand this?

Gingrich’s comment that Kelly is “fascinated with sex” is also just plain old sexism. White, powerful, and pious (at least in public) men have been telling women that they’re “fascinated with sex” since the dawn of time. Men’s idea that women are obsessed with sex and out to seduce them is why no one learned about clitoral orgasms until this century, it’s why men think a woman who dresses “provocatively” can be raped or groped, and it’s why some societies mutilate women’s vaginas. It’s why rape culture, the kind Trump perpetuates by allegedly “just kissing” women without consent, exists. It’s why Gingrich doesn’t know the difference between “sex” and “assault.”

Gingrich is a pervy, disgusting old man. And if he thinks that grabbing a woman “by the pussy” is sex, we have a bigger problem than just a possible Trump presidency. We have all the idiots who agree with him to deal with, too.