Megyn Kelly's forte not Pa. Megan's
The email authors have requested autographed pictures, offered political analysis and decried the purported attacks on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
But the recipient isn't who the senders hoped to reach. Their messages land in the inbox of Megan Kelly, 24, a University of Pittsburgh graduate who works in marketing. She is not Megyn Kelly, the Fox News reporter making headlines by becoming Trump's target over questions in Fox's Cleveland debate.
And yet, Megan Kelly, a polite English major who enjoys restaurants and hanging out in Lawrenceville and Shadyside, still receives at least one to two emails a week.
“It's the weirdest thing,” Megan Kelly said. “I have no idea how it happened or why it happened.”
Though their first names are spelled differently, and Megan Kelly's personal email account is accessible on pages that fully display her identity as a young professional in Pittsburgh, she has received the misdirected messages since November.
At first she thought it was spam. Now she posts the funny ones on Facebook.
“It's mostly opinions,” she said. “It's mostly people that have something kind of angry to say, whether it's about the subject she's covering or just about her.”
The emails arrive in sporadic bunches, Megan Kelly said, but they've increased since Megyn Kelly helped moderate the first GOP primary debate Aug. 6. There, she asked Trump about his views on women, citing past comments he made on “The Apprentice” and elsewhere.
That started a thread of criticisms from Trump and subsequent defenses of Megyn Kelly by her Fox colleagues — and a new batch of emails for the Pittsburgh Kelly.
“You use ‘other people call Donald Trump a...,' so you can sit there and attack trump! Shame megyn!!” closed one email from “Gregg” on Aug. 27.
Some messages argue a point and conclude with a polite signature. Others scream, punctuated with capital letters and exclamation points.
Earlier this year, a man named Don requested an autograph.
“I like the way you hammer on the people that need to be hammered on thanks keep up the good work you are a great woman.”
Megan Kelly isn't much for partisan politics or cable news. But Fox viewers, she has learned, are a varied bunch and some seem more informed than others.
“They have a lot of wit, and they like to direct it at people,” she said. “Some of the people who are emailing me kind of aren't understanding how the Internet works.”
No candidate has commanded attention the way Trump has, and his feud with Megyn Kelly has proved beneficial for Fox, for years the most-watched cable news channel. “The Kelly File” had 566,000 daily viewers in the 25-54 demographic in August, topping all cable news programs, including usual chart-topper “The O'Reilly Factor.”
Public Policy Polling sampled voter opinions on Fox's Kelly in a Sept. 1 survey showing the host's favorability is at 42 percent overall, but 20 percent among Trump's supporters.
Pittsburgh's Kelly knows when the anchor is making waves based on how many emails arrive. She's tried to figure how people get her address, trying various Google searches without luck.
For now, she doesn't mind. The case of mistaken identity has become a humorous subplot in her life.
“It's really weird,” Megan Kelly said. “It's not consistent. But every time I get one, I'm like, ‘Yes!'”
Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.