When the nation tunes in to watch FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly interview GOP front-runner Donald Trump on May 17, it will be the apotheosis of the presidential campaign as Reality TV. Two shellacked frenemies will overreact to a real slight for the benefit of the cameras -- a plot line perfected years ago by television producers. Whether Trump and Kelly's attempt to patch things up turns into a grudge match, political theater or substantive debate over serious policy issues, those in the news media are already calling Must See TV.
This weekend at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Variety asked journalists what Kelly should ask Trump. Some, like CNN's Jake Tapper, wouldn't share their closely-guarded questions, while others, like the Boston Globe's Michael Rezendes, was happy give Kelly some ideas.
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1. "One word: why?" Charlie Rose, host of "Charlie Rose" and co-anchor of "CBS This Morning."
2. "I think she must ask him directly, how he could be so demeaning in his statements about women, and particularly about her. There are lots of different ways you can ask that question. She has a personal stake in it because I think his remarks about her were just kind of unforgivable. But he still hasn't gotten the hint. He still doesn't understand what the appropriate boundaries are for public discourse on any number of issues." Walter Robinson, investigative reporter for Boston Globe's Spotlight division
3. "Would he order a military strike on North Korea's nuclear program? Is he prepared to accept major losses in Seoul because the North Koreans would then rain hell down on Seoul." Jim Sciutto, chief national security correspondent for CNN
4. "I'm hoping to interview Donald Trump myself, so I don't want to give away any of my best questions. I'm just looking forward a good conversation. She's a serious journalist. He's a presidential frontrunner. I'm just looking forward to the interview." Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN's "The Situation Room"
5. "I just want her to ask tough questions. It is great ratings. We're all going to be tuning in so I want her to be tough. I'll be the first one to be DVR-ing and watching live. I can't wait for it." Candace Cameron Bure, co-host of ABC's "The View"
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6. "I'd just get right to it: 'Given everything you've said about me, given everything you've said about Hillary Clinton, do you have a problem with women in professional positions and positions of power?' She should also ask him if he thinks some of the mayhem at his campaign rallies can be attributed to his rhetoric."Michael Rezendes, investigative reporter for Boston Globe's Spotlight division
7. "I would never be so presumptuous to tell Megyn what to ask." Jake Tapper, host of CNN's "The Lead"
8. "Are your attacks against me calculated or are they spontaneous? When you are watching my show and you get angry, do you ever stop and put the keyboard down and think before you tweet? What advice has your wife Melania given you about the ways you describe me and belittle me?" Brian Stelter, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources"
9. "She should ask him why does he brag about getting 4-4.5 hours sleep and what effect does he think his sleep deprivation has on his decision making, his mood and his health?" Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, author of "The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time."
10. "I'm not giving Megyn Kelly advice. She knows exactly what to do. Anytime you get an interview with Donald, it's unpredictable, but now we are getting down to the nitty and the gritty. That's going to be must-see TV." Gayle King, co-anchor, "CBS This Morning"
11. "I have a whole bunch of questions. I'll leave it to her. Obviously, the moment itself is going to be just a television moment when they get together and do that. She's a real pro, and I think it will be fascinating to watch. I'm going to get the popcorn." Bret Baier, host of FOX News' "Special Report"
12. "Truthfully, and this is going to be boring, but I would like to hear him talk about some of his policies beyond the personality clash. He just gave a big foreign policy speech. There is a ton of stuff to mine there. As somebody who covered the George W. Bush administration, their policy was to create democracy abroad. And he has completely turned that around and said it is not our job, and now a lot of Republicans really believe that. To explore that arc in the Republican Party with him would be really interesting." Dana Bash, chief political correspondent at CNN
13. "How can you convince voters that your volatility isn't dangerous to them?" Ashleigh Banfield, host of CNN's "Legal View"
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