Meme Patrol: "Megyn Kelly, Essentially"

The over-the-top antics of Fox News commentators make the network ripe for parody, as any loyal viewer of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert already knows. Of late, the "fair and balanced" net has also become a fertile generator of Internet memes—many of them quotations from its personalities, reframed to highlight their absurdity.

Earlier this year, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly's attempt to defend his belief in God—"Tide goes in, tide goes out...You can’t explain that"—generated an avalanche of Internet mockery from those pointing out that, well, you can explain that, if you believe in gravity and are aware of the existence of the moon. Images of O'Reilly's puzzled face captioned with lines like "BREAD GOES IN, TOAST COMES OUT — CAN'T EXPLAIN THAT" and "BOATS ARE HEAVY, BUT THEY FLOAT — CAN'T EXPLAIN THAT" soon proliferated in threads on Reddit and on sites like MemeGenerator.

Yesterday's spirited defense of brutal police actions toward UC-Davis protesters by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is threatening to launch a fresh meme, already spilling out of a thread on Gawker into the free-range web. Attempting to diminish the impact of Lt. John Pike's casual spraying of quiet, seated Occupy Davis students directly in the face with military-grade pepper spray, Kelly called the corrosive substance "a derivative of actual pepper....It's a food product, essentially."

Here are the best of the "Megyn Kelly, Essentially" meme that have arisen overnight:

  • Megyn Kelly on mustard gas: "It's a hot dog condiment, essentially!
  • Megyn Kelly on nuclear weapons: "It's a microwave dinner, essentially!
  • Megyn Kelly on tasers: "It’s static cling, essentially!
  • Megyn Kelly on rubber bullets: "It’s a pencil eraser, essentially!
  • Megyn Kelly on Guantanamo: "It's a Caribbean vacation, essentially!
  • Megyn Kelly on waterboarding: "It's a water park ride, essentially!"    
  • Megyn Kelly on homelessness: "It's urban camping, essentially!"
  • Megyn Kelly on Jerry Sandusky: "It's mentorship, essentially!"
  • Megyn Kelly on zip-tie handcuffs: "It's a Live Strong bracelet, essentially!"       
  • Megyn Kelly on stress positions: "It's like yoga, essentially!
  • Megyn Kelly on fingernail extraction: "It's a mani-pedi, essentially!"     
  • Megyn Kelly on genital mutilation: "It's a Brazilian wax, essentially!"  
  • Megyn Kelly on Auschwitz: "It was a three-star hotel, essentially!"

More almost certainly to come.

(It should be noted that the pepper-spraying incident itself has also gone meme, as All Things Considered's Mark Memmott noted yesterday.)

Jeff Yang, Pop & Politics blogger for "It's a Free Country," writes the column Tao Jones for the Wall Street Journal Online. Follow him on Twitter at @originalspin.