Greg Kelly, NYC Fox News anchor and son of police commissioner Ray Kelly, is off the hook on rape charges after police decided that his accuser actually had a consensual encounter with him, then changed her story when her boyfriend found out. Fine. Only Kelly and the woman really know what happened. But why is the New York Post such an extremely gleeful Greg Kelly defender?

Yes, the Post is a shitty right wing partisan paper that routinely takes up causes to drive sales. Still, a rape charge against a public figure is not something that a gutter tabloid would naturally just take a strong side in, given its potential to be a good story either way. Remember, nobody really knew which way the case would go after the initial charges surfaced about two weeks ago. Some brief highlights of the Post's Kelly coverage:

  • A Jan. 27 story just after the charges hit played Kelly's absence from his TV show as a tragedy: "It was a bad day for 'Good Day New York.' A rape allegation kept Greg Kelly from appearing in his anchor chair on the popular WNYW/Fox 5 morning show yesterday as his co-anchor, Rosanna Scotto rushed to his defense."
  • The same day, an anonymously sourced story about how the DA's office "has serious doubts" about the woman's claims. Sample anonymous quote: "It sounds like a bunch of BS."
  • A Jan. 28 story revealed that the Post knew the accuser's identity and would not reveal it—except for saying that she was a "29-year-old woman" with a "paralegal job at a Financial District law firm" and a brother in the NYPD. That's all. "And there are no witnesses to back up her claims," the story adds helpfully.
  • Jan. 29: another anonymously sourced story saying the woman was "instantly enamored" and "star-struck" by Kelly.
  • Not just one but two separate columns by hysteric-in-chief Andrea Peyser railing against the woman who accused Kelly and calling for her to be prosecuted.
  • And, of course, once the DA decided not to prosecute Kelly, the Post ran everything about his accuser, pics and all, to contrast with Kelly's upcoming "joyful return to the airwaves." Joyful.

It's all a matter of tone. The Post clearly took Kelly's side from the jump. Anyone with a passing familiarity with How These Things Work knows that the paper could have just as easily cast Kelly as a shady villain throughout the entire process, had they wished to. They're certainly not above that sort of thing. They just chose to do the opposite. Why? I can think of two possible reasons:

1) The Post is a fundamentally misogynist institution run by misogynists.
2) The Post decided to use this case as an opportunity to do a favor for Ray Kelly. Police and crime coverage is the Post's bread and butter. It pays to be on the commissioner's good side.

(And, of course, 2.5: Greg Kelly works for Fox.) In any case, welcome back to morning television, Greg.