Megyn Kelly absent from show after ‘white’ Santa and Jesus comments. Fox says she will address controversy on Friday

The Sideshow

There has been a virtual avalanche of responses to Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly and her assertion on Wednesday that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are “white.” However, one person who has not addressed the response is Kelly herself, who was notably absent from her FNC show “The Kelly File” on Thursday night.

Fox News tells Yahoo News that Kelly has been under the weather and that her absence was not connected to Wednesday’s broadcast. They noted that she was already the weather with an audibly hoarse voice during her appearance this week on "The Tonight Show." Kelly herself told Leno during the broadcast, "I have a really bad cold." However, Fox told Yahoo that Kelky will return to show tonight and address the controversy during the broadcast.

Fox News has had its share of controversial moments this year. Most recently, host Anna Kooiman was heavily criticized after she reported a hoax story claiming that President Obama had given money to a Muslim museum during the government shutdown in October. Kooiman later apologized for her error.

A number of media crticis took aim at Kelly's remarks on Thursday. And before the day was out it was the subject of countless jokes, including segments on the "Colbert Report," and the "Daily Show."

And, of course, Fox’s cable news competition was quick to jump on Kelly’s remarks.

CNN devoted a segment to the controversy Friday morning and MSNBC host Chris Hayes devoted a segment of his Thursday night show to the topic ("Fear of a Black Santa"), even bringing in Slate writer Aisha Harris, whose article launched the initial comments from Kelly.

Now, it’s not surprising that one of the cable news networks wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to beat up on its competition. But it’s worth noting that each network has suffered its own embarrassments in 2013.

After all it’s been less than a month since MSNBC lost two of its anchors, Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin, after they each made offensive comments that eventually led to them leaving the network.

It's unlikley that Kelly will suffer any long term repercussions for her remarks. But viewers will have to wait until tonight to see if she apologizes, or stands by her earlier assertions.