Earlier in the week, I asked just what the heck Megyn Kelly and NBC News thought we needed to hear from Alex Jones that we hadn’t heard already. Jones has his own show where he rants about conspiracies for several hours; what did she think she was going to bring her viewers that they didn’t already know? More than anything else in the world, Alex Jones wants attention. And Kelly seemed awfully eager to give it to him.
It turns out that Jones secretly taped his conversations with Kelly setting up the interview and profile, and the result is not flattering.
At 3 a.m. Friday, Infowars delivered on part of its promise and published a 30-minute video to YouTube containing roughly 10 minutes of Kelly’s pre-interview where she’s attempting to get Jones to agree to the interview. In the tape, Kelly repeatedly reassures Jones she intends to be fair. “You’ll be fine with it,” she can be heard saying. “I’m not looking to portray you as a bogeyman… The craziest thing of all would be if some of the people who have this insane version of you in your heads walk away saying, ‘You know, I see the dad in him. I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than I’ve been led to believe.”
Option one: Kelly meant what she said and she felt NBC viewers needed to see Alex Jones as a loving father and a more complex figure than they thought, a soft-focus, humanizing interview. In this case, the parents of the victims at Sandy Hook (and lots of other people) have every right to be livid with Kelly’s news judgment.
Option two: Kelly lied in the above statement and always intended to do a hard-hitting, skeptical, probing interview once the cameras were turned on, and she was willing to say anything she had to in order to get Jones to agree to do the interview. Of course, if this is the case, no one in their right mind should ever agree to an interview with her again, because we now know there’s a good chance she intends to ambush you and portray you in the worst possible light, no matter how emphatically she assures you that she isn’t planning to ambush you.
Alex Jones might be cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and he says lots of controversial and terrible things, but that doesn’t really justify lying to him. If you want to do a flattering, soft-focus profile, go ahead and do that (and prepare to take your lumps). If you want to do a hard-hitting, confrontational interview, be honest about that. Jones (and American culture in general) are paranoid enough. Why provide one verifiable example of someone genuinely out to get him?