NBC Alex Jones interview mess gets even worse. Yes, worse!
NBC’s Alex Jones problem keeps getting worse. But the network says Megyn Kelly’s taped interview with the notorious radio host is still going to air on Sunday night.
“Despite Alex Jones’ efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right. Tune in Sunday,” the network said in a statement Friday morning.
The controversy may lure more viewers to Kelly’s new newsmagazine, but it may also damage the reputations of Kelly and NBC.
May? It already has – and Alex Jones threw some kerosene on the fire by leaking a phone conversation with Kelly.
In the first clip which Jones released, a two-minute preview of a promised longer audio file of their conversation, Kelly can be heard praising Jones and reassuring him that she wants to give him a chance to tell his side of the story.
“The reason you are interesting to me is because I followed your custody case, and I think you had a very good point about how the media was covering it and for some reason treated you and your family and what was going on as fair game when they never would have done that if you were a mainstream media figure,” Kelly says at one point in the clip. “I saw a different side of you in that whole thing and, you know, you just became very fascinating to me.”
At another point, the veteran TV personality promises that she will not portray Jones as “some kind of boogeyman” and tells him that she wants to highlight his paternal side. “I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than we have been led to believe,” she says. She then promises him that she will personally “look at any clips we want to use of you, and have a producer run by you, whether we are taking it in context, what you are saying.”
NBC responded to Jones’ leaked tapes in a statement Friday condemning Jones’ actions and claiming that the timing of the recordings is telling.
Critics are having a field day.
Most journalists would agree that if you’re going to give an overflowing dumpster of rotting food like Alex Jones a platform on the NBC Television Network, it better be for a good reason. Examples would be exposing him for the vermin he is, and demanding that he justify his outrageous lies–first and foremost that the mass shooting of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook was “a hoax.”
That’s what a journalist would do. We learned last night Megyn Kelly is no journalist.
“It’s not going to be a contentious, sort of gotcha exchange,” Kelly (assuming that the voice released on audio recordings Thursday night by Jones is, in fact, that of Megyn Kelly, which so far NBC has not denied) says. “I just want to talk about you.”
I just want to talk about you.
This from the woman who defended her interview with Jones this week as unpleasant, but part of the work that reporters must do to “shine a light” on the extreme voices in society.
Compare that sentiment to this: “My goal is for your listeners and the left, who will be watching some on NBC, to say, ‘Wow that was really interesting.’”
Wow, that was really interesting? As in, wow, he actually believes these outrageous and hurtful things? Or, wow, aside from the vile conspiracy theories he spews to an audience of millions on syndicated radio and the internet, he’s actually a pretty decent guy with a wonderful sense of humor and a nice collection of guitars?
And the network-owned NBC affiliate whose broadcast area includes Sandy Hook – where 20 children and 6 teachers were killed in a massacre Jones has called a hoax has nixed carrying the show.
An NBC-owned news station in Connecticut will not be airing Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones this Sunday.
The station, WVIT, serves an area of the state that includes Newtown, Conn., the city in which the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre took place in 2012. Jones, who is the operator of the website InfoWars, has come under fire for claiming that the school shooting was a hoax, and that the victims — 20 of whom were children — were played by actors.
“Whenever there is news regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy, we know that the pain resurfaces for our community, our viewers and for you, our colleagues at WVIT,” the station said in an internal memo obtained by Variety. “Over the last few days, we have listened intently to Sandy Hook parents, our viewers and importantly, to you. We have considered the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal.”
Heckuva job! Who made the decision? Megyn’s producer(s)? Kelly herself? Some marketing genius who figured it would draw millions of eyeballs?
Even if “Sunday Night” kills in the ratings on Sunday (CBS’s 60 Minutes – in repeats – trounced its initial two outings in the ratings), someone’s head should roll.