gave fake news radio host and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — a man who made a name for himself claiming that the 2012 massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax, that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex-trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor and that the U.S. government was in on the 9/11 attacks, among other claims — nearly 20 minutes of air time. Prime time. Sunday night. On NBC.
That’s 10 more minutes (an eternity in TV-news segment time) than Russian President Vladimir Putin got during the debut of her NBC show, “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly,” this month.
Even before it aired, the interview with Jones caused an uproar among viewers, advertisers and parents of the slain children, who demanded that Kelly cut Jones from her hour-long show.
The concern was that it would legitimize the dangerous figure whose fabricated stories had inspired Sandy Hook deniers to harass and threaten the children’s parents and a gunman to show up at the aforementioned pizza parlor.
Kelly responded to the criticisms, saying she felt it was important to “shine a light” on Jones. But come Sunday, that light was a dim bulb at best.
Early on, Kelly asked her interviewee to address the comments he’d made on his radio show regarding the deadly bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last month.
“You said it was ‘liberal trendies’ who were killed,” she said. “But many of the victims were kids.… You would suggest an 8-year-old was a ‘liberal trendy’?”
Jones rambled out a senseless, word salad of an answer that cleared up absolutely nothing. “I got home at, like, 6, heard about it. The ages of the victims weren’t even known. But they were saying it was jihadi. And I said, ‘How crazy is it that liberal trendies are now the victims?’ And then I start going and looking. Of course, if there’s kids being killed by Muslims, I’m not saying that it’s their fault. Of course, if kids are the victims, I’m not saying it’s their fault.”
And she left it at that. No follow-up. Just this narrated segue from Kelly: “That pattern, reckless accusations followed by equivocation and excuses, is classic Alex Jones.” Kelly too was aware that her…
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