In between the public’s right to be informed and the media’s duty to fulfill the task responsibly, there are interview subjects like Alex Jones.
NBC News’ Megyn Kelly had it exactly right when she defended the decision to make Jones the subject of a television news piece intended for mass consumption. Yes, Jones is an overly excitable, miscreant member of the far-right commentariat who has peddled dangerous conspiracy theories about everything from 9/11 to the circumstances of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. And not long ago, there was a good argument for keeping him and his ideas confined to the farthest fringes of American society.
But Jones, who has suggested that the parents of the Sandy Hook victims faked their own children’s deaths, was recently granted a White House press pass for his Infowars website and has a personal fan in the Oval Office. To ignore what this creature from the fringes has to say because it’s just too offensive to contemplate certainly is an option, but not an especially wise one.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 12, 2017
Trouble is, in journalism, there’s a fine line between shining a light on people and simply amplifying their message. It can be reckless to just do the latter, particularly when…
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