Megyn Kelly

How Megyn Kelly ‘Lost’ By Crushing Alex Jones…and He ‘Won’ by Losing

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It is increasingly clear that we live a world turned upside-down. This is particularly obvious in the realm of the modern media where all the old rules have been dramatically upended while many in the business still haven’t fully come to that rather obvious realization.

In this environment, it should come as no surprise when actual outcomes have no real relationship to the way events transpire (like, for instance, our entire 2016 presidential election). This exactly what happened with regard to the televised showdown between NBC’s Megyn Kelly and nutty conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Before the segment aired, I was one of those who expressed concern that, based on a reading of the tea leaves (including a bizarre, all-too-friendly photo of them riding in a car together), the interview may not be as hard on Jones as he deserved. This anxiety was heightened when unaired video leaked of Kelly going super soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As it turned out, Kelly ended up doing a pretty good, though hardly perfect, job of exposing Jones as a terrible and dangerous person.

It seems clear that the segment got greatly strengthened after the controversy erupted (a scenario about which I specifically theorized), which probably saved Kelly from career-threatening embarrassment. My only significant criticism of the content of the piece which aired is that Kelly, seemingly because it might confuse her preferred narrative, completely neglected the recent revelation that Jones was forced to admit, in court, that he is really just a “performance artist.”

In short, Jones got totally exposed and utterly eviscerated. Even more importantly, President Trump was made to look completely ridiculous for overtly supporting Jones. In a rational world, both men would suffer severe consequences as the public learned the real truth about them.

But because we no longer live in that world, none of that will happen. In fact, the results of this episode, if any, will be the exact opposite of what they would have been even just ten years ago.

Jones lost this battle badly, but he won the war. His stature has been greatly elevated and, thanks to the controversy, his ability to claim to his cult-like following that he is so dangerous that the “mainstream” must conspire to destroy…

Will Megyn Kelly shine a light on Alex Jones, or give a platform to his darkness?

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.

POTUS’s been on & praises @RealAlexJones‘ show. He’s giving Infowars a WH press credential. Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light. https://t.co/5e88BJyqnz

— 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…

Megyn Kelly has tough questions for Alex Jones but doesn’t push for hard answers

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly is pictured during “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.” (Brian Doben / NBC News)

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…

I Despise Alex Jones, and I’m Glad Megyn Kelly Interviewed Him

Alex Jones and Megyn Kelly

Broadcast journalist Megyn Kelly’s interview with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has sparked major outrage since it was announced. Most harshly, critics have called Kelly’s invitation for Jones to appear on her show an insult to the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Jones has previously claimed that the massacre, which resulted in the deaths of twenty children and six adults, was a false-flag attack in which paid actors played the parts of victims and their families.

This is just one of the many lies Jones has repeated on his show. To add to his shameful history of peddling blatant falsehoods about national tragedies, Jones has even lied about his lying.

Since the interview was announced, he has denied calling Sandy Hook a conspiracy and claimed to have simply “played devil’s advocate” in the debate over the legitimacy of news reports surrounding the tragedy. This has turned out to be utterly false, as he said on his show that “no one died” at Sandy Hook and called it a “complete hoax

For his lies and hypocrisy, I personally loathe Alex Jones and deeply wish he didn’t have a following of millions eagerly lapping up his incoherent ramblings.

I also deeply wish he didn’t have the respect of the President of the United States, who repeatedly praised Jones on his show and gave him White House press credentials despite his lack of personal, let alone “journalistic” integrity.

But the fact remains that he has that following. He has the respect of President Trump and he’s not going to lose those things if we as a society simply ignore him.

If Jones was just some rambling lunatic with no audience to account for, I’d agree with Kelly’s critics that there is no compelling reason to interview him. But Jones has…

How NBC botched the Megyn Kelly rollout

Jones vs. Kelly: battle between new & old media

Megyn Kelly has long sought the role of America’s Top Interviewer. In 2015, she told Variety, “Barbara Walters has retired, Diane Sawyer left her anchor role. Oprah has moved to the OWN network and is doing a different thing now. So why not me?”

What the first month of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” has shown is that wanting to be Walters, Sawyer or Winfrey does not necessarily make it so. Establishing that reputation takes years. And in Kelly’s case, it requires a transformation from her former role as a cable news host in the center of the political fray into someone more trusted by the general public.

In less than a month since its debut, Kelly’s Sunday night NBC program has become the subject of national controversy due to her interview of fringe radio host Alex Jones, as critics on both the left and the right have accused her of journalistic malpractice.

Much of the blame for Kelly’s botched roll-out should be placed on NBC, television executives said in interviews with CNNMoney. The network that invested tens of millions of dollars in turning Kelly into the next Charlie Rose or Barbara Walters rushed her into an obviously controversial interview before taking the time required to make her a nationally trusted name.

“It’s malpractice,” one veteran television executive said. “Think of Megyn as a product. The product is not a cable news warrior, it’s a host in the tradition of Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters and Katie Couric. But what they’ve done is rush her on the air into controversial interviews, reinforcing a political brand.”

“They’ve made a fundamental mistake about Megyn which is they think she’s a super star,” the executive said. “What she is is a cable star, and that is a very different solar system.”

Kelly has yet to earn…

Alex Jones Releases Megyn Kelly Audio Online Ahead of NBC Broadcast

Getty Images Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones

Secretly taped audio of Jones’ pre-interview with Kelly was released Thursday ahead of the official interview airing Sunday.

Infowars host Alex Jones is taking new measures to set things straight about his interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly, set to air Sunday.

On Thursday night, Jones leaked audio of what he says was his private, pre-interview conversation with Kelly online to clarify what he referred to as “misrepresenting” him in the official interview.

“I’ve never done this in 22 years, I’ve never recorded another journalist,” Jones said in a video posted to Twitter, teasing the leak. “I’ve never done this, but I knew that it was a fraud, that it was a lie.”

In the audio, Kelly is heard saying, “This is not going to be a contentious, sort of ‘gotcha’ exchange.” Then in a preview of the televised footage, Jones is seen talking with Kelly about the…

Megyn Kelly dropped as host for Sandy Hook group’s gala over Alex Jones interview

Megyn Kelly attends the NBCUniversal Network 2017 Upfront at Radio City Music Hall in New York on May 15. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Megyn Kelly’s NBC interview with Infowars’s Alex Jones is not scheduled to air until Sunday, but it’s already caused intense controversy.

Jones, whom The Washington Post has described as a “conspiracy-spewing” radio host, has long dismissed a gunman’s shooting rampage that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. The gunman, later identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza of Newtown, also killed his mother and himself.

Jones has called that massacre a government hoax. His critics say that by inviting him on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” Kelly was legitimizing his views.

Some personally affected by the Sandy Hook shooting decried both Kelly and NBC. Now, several organizations appear to be following suit.

Kelly will no longer host the Promise Champions Gala, an annual event for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a nonprofit gun violence prevention group founded by family members of some of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, the organization announced late Tuesday. The event is scheduled to be held Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

“Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host,” Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of the organization, said…

Sandy Hook mother’s outrage at Megyn Kelly: Giving Alex Jones a platform ‘is especially cruel’

Megyn Kelly. (Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

NBC’s Megyn Kelly is under fire for her one-on-one interview with Infowars’s Alex Jones.

One of the immediate critics is a mother whose daughter was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a massacre that Jones has dismissed as a government hoax.

Nelba Márquez-Greene saw the interview, scheduled to air Sunday — Father’s Day — as an “egregious offense” to fathers whose children were murdered Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.

“To give Alex Jones a platform on Father’s Day is especially cruel to me,” she told The Washington Post.

Jones’s interview reignites a debate over whether interviewing polarizing figures on national television gives them a platform or places their controversial views under scrutiny.

A call to Kelly’s publicist was not returned, but in a tweet responding to criticisms Sunday night, the host said the media needed to “shine a light” on who Jones is, particularly because of the layer of legitimacy he’s receiving from the White House. Infowars was given a temporary press credential last month. President Trump, who has appeared on Infowars, once called Jones a “nice guy” and hinted that their mind-sets align.

POTUS’s been on & praises @RealAlexJones‘ show. He’s giving Infowars a WH press credential. Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light. https://t.co/5e88BJyqnz

— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 12, 2017

Márquez-Greene said Kelly’s reasoning is misguided and would, instead, encourage Jones’s army of followers to “double down” on their effort to label the massacre of 20 elementary schoolchildren a hoax.

“Shining a light works on cockroaches,” she said. “It doesn’t work on Alex Jones.”

She added: “It’s just a reminder that we really haven’t found a way as a nation to really honor the loss. We really want to honor the loss, but we really don’t know how to do that. Because this is not the way.”

Efforts to reach Jones on Monday were unsuccessful. A message left to Infowars’s media hotline was not returned.

[Sandy Hook truther Alex Jones asks for privacy in custody battle ‘for the sake of my children’]

Márquez-Greene took to Twitter after she found out about the upcoming interview. She posted a picture of her daughter Saturday night and tagged Kelly in a tweet:

“Here you go @megynkelly — her name is Ana Grace Márquez-Greene. Say her name — stare at this & tell me it’s worth it. @nbc #SandyHook,” she…

It Was the ‘Wonder Woman’ of Times, It Was the Megyn Kelly of Times

Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty

This weekend, moviegoers flocked to Wonder Woman, the story of a warrior princess of divine origin who leaves her island of women to help Chris Pine end World War I. DC Comics’ Diana is outspoken without being bawdy, tough without being cruel, just without being self-righteous. She is the perfect celluloid hero for an age of shattered hope and intact glass ceilings. To gild this feminist bedtime story, the film’s monster $200 million opening weekend means it’s now the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film directed by a woman. The previous record holder was Fifty Shades of Grey.

Meanwhile, far from Themyscira, another woman preceded by her own mythos tried her hand at wrangling the lasso of truth. But things didn’t go so well for her.

Megyn Kelly’s much-hyped interview with Vladimir Putin aired Sunday during the debut of her new show on NBC. It’s not fair to say the interview landed with a thud; thuds are often disruptive and occasionally important. More accurately, the interview landed with a whimper.

Feminists have long had a complicated relationship with Megyn Kelly. On one hand, she’s a woman who improbably climbed the slime-soaked ladder at Fox News, a person who isn’t afraid to confront and humiliate apoplectic men, be it on her former Fox show or on the stage of a presidential primary debate. She’s stood up for maternity leave, spoken eloquently about sexual assault victims, and working mothers. But then there was the whole “Santa was white” thing. And her strange obsession with the New Black Panthers. And her silence during the Ailes scandal, and the fact that she withheld some anecdotes about Donald Trump—anecdotes that could have been materially important to some voters—until her book was published on the day after the election.

And, of course, there’s the fact that Kelly herself has said that she doesn’t like the label “feminist.” She told Stephen Colbert that she finds it alienating. Like Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump, Megyn Kelly is a great example of the benefits of feminism, but not a great example of the work of feminism.

NBC’s ‘Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly’ premiere with Putin pulls in 6.1 million viewers

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly interviews Russian President Vladimir Putin in an exclusive interview taped for the premiere of her NBC news program, “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.” (nbcnews.com)

CBS’ “60 Minutes” edged out the heavily promoted premiere of NBC’s “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” in the ratings.

But “Sunday Night,” led by the former Fox News star finished ahead of CBS in the audience group sought by advertisers, a strong showing for Kelly’s new program.

CBS led NBC in overall audience, with “60 Minutes” scoring 6.5 million viewers in the 7 p.m. hour, according to Nielsen data. But NBC’s “Sunday Night” finished ahead of “60 Minutes” in viewers age 25 to 54, the demographic used by advertisers who buy time on news programs. “Sunday Night” averaged a 1.2 rating in that group, topping a 0.9 for “60 Minutes.”

A rating point represents a percentage of the 25- to 54-year-olds in the U.S. TV audience.

Kelly’s program, which featured a sit-down interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was given a major promotional push by NBC leading up to the premiere. Clips of the interview, conducted last…