The #Megyn Kelly interview with radio talk show host and conspiracy theorist #Alex Jones has aired. The interview had sparked a firestorm of controversy with demands that it not be aired for fear that it would provide Jones, considered by some to be an angry man with dubious beliefs, a network platform to spout his outrageous views. Jones had started to warn his listeners that the segment was going to be “unfair” to him. So did the reality match the anticipation?

Alex Jones gets his network appearance and kind of wishes he hadn’t

Alex Jones had released some audio of Megyn Kelly reassuring him that the segment was not going to be a “hit piece” and was going to show the radio personality as a dad and family man.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Not to put too fine a point on it, Kelly was being less than truthful. She hit Jones pretty hard and, all in all, he deserved it.

She not only pounded Jones on the absurd and in many ways cruel conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook massacre had been faked but examined how he develops stories for broadcast. Apparently, he and his staff take news stories and discuss them before airing them with Jones’ particular approach. No one does actual shoe leather journalism to confirm whatever conspiracy angle Jones likes to apply to stories of the day. A lot is made up out of whole cloth.

Kelly also delved into the Pizzagate scandal, in which Jones claimed that a sex trafficking ring was being conducted from a particular pizzeria chain. The conspiracy theory resulted in a heavily armed man shooting into an eating establishment with near tragic results.

Advertisements

The Donald Trump angle

The only problematic part of the segment, which will garner Kelly lots of criticism, was how she tried to tie Alex Jones with #President Donald Trump. To be sure, the president had brought some of that treatment on himself by appearing on his show and praising the host. Kelly implied heavily that Alex Jones “has the ear” of the president and that he might share his views. No evidence exists that Trump shares any of Jones’s conspiracy theories, with the possible exception of the Obama was born in Kenya story. Nor does any evidence exist that the radio talk show host has the president on speed dial.

In effect, Kelly was doing what she accused Jones of doing, albeit in a subtler way, by taking a few facts and spinning a dubious narrative from them. To be sure, she has had a vendetta with Trump dating back to the early days of the 2016 campaign. But it was unprofessional for her to allow that feud to taint her reporting.