[REVIEW] Sonia Saraiya: Megyn Kelly’s Pointless Interview of Alex JonesPosted: June 18, 2017
Kelly isn’t a pushover, and proves that Jones is newsworthy because of his connections to President Trump. But that’s it.
The past week has been a tumultuous one for NBC News’ new star. Kelly is attempting to make an impression with NBC’s audience this summer in advance of the September debut of her 9 a.m. morning show. Jones, the founder and chief mouthpiece of the Infowars radio program and online channel, is an unstable right-wing provocateur who may be most notorious for his steadfast insistence that the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was a hoax. His attention-getting assertion has convinced enough others that the bereaved parents have received death threats from angry Infowars viewers. This, in turn, has so horrified many Americans that Jones’ appearance on “Sunday Night” prompted outcry: In addition to a heated conversation about the role of journalism and freedom of speech, JP Morgan Chase withdrew its advertising, and the NBC-owned station in Connecticut opted not to broadcast the interview. Jones, in response, took matters into his own hands — distancing himself from the interview and leaking his recording of one of his conversations with Kelly.
Entirely on its own — aside from Jones’ prevarication, the chummy behind-the-scenes photos of Jones and Kelly that surfaced, the multiple third-party opinions on the topic, and the leaked audio — “Sunday Night’s” segment on Jones is mostly notable for how empty it is. The interview portion, where Kelly is actually sitting opposite Jones, is minimal — perhaps just a few minutes of footage when pieced all together. Being a good television interviewer requires not just the courage of presenting interviewees with uncomfortable facts — courage that, to her credit, Kelly has in spades — but also the ability to establish a rapport with the subject in order to engage in conversation. Jones is a disjointed personality who sees the world as an interlocking set of media-fueled conspiracy theories; trying to have a fact-based conversation with him on any one topic is nearly impossible. Certainly Kelly was not especially skilled at it. Which made it all the more perplexing that she thought Jones would be a good subject for her new show … (read more)