Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with Alex Jones may not break any new ground, but it’s certainly creating drama. While Kelly seems to be hoping the radical conspiracy theorist will bolster ratings for her new show at NBC News, Jones is using the interview to further galvanize his followers’ distrust of the mainstream media. They’re both trying to play each other, and Kelly is clearly losing.
The backlash from Sandy Hook family members, upset she would give airtime to someone who believes they faked their loved ones’ deaths, has already created real consequences for Kelly. JP Morgan has pulled all of its ads from not just Kelly’s show, but all NBC News programming this week — not wanting their ads to appear within any vicinity of promotions for the interview.
JP Morgan’s chief marketing officer, Kristin Lemkau, said she was repulsed that Kelly would give Jones any airtime.
— Kristin Lemkau (@KLemkau) June 12, 2017
Remarkably, Kelly was supposed to host a fundraising gala this week for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a gun violence prevention non-profit founded by a group of family members who lost loved ones in the shooting. That’s no longer happening.
“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,” co-founder and managing director Nicole Hockley said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
Kelly issued a statement Tuesday morning expressing disappointment that the organization had uninvited her but standing by her previous statement that the interview will “shine a light” on “the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 13, 2017
Meanwhile, Jones is capitalizing on the drama with a variety of strange content about his interactions with Kelly. He is simultaneously reveling that he scored a prime-time broadcast interview and attacking Kelly for being part of the “globalist” mainstream media.
Even last week, before Kelly started promoting the interview, Jones was highlighting how cozy they got during her visit, even while expressing his contempt and mistrust. “I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly,” he said, “because you’re dealing with a sociopath? A psychopath? I don’t know. But I wanted to see it for myself: the girl next door sitting there with the toad creature.”
In this clip, posted Monday, Jones opines, “Megyn Kelly’s playing with fire obviously. Nothing can save her show, nothing can save mainstream media.” He proceeded to compare her to Medusa the Gorgon, complete with side-by-side footage of Kelly visiting his studio and footage from an old Medusa film. Insisting the interview was clearly designed to be a hit piece against him, he explained, “I win by going into the gorgon’s pit, and I survive. I survive going into that lair, and that’s what it’s all about.”
In another clip, Jones asserted, “Megyn Kelly lied to me several weeks before she came here, and she said that the interview was not going to be about Sandy Hook and the mass shooting there, and it was not going to be about Pizzagate and these other issues that the media always obsesses on and misrepresents what I’ve said and what I’ve done.”
Based on the clip of the interview that’s been posted, Jones believes that Kelly has edited his answers out of context. He claims to have his own recordings of all their conversations, but he is now calling for Kelly to cancel airing the interview because he expects to be misrepresented. (This, of course, complicates the ability of NBC News to cancel the interview.)
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) June 12, 2017
Jones now insists that he believes the Sandy Hook shooting “probably” did happen and that he was just playing devil’s advocate in the past. He still takes no responsibility for his followers who continue to harass those families, but he’s using the ambiguity to look like a victim and to further demonize Kelly.
It’s thus unclear what good can come from the Kelly interview except to help Jones reach a wider audience. No matter how hard-hitting Kelly’s questions truly are — and that remains to be seen — they’ll still likely do nothing but raise Jones’ profile. She might be using him for ratings, but he’s getting the better end of the deal.