There's only one reason why NBC and Megyn Kelly conducted an interview with Alex Jones.
The whole thing is an inappropriate and unnecessary stunt.
Alex Jones is a controversial talk radio host who has promoted several outlandish conspiracy theories, including the most disgusting of all, that the Sandy Hook massacre was a false flag operation.
Just the very thought of giving this individual air time has outraged parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook, who can't believe that NBC and Kelly would give airtime to someone who has promoted remarks they find so abhorrent.
Kelly has tried to defend this interview as simply trying to understand a controversial and influential figure. "I find Alex Jones's suggestion that Sandy Hook was 'a hoax' as personally revolting as every other rational person does," Kelly said in a statement. "It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?"
I suppose those are valid questions. If I really thought this interview was going to give us those answers, I would be eager to hear them.
But those answers don't seem likely to be coming. No, the clips seen so far seem to indicate this is simply about bringing the freak show and the controversy to NBC for maximum ratings gain.
As far as any redeeming value, what will we get? What new piece of information will we learn that will change our understanding of the world? In what way will Alex Jones be held accountable other than Kelly's let's-try-to-look-tough, "That's a dodge," line? What will be different on Monday after this airs?
Nothing, of course, is the most likely answer. Nothing except Alex Jones, who says that Sandy Hook was a hoax, will get free publicity and an opportunity to make his outrageous claims to millions. Nothing except that NBC will get ratings.
And nothing, of course, except that parents, friends and family of those killed at Sandy Hook will get victimized just a little bit more.
No, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this exactly for what it is, which is a stunt, and to try to make it more than that insults our collective intelligence.
Considering the pain this interview will cause those who grieve the loss of life at Sandy Hook, 9/11, and other acts Jones has claimed as hoaxes, and considering the lack of any redeeming news value, this is an interview that should never air. It's unworthy of the airtime it will receive and the label of serious news from a national broadcaster.
Let's hope NBC does better in the future.
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