I rarely watch NBC, and I’m indifferent to Megan Kelly moving from Fox to the network channel. I hadn’t planned to watch her inaugural show on Sunday night anyway, but I am aware of her choice to give air time to Alex Jones. He’s the far right conspiracy theorist who claims that the Sandy Hook school shootings were a hoax, and that Hillary’s campaign staff was running some sort of sex ring out of a Washington D.C. pizza parlor. One of Jones’ listeners arrived at the pizza parlor with an assault rifle to set things straight. He was arrested.
Several of the Sandy Hook parents have objected to giving Jones yet another venue in which to promote his hurtful and damaging conspiracy allegations. He denies that their children are dead, accusing the parents of making the whole thing up in order to promote gun control.
What an outrageous man. And how outrageous that he gets people to believe him.
I get the free speech implications of giving Jones a platform. I get that Jones has a following. I sort of understand Megan Kelly’s contention that we have to understand and take account of people like Alex Jones as we examine the media landscape going forward.
But I wish Kelly had made a different choice for her inaugural interview. In moving to NBC, she’s declaring, I think, a desire to become a serious journalist working for a legitimate news outlet. Why in the world would you kick off that effort by giving air time to Alex Jones?
I didn’t watch.