Megyn Kelly’s upcoming NBC interview with Jones has already generated enormous controversy. Jones, the troll king who runs the site Infowars, is an infamous conspiracy theory-monger. One of the most egregious lies Jones has peddled is that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was staged to push tougher gun control laws. Critics, including bereaved Sandy Hook parents, have argued that NBC is only giving Jones a bigger platform to spread his conspiracies. But there’s another reason Kelly probably shouldn’t have gone down this road: There is really no telling what Jones will do.
On Thursday night, Infowars released a recording of a pre-interview call between Jones and Kelly. The leak is apparently retribution for the interview, which Jones believes has been edited to portray him in an unflattering light. Of course, this is precisely what Jones has done to Kelly with the leak.
While it’s common for journalists to butter up recalcitrant interviewees, Kelly goes pretty far, saying things like, “I’m not looking to portray you as some kind of bogeyman. The craziest thing of all would be if some people who have this insane version of you in their heads came away saying, ‘You know what? I see the dad in him. I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than we have led to believe.’” This is not exactly what Kelly wants the world to hear when she’s trying to cast herself as a hard-hitting journalist who has asked Jones the Tough Questions.
The tape also features Kelly telling Jones, “I will personally promise to look at any clips we want to use of you, and have a producer run by you, whether we are taking it in context, what you are saying.” Yikes.
Jones has been teasing the release of this tape for a while now, while also saying extremely sexist things about Kelly. (He told his fans that Kelly was “not feminine—cold, robotic, dead. I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly. That’s not an insult to Megyn Kelly. I talked to a lot of other folks that know her, they said, ‘No it’s the same.’ Because you’re dealing with—sociopath? A psychopath? I don’t know.”) But this is par for the course for Jones. So far the only person who has come out of this controversy looking worse is Kelly. She wasn’t prepared for Jones’s antics, and now she’s damned if she airs the interview and damned if she doesn’t.