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Alex Jones And A Platform For Everyone?

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and what deserves the national television spotlight.

Fiasco. Chaos. Following weeks of controversy, Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones aired last night. Finally. After advertiser boycotts and legal threats. Secret recordings and smiling selfies. At issue — what is news. Does a man spreading hate-filled lies deserve a serious profile on NBC? InfoWars, indeed. This hour On Point: who deserves the national television spotlight?


Hadas Gold, media and politics reporter at POLITICO. (@Hadas_Gold)

John McWhorter, author of a piece in CNN titled, “Why the Left is Wrong About Alex Jones and Megyn Kelly.” Associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. (@JohnHMcWhorter)

Alice Marwick, co-author of a piece in the Columbia Journalism Review titled, “Megyn Kelly Fiasco is One More Instance of Far Right Outmaneuvering Media.” Assistant professor in communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Author of, “Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age.” (@alicetiara)

From The Reading List

USA Today: Alex Jones: Who is the Infowars host interviewed by Megyn Kelly? — “InfoWars host Alex Jones’ interview with Megyn Kelly is sure to include many of the conspiracy theorists’ claims. The former Texas public-access television host rose to prominence when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump lauded his work in the run-up to the election. Since then he’s pushed various conspiracy theories, which often were followed with apologies.”

CNN: Why the left is wrong about Alex Jones and Megyn Kelly — “It would appear that Jones already has a platform, with his hit radio show and his website regularly consulted by millions of people. Would one interview with Megyn Kelly somehow constitute a tipping point in Jones’ exposure? Of course not — his trajectory would be identical whether or not Kelly spoke with him. Sure, some people may get their first hit of Jones via the Kelly interview and become fans, but we can be sure that otherwise, they would become fans of his later through other means.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Megyn Kelly fiasco is one more instance of far right outmaneuvering media — “With the rise of far-right activity online has come a dilemma for mainstream media: Should news outlets work to debunk conspiracy theories, or is it better to ignore them and hope they go away? It is an issue currently playing out in the debate over Megyn Kelly’s NBC interview with Alex Jones, a far-right radio host who has denied that the Sandy Hook school killings happened as the media depicted.”

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Alex Jones Radio Show. (Infowars)
The Alex Jones Radio Show. (Infowars)