From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:
Why Does NBC News Think We Need to Hear More From Alex Jones?
The only time I’ve encountered Alex Jones in person was at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he walked through the media building with his own camera crew and easily a dozen, maybe twenty reporters, gawkers, and hangers-on recording him with their cell phones, as he walked through, staring at the cameraman in front of him, and just screaming at the top of his lungs some sort of unhinged rant. His words were barely understandable; it was just a spittle-flying, eye-bulging, red-faced gobbledygook tirade coming quickly and going quickly like a passing freight train.
In my circles, a semi-hot topic of debate is whether Jones is genuinely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs or whether this is performance art, some sort of long-lost idea from Andy Kaufman‘s dream journal. The persona is as if someone decided to merge Art Bell’s elaborate conspiracy theories and the old militia movement of the 1990s and put them in Crazy Eddie after snorting more cocaine than Tony Montana.
For what it’s worth, back in April, Jones’ lawyer argued that this is all an act:
At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”
“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”
But then Jones took the stand and denied that he considers himself a performance artist. For what it’s worth, Jones’ ex-wife contends that what you see is what you get; she argued during the custody battle that her ex-husbands’ off-screen persona was indistinguishable from his unhinged on-camera one.
In fact, if Jones is genuinely mad or mentally ill, it should make us all uncomfortable that instead of getting him the help he needs, our society elevated him to the status of celebrity, guru, prophet and sideshow freak. Whatever Alex Jones’ true nature is, I don’t particularly care enough to investigate further. Once you’ve chosen to do a wide-eyed, enraged segment about how “gay bombs” were used in Iraq and are in tap water and how chemicals in the water are turning frogs gay, I feel comfortable that I’ve heard enough to draw a conclusion.
But not Megyn Kelly, settling in at NBC News. No, for her second show, she feels you and the rest of the American news audience need to hear Jones talk more about his theory that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
I don’t feel the need for an in-depth interview with the crazy guy on the corner who’s yelling that his dog was a co-conspirator with Squeaky Fromme and aliens. What are we going to learn from another lengthy interview with Jones? That he believes some nutty things? That he’s willing to assert something outrageous, something that must be grievously painful for any of the families of those children slain at Sandy Hook? That he’s shameless? That there’s really nothing he won’t say, and that he voraciously devours controversy and denunciation as sustenance? That the only thing he truly fears is people not listening?
What is the NBC News justification for this? “You won’t believe what Alex Jones is saying now!”? Trust us, we will. This is like saying we absolutely have to hear the latest diatribe from Charlie Sheen. Thanks, I’ll pass, I think I get the general gist. Something something Vatican Warlock something something “winning.”
I thought the first three letters in “news” were NEW.
This isn’t censorship; this is just slapping around some awful news judgment. More than anything else in the world, Alex Jones wants attention. And Megyn Kelly seems awfully eager to give it to him.
When pushed, Kelly responded that the news value was the fact that President Trump has “been on & praises Alex Jones’ show. He’s giving Infowars a White House press credential. Many don’t know him; our job is to shine a light.”
Eh, doesn’t Alex Jones seem pretty well-lit as is? “Many don’t know him”? Some of us are envious of that state.
Monday evening, Jones flipped out – well, again – and demanded Kelly not air the interview he had just taped. For what it’s worth – which is not much – he claimed Kelly said the piece would be “really just a profile on you” and that Sandy Hook and Pizzagate would not be the focus of the interview.
Whether or not she gave those assurances… what did she expect to learn when she sat down with Alex Jones? What did she think she was going to bring her viewers that they didn’t already know?