Alex Jones Scoops Megyn Kelly And Proves The Media Isn’t Ready For The Trolls – BuzzFeed News

After a week in which Kelly and her producers have repeatedly assured viewers and the press that the interview will hold Jones to account, the leaked audio — from weeks before the interview — suggests a soft-focus piece designed to humanize Jones. In the tape, Kelly tells Jones she took interest in him during his two-week-long custody trial, which she did not attend in person.

“I think you had a very good point about the way the media was covering it and treated you and your family as fair game, and they never would’ve done that if you were a mainstream media figure,” she says. “I saw a whole different side of you…[it] just reminded me you’re just like anybody. You’re a dad and you go through the things we all go through.”

At one point, Kelly even seems to suggest Jones will be able to review the footage of the interview. “I will promise you to personally look at any clips we want to use of you and have a producer run by you whether we are taking it in context,” she tells Jones.

Setting aside issues of legality and privacy — it’s unclear if Jones broke any laws recording the call with Kelly as Texas is a one-party consent state for recording audio — the surreptitious recordings come at an awful time for Kelly and NBC. As Page Six reported Thursday evening, NBC has re-edited the Jones interview following this week’s backlash to make it tougher on Jones and to include the perspective of the families of children killed in Sandy Hook. It’s a decision that, in light of the leaked tapes, will play directly into Jones and Infowars’ narrative that the interview was unfairly negotiated and edited in order to smear Jones.

NBC, for its part, is saying little and sticking by its piece. Though Kelly did not respond to a request for comment, an NBC News spokesperson suggested to BuzzFeed News it would continue with plans to air the interview.

“Despite Alex Jones’ efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right. Tune in Sunday.” NBC did not comment as to whether it would take any legal action against Jones.

This was, of course, all part of the plan. Jones has been in control of Kelly’s interview and delighting his audience every step of the way. He broke the news of the interview on his show in late May; he was the first to post teaser photos of Kelly in the Infowars studio online; he got out in front of the interview last week with a misogynistic tirade about how he wasn’t attracted to Kelly and called her and the interview “fake news.”

And since Kelly aired her trailer last Sunday night (perhaps the only bit of agency she or NBC News have had in this circus), Jones has orchestrated a half dozen mini news cycles and outrages, suggesting the trailer was deceptively edited and that Kelly and NBC should scrap the interview altogether on the premise that the unfairly edited portions about Jones’ views on Sandy Hook would be upsetting to the family members.

Meanwhile, with only slight defense from NBC, Kelly — who has few friends among NBC’s base, who remember her as the embodiment of Fox News’ absurd and racist obsession with a tiny black nationalist group — has watched as her journalistic integrity has been called into question. The week has been a nightmare for Kelly, who’s barely three weeks into her on-camera role at NBC. In just five days since airing the Jones trailer, Kelly has cost NBC a prominent sponsor (JP Morgan) and watched as advocacy groups scolded her for reigniting trauma for families of slain children, which culminated in a Sandy Hook charity disinviting Kelly from an event.

But Kelly and NBC might have seen this coming, had they done their homework. In the leaked audio Kelly admits she’s not completely caught up with Jones’ work. “You’re going to be far better versed in this stuff than I will be,” she told him. But the leaked audio maneuver is vintage Alex Jones: a disingenuous trick designed to seize control of the narrative and turn himself into a victim. It’s a move he’s pulled on countless occasions, even in his own custody battle, when, the day after a jury ruled in favor of his ex-wife, Jones organized a press conference on the courthouse steps that began with him airing grievances about the media and his ex and quickly devolved into tirades about human-animal hybrids and unfair lawsuits from a yogurt company.

An uncanny ability to hijack the news is a trait that Jones shares with the pro-Trump media that he helped create. And while the pro-Trump media have a number of unfair advantages — including but not limited to playing fast and loose with the facts — the reason is largely that the movement understands the internet far better than its mainstream counterpart. Jones, who turned to the internet in the late ’90s when he was briefly booted from terrestrial radio for his more salacious views, has made a career of getting around traditional media. And with the introduction of the social web and Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, Jones quickly found a way to weaponize the platforms and constantly connect with his followers.

Alex Jones Scoops Megyn Kelly And Proves The Media Isn’t Ready For The Trolls – BuzzFeed News