Most of us have been there.
We phone a lawmaker or some other figure we hope to interview. We try to put him or her at ease. We’re not being dishonest, really. But we make promises we can’t always know in advance — we tell them it’ll be okay, we’ll play fair and in the end, they won’t regret playing ball with us.
It’s can be a very ass kissy process. And really embarrassing if the public ever heard our shameless pitches.
NBC’s Megyn Kelly is experiencing firsthand what it means to be a journalist in an era in which the media is despised for existing.
On a good day, we’re called names that would horrify our friends and families. Ahead of her interview with InfoWars‘ host Alex Jones, Kelly has a bitter pill to swallow — not only is she getting accused of sympathizing with Jones, but a few advertisers have already pulled the plug and Jones is now airing the private conversations that occurred between them leading up to their interview.
And yeah — she sucks up to him in the most obvious of ways.
“I don’t double cross,” she told him. “…It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that.”
She’ll humanize him, she promised him.
She even empathized with him in his recent custody fight — he got joint custody — and said she thought he had a point about how bad the media treated him. “I saw a different side of you,” she said. “You became really fascinating to me. …You’re just like anybody. You’re a dad.”
In return, Jones called her Medusa. In Greek mythology, Medusa is a hideous female figure whose hair is made of snakes. You get the idea. She isn’t to be trusted.
But it’s Kelly’s own revelations about herself that are most amusing.
In her quest to gain Jones’s trust, she trashed ABC’s Barbara Walters and compared herself to Oprah, Mike Wallace and absurdly, Larry the Cable Guy. “I’m still me,” she coaxed. “I’m not going to go out there and be Barbara Walters. …You just trust me. …I really just want to talk about you. You know, YOU.”
“I know Larry the Cable Guy. He’s a good guy,” Jones cracked back about Larry in his trademark gravelly voice.
“I love him!” she squealed to Jones as if they were already gal pals.
Kelly said she didn’t enjoy who she had to be at Fox News — “on the pointy end of a political spear.” Which, unfortunately for Kelly, is what she’s known for and why she’s respected in the business.
“I’m trying to create a different kind of program,” she told him.
“You won’t show where my office is?” Jones inquired.
“Hell no,” she assured him.
And that was just Part 1 from Jones.
Sunday should be fascinating to see how Kelly edits her interview.
But more interesting will be how Kelly lives down the promises she made to him and the future story subjects who will also likely one day hear them too.