Megyn Kelly, NBC’s first lady of normalizing – Salon

In March 1997 veteran journalist Peter Arnett journeyed for CNN deep into eastern Afghanistan to interview a man relatively unknown to most Americans. The subject’s name was Osama bin Laden. Arnett and his crew were not allowed to use their own cameras. The reporter had to submit questions to bin Laden in advance and was not allowed to ask any follow-ups.

In archival video of the interview, bin Laden’s calm, measured explanation as to why he had declared war on the United States sounded just shy of understandable. CNN even illustrated his observations about the West’s double standard in regard to terrorism (“If [children] throw stones against the Israeli occupation, it says they are terrorists,” bin Laden pointed out) with footage of small, skinny boys running from uniformed men wielding automatic weapons.

But CNN countered bin Laden with interviews from United States intelligence officials, explaining his ties to terrorist attacks on American interests that claimed innocent lives. These too were accompanied by devastating imagery, this time of American people being pulled from smoking ruins, their faces contorted with fear and agony.

In doing this interview, bin Laden sought to sell himself to the Western world as a man of purpose, determination and intelligence. The al-Qaida founder was well aware that CNN, ABC and every other major outlet who sought him were granting a broad, powerful platform to espouse his views. In the interview segment, he said as much to Arnett when the journalist asks about his future plans. “You’ll see them and hear about them in the media, God willing,” bin Laden answered. Four and a half years later on Sept. 11, 2001, bin Laden made good on that statement.

Journalism’s purpose is to shed a light. Megyn Kelly is absolutely correct in making that observation. But knowing she does so in defense of her interview of Infowars host Alex Jones that, as of this article’s publication, is still set to air on her NBC newsmagazine “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” is troubling.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment