The Megyn Kelly Outrage Has Gone Too Far
By Emily Peck
The outrage machine may be careening out of control.
Last Sunday, Delta and Bank of America dropped sponsorship from a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” because it depicts the assassination of a Trump-like ruler. And the very next day JPMorgan Chase pulled its ads from NBC and its affiliates over displeasure that NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Alex Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist who has spread the abhorrent and false idea that the murders of 20 children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 2012 were faked.
Advertisers these days are reacting at breakneck speed, distancing themselves from controversy almost as soon as it earns a hashtag on Twitter.
“Right now any time anybody doesn’t like anything, they go to the advertisers and that’s ridiculous,” Angelo Carusone of Media Matters tells HuffPost. As president of the liberal nonprofit, Carusone is intimately involved in the mechanisms at play here. Media Matters was instrumental in the successful campaign earlier this year to get advertisers to drop Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, which ultimately led to the conservative host’s ouster.
It’s fine to be mad at Kelly and to criticize her, Carusone said. The parents of those children killed in Sandy Hook have received death threats because of Jones’ rabid rhetoric. Their anger is well-founded.
Jones is now leaking pieces of the interview that make it appear Kelly went easy on him, but the conspiracy theorist’s version of the truth can hardly be trusted on its own. The fact is, we haven’t yet seen the whole interview.
But trying to scare off sponsors and move the show off the air before anyone even sees it is […]