As reported here at The Duran by our intrepid Alex Christoforou, Megyn Kelly interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin for an NBC News exclusive. While on the interview Megyn tried again to press Mr. Putin on what are supposed to look like “tough questions.” President Putin wasn’t having it. In his usual manner, the Russian leader put the whole framework of “election meddling” into the simple question of “where is the evidence? Send us documentation and we will look!”
Megyn’s next statement was “I have come back to you with an indictment.”
But there was no indictment here. Megyn was not presenting a legal document to the President, nor was she about to present such a document to the proper Russian authorities.
The simple truth is that Megyn Kelly presumes to carry the force of law by the simple act of her just saying words. This is a common assumption that both reporters and interviewees have come to accept as valid. But it is false.
This is the core dynamic of manipulating the “court of public opinion.” And again, showing characteristic good sense, the Russian President put it right back on her.
When dealing with legal matters, they have to be worked through due process. But the court of public opinion has no due process. This is the place where the most slanderous accusations can be put forth, and their truthfulness does not matter. If it is presented in an incendiary enough fashion, then it is true.
This of course is not an isolated event. What used to be known as “investigative reporting” has now turned into the interrogation before that vast court of public opinion known as the viewers. Television is the best medium for conducting this sort of spectacle because it is visual, and the interviewer has all the power in the room.
Indeed, the interviewer has come to be seen as the one who already knows the answers; it is just for the interviewee to confirm those answers one way or the other.
This is truly a “show trial.” And we have seen so many cases of this. Putin, Dana Loesch. Hope Hicks. Donald Trump. Basically anyone the media decides they do not like gets this treatment, laughably called “investigative hardball interviewing.” It is as dishonest as can be because the outcome has already been created for the viewers.
Incidentally, this is one reason why I do not watch such interviews. Complex issues require careful interviews, with time to hear the complex answers that must come. When something is simple and can be said in five seconds, that’s wonderful, but it is also rare. So a reality of dealing with complex situations, especially ones that can be emotionally loaded, is to take time to defuse them. Kelly’s interview with President Putin was an utter farce. Perhaps it is Putin’s win to show how ridiculous Kelly’s reporting style is, but that is lost on a lot of American people who have already been manipulated by the press to think evil of Russia and all things Russian. This is a zero sum gain for the understanding of this issue, and it does not move it towards its resolution.
We have to get back to truly investigative reporting. We have to be ready to hear answers that are not expected, that do not neatly fit our preconceived narratives, and that are honest. We then have to consider those answers for what they are.
Otherwise, we create insanity. And, insanity creates death.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.