After Megyn Kelly faced criticism for her decision to interview conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, critics chose to praise the NBC host's editors instead of her once the actual interview aired.
"Megyn Kelly Presses Alex Jones on Conspiracy Theories in Edited NBC Interview," read the initial New York Times headline on the interview, still visible in a tweet.
Megyn Kelly Presses Alex Jones on Conspiracy Theories in Edited NBC Interview https://t.co/NN7qUjysvg
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 19, 2017
The Times piece admitted the segment did a good job painting Jones, a radio host who runs InfoWars.com, in a negative light.
"For viewers who had never heard of Alex Jones before Sunday evening, Megyn Kelly's much-hyped interview with him on NBC did not paint a flattering picture," the lede read.
But the piece went on to note that executives at NBC "re-edited Ms. Kelly's segment throughout the week and have gambled millions of dollars on her success."
The Washington Post‘s Margaret Sullivan was also critical of the Kelly interview before it came out.
"Exposing the evil of Alex Jones is crucial. A Megyn Kelly one-on-one isn't the way to do it," read the headline of Sullivan's op-ed.
"The signs about Megyn Kelly's one-on-one NBC interview with the despicable conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have been bad from the start," the media columnist insisted.
When Sullivan finally saw the interview, however, she thought it was well done, but credited NBC for "strong editing" rather than Kelly.
Bottom line on NBC's Alex Jones piece: Strong editing gave it an edge & made him look like a kook. Still a win for him; boosts his profile.
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) June 18, 2017
Liberal site Media Matters originally went ballistic over the Kelly interview, publishing nearly a dozen pieces criticizing the decision. Media Matters for America senior fellow Matthew Gertz even said the only reason Kelly was interviewing Jones was "because her struggling show needs a viral moment."
When the interview finally came out, Gertz admitted that it was a "well-edited investigation of the dangers posed by an unstable megalomaniac with millions of loyal fans, including one in the Oval Office."
Kelly "deserves little credit," he argued. Gertz claimed Media Matters and other critics really deserved credit by forcing NBC to make changes.