Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington and author of “Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves,” said Kelly’s interview with Jones is unlikely to please everyone.
“Reporters who interview extremely controversial figures are in a no-win situation, particularly in these highly partisan days,” he said. “If you are too soft on the interviewee, one side will object. If you are too hard on the interviewee, the other side will complain.”
According to Farnsworth, the key to exposing the extremism of someone like Jones rather than normalizing him is to include opposing views, particularly those of the families of victims of attacks Jones claims never happened.
“If the program is just a one-sided chat with a controversial figure, then it will be a disservice to NBC’s news consumers,” he said.