It is not a secret that the major news sources often have a low understanding of their topics, a desire to a sensation and save on the staff. Following the thesis, Maro Edward R. (Edward R. Murrow), according to which “methods of the bad will come the good news” is the exception rather than the rule. However, even with such low standards of journalist NBC Megyn Kelly (Megyn Kelly) managed to set a new record low during his visit to the St. Petersburg international economic forum, where she held a plenary meeting and interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This was to be a great achievement for her, proof that she is able to switch from cable television to broadcast news and to stay on par with a ruthless despot. Kelly definitely went above and beyond to prove yourself. As noted by the editor of the New York Times Vanessa Friedman (Vanessa Friedman), the night before the beginning of the forum, NBC tried to attract even more attention by posting on Twitter pictures of dinner with Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi (Narendra Modi), on which Kelly was dressed in “evening dress off-shoulder high-slit Yigal Azroul, woven from crushed velvet marine color with black straps”. FootwearNews.com added that her heels were distinguished by extraordinary height of four and a half inches. In the future, however, it all went downhill.
Despite the festive mood, the forum was not only to give Putin the opportunity to show themselves in the best light, but also to demonstrate that Russia is open to the world and remains an attractive destination for foreign investors. According to Russian authorities, the forum was an unprecedented number of participants to fourteen thousand people, among whom was the Indian Prime Minister and UN Secretary-General antónio Guterres (Antonio Guterres). According to reports from Russia, it had signed deals on investments total sum of two trillion rubles, although whether they will be implemented is a separate issue. Putin himself publicly called on American business to encourage Washington to cooperate with Moscow.
They are on the same stage with the Russian President Kelly played up Putin’s campaign to influence American policy. She has given legitimacy to the event, participation in which the Obama administration tried to dissuade the American company. In addition, its presence has raised questions about whether it is monetary reward for it, or those based on interviews taken shortly after her arrival on the forum. Frankly speaking, in Kelly held a plenary session she was supposed to act as an independent and unbiased journalist, but left it to the extreme out of tune. The meeting was attended by only friends Putin — modi; Christian Kern (Christian Kern), Federal Chancellor of Austria; and Igor Dodon, the President of Moldova. It was not a discussion club, a society of mutual admirers. Anyway, while Washington covered by suspicions about malicious Russian intervention, especially the shameful actions of employees of NBC, imagines himself free from the standards of journalism.
The icing on the cake was an interview of Kelly with Putin. It represents a lesson in why not to get too close to the interviewee. Upon his return to the U.S. Kelly enthusiastically talked about “warm” and “trust” Putin manners. As she noted in Monday’s issue of Today: “behind the scenes, he was friendly, laughing, smiling, joking — to be honest, he looked absolutely normal person, which is a bit surprising, given what we have heard and know about him.”
However, is it any wonder that Putin, a former KGB agent, climbed to the top of Russia’s power pyramid, is able to seem friendly? Words Kelly worthy rather innocent schoolgirl than a hard journalist, which likes to look herself. The history of the subservience of journalists to the Kremlin is not new, not to mention the officials. Her enthusiasm to Putin echoing sound of the praises of the American Ambassador Joseph Davies (Joseph E. Davies), who wrote in his memoirs that Stalin’s “brown eyes unusually soft and warm. Child will want to sit on his lap, and the dog — cuddle up a little closer”.
During the interview, Kelly deliberately didn’t ask soft questions. However, they were predictable, insipid and causing depression. Putin, master of verbal battles, not just looked bored sluggish on the interrogation of Kelly. In fact everything that made Kelly, gave Putin another ground on which he splashed out the discontent, not to reveal a new side. In fact, Putin is provoked Kelly, and not Vice versa. He surpassed and bypassed it, turning Kelly against her own sycophancy.
When she asked him about former adviser to trump national security Michael Flynn (as Michael Flynn), Putin said: “our relationship is much closer than between me and Mr Flynn. We met last night. We are with you the whole day together. We meet again now.” He added: “I almost never talked to him… If Mr. Flynn was dismissed for this, then after we spent the whole day together, you should be arrested and put in jail”. All that was enough for Kelly to ask the last question: “You have ruled this country for 17 years. How did that make you feel?”
Lacked only ask Putin if he wants more free time.
There is nothing surprising in the fact that the interview Kelly did not deserve any rave reviews, no special attention of the audience. Rolling Stone called it “fresh failure”, Variety praised it as “acceptable, but no more,” NPR interview felt “sluggish debut.” But perhaps it is best summed up Today co-host Savannah Guthrie (Savannah Guthrie), joked that Putin and Kelly as friends, what she should expect from him “Christmas card”. Yet exactly Kelly gave Putin a brilliant gift at a meeting in St. Petersburg.
That’s all which cost precious reputation Kelly as a formidable reporter. How low are the mighty fallen!
Jacob Heilbrunn is the editor of the National Interest.