Megyn Kelly’s new NBC show was a disaster.
Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly premiered with an exclusive interview with Vladimir Putin and the ratings were so bad that a rerun of 60 Minutes outperformed it.
But a prominent film director’s recent comments about the Kelly-Putin interview, which simultaneously promoted his newest project, threw Kelly under the bus.
Oliver Stone, known for directing such films as JFK, Born On The Fourth of July and Platoon is no stranger to addressing politics in his movies.
Stone’s newest project is a four-part docu-series for Showtime where he will also be interviewing Vladimir Putin.
And upon watching Kelly’s interview, Stone pointed out that Putin “knew his stuff and she didn’t,” alluding that’s what caused the low ratings.
Film director Oliver Stone, whose series of conversations with Vladimir Putin air next week on Showtime, said he watched Megyn Kelly interview the Russian president on NBC and concluded that “he knew his stuff and she didn’t.”
Kelly’s interview, which aired on the debut of her newsmagazine, “Sunday Night with Megan Kelly,” on Sunday, ‘became machine-gun like,’ Stone said, and was an example of how American journalism frequently leaves little room for nuance.
“I think she was attractive and she asked hardball questions, but she wasn’t in a position to debate or counter him, because she didn’t know a lot of things,” he said.
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim shot back that “no one here is interested in Oliver Stone’s unsolicited thoughts on Megyn Kelly’s appearance or his ill-informed opinion of her journalism.”
“But so long as we’re offering each other professional feedback, please let him know I don’t think he’s made a decent movie since the early ’90s,” he said.
Putin was combative when asked in the NBC interview about hacking in the U.S. presidential election and relations between Russia and President Donald Trump’s team.
He’s more serene on Showtime, where more than a dozen interviews that Stone conducted with the Russian president between 2015 and early this year unfold one hour per night for four nights starting Monday.
As an example of where he believed Kelly was mistaken, Stone said the claim that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded the Russians were behind election year hacking and used as a preface for a question had been ‘walked back.’
It was a reference to testimony from James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, about a hacking report by three specific agencies.
The independent organization Politifact has produced a report that backs Kelly, however, because Clapper had earlier said that all 17 intelligence agencies he had supervised agreed about Russia’s involvement.
But Stone isn’t a stranger to interviewing controversial leaders, because he once interviewed controversial figures Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
Some critics have actually already screened Stone’s interview and Marlow Stern of The Daily Beast called it a “wildly irresponsible love letter” to Putin.
Basically, Stone doesn’t have any room to be hypercritical because Stern also pointed out that Kelly’s interview was more confrontational.
Clearly, the delusional filmmaker is only trying to promote his four-part series, and he’s probably embarrassed about the style in which it’s presented.
The filmmaker’s style does include its share of ingratiating remarks. “You have a lot of discipline, sir,” he says at one point.
“You are an excellent CEO. Russia is your company,” he says at another. Besides office sit-downs, Putin is interviewed driving a car, walking through horse stables at his home, and after he played in a hockey game.
When Putin makes a claim about a letter he received from the CIA and Stone asks him to produce it, the Russian president says, “My words are enough.”
Stone is aware that he’ll receive criticism for not pushing Putin hard enough. “I’m not a journalist,” he said. “I’m a filmmaker and I was taking a different approach.”
Stone has no idea what he’s doing and he just made those comments about Kelly because Showtime needs him to bark about it. He’s a dog, nothing more.