Thursday, June 8, 2017

Oliver Stone: Kelly's Interview Provoked Putin

Count movie producer/director Oliver Stone among the critics of Megyn Kelly’s recent interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

USAToday reports the Oscar-winning filmmaker has a different perspective from others who have assessed Kelly’s confrontational sitdown with Putin, which launched Kelly’s NBC summer newsmagazine on Sunday. He also interviewed the Russian leader, filming about 25 hours between 2015 and early this year. The Putin Interviews, four one-hour segments, premiere Monday through Thursday on Showtime (9 ET/PT).

“I think he wants to be heard by Western media," Stone tells USA TODAY, offering a general critique of confrontational interviews with Putin. "He’s certainly been cooperative, but the nature of those interviews have always been short and rather hostile, always aggressive questions: ‘Why are you threatening or jeopardizing the interests of the U.S.?’ As opposed to perhaps asking, ‘What’s important to you or to Russia? What’s your national interest and how has your sovereignty been violated?’ "

"(In) those 15 minutes she got, she asked every hostile question she could ask," Stone says. "She’s beautiful to look at and I’m sure that had a lot to do with getting any interview at all, because he’s not averse to beauty and also she has charisma, but she’s not informed well.”

Does he think Putin granted Kelly the interview because of her looks? “I didn’t say that," Stone says. "I’m sure he’s aware that it was NBC and it’s a huge audience. ... I would think in person she liked him, but she certainly had (a stern face during the interview). The questions are hard. If they wanted to provoke him, they did. I suppose he got provoked a bit.”

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim issued a rebuke to Stone in a statement: "No one here is interested in Oliver Stone’s unsolicited thoughts on Megyn Kelly’s appearance, or his ill-informed and misogynistic 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.”

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