CNN’s Alisyn Camerota interviewed Arthur Jones this morning. You can watch the interview here. I think it was a mistake to interview him or give him any attention. Yes, it is news. Yes, Jones is the Republican nominee for a congressional seat. I get all that. But I think the media, in giving him attention, sets him up as something more than he is.
Jones is the Republican nominee because no one else ran. Jones has run repeatedly and every single time other Republicans ran and beat him. But the seat is solidly Democrat. Republicans in Illinois have limited resources. They could not field a candidate everywhere so Jones was able to win this time.
Democrats are now using Jones to say the GOP really is going all alt-right, white supremacist. Jones has been renounced by Republicans across Illinois and at the RNC. No one is helping him. But he has become useful for Democrats to bludgeon the GOP and Jones is happy to help them.
Camerota's interview was fair and sharp. But I think it just reinforces sharply partisan, bitter lines of controversy in the country where there should not here. No Republican is taking Jones seriously or helping him. But having him on and treating him as a credible candidate when he has no chance and no support makes it seem like he is more serious or more supported than he is. It provides more opportunities for people to head to partisan corners. It provides Republicans more opportunity to take shots at CNN. And it is otherwise going to do nothing except help Jones attract more Nazi, fringe nutters.
Republicans have been muttering to themselves since Jones secured the nomination that the media is going to start trotting him out to demand Republicans repudiate him. They believe the media will use Jones against them when there was really nothing they could do to stop him from getting on the ballot and there is nothing they are doing now to help him. As Republicans are more and more convinced the media, including CNN, is out to get them, the mere fact of the interview plays into that grievance.
I think the press should ignore the guy and to the extent the press does not, they're only helping a Nazi get the notoriety he craves.