Megyn Kelly’s NBC interview with Infowars’s Alex Jones is not scheduled to air until Sunday, but it’s already caused intense controversy.
Jones, whom The Washington Post has described as a “conspiracy-spewing” radio host, has long dismissed a gunman’s shooting rampage that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. The gunman, later identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza of Newtown, also killed his mother and himself.
Jones has called that massacre a government hoax. His critics say that by inviting him on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” Kelly was legitimizing his views.
Some personally affected by the Sandy Hook shooting decried both Kelly and NBC. Now, several organizations appear to be following suit.
Kelly will no longer host the Promise Champions Gala, an annual event for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a nonprofit gun violence prevention group founded by family members of some of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, the organization announced late Tuesday. The event is scheduled to be held Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
“Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host,” Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of the organization, said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that JPMorgan Chase pulled its local television and digital ads from all NBC News programming until after Sunday’s interview airs. A company spokeswoman declined The Post’s request for comment on the report.
Earlier Monday, the company’s chief marketing officer, Kristin Lemkau, tweeted, “As an advertiser, I’m repulsed that @megynkelly would give a second of airtime to someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes. Why?”
Even Jones publicly questioned the interview.
“I’m calling for @megynkelly to cancel the airing of our interview for misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook,” he tweeted Monday afternoon, along with a 41-minute YouTube video.
“Megyn Kelly lied to me several weeks before she came here, and she said the interview was not going to be about Sandy Hook and the mass shooting there,” he said in the video, adding that he believes children died during the shooting but that he wanted to play “devil’s advocate” since his listeners expressed doubt.
“My listeners questioned it. … I played devil’s advocate by saying maybe none of it happened and it was all fake,” Jones said in the video. “The other side of me believes those parents I’ve seen on TV, and real mass shootings happen, so it probably did happen.”
Kelly defended her decision on Twitter, stating it was important for her to “shine a light” on Jones, given that he remains relatively unknown even though President Trump has both appeared on Jones’s show and complimented the controversial radio host.
She also pointed out that Infowars, Jones’s organization, was given a temporary press credential last month.
“Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light,” Kelly tweeted.
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