Megyn Kelly Dropped as Sandy Hook Benefit Host Over Alex Jones Interview
Almost immediately after its announcement, Megyn Kelly's planned interview with Infowars host Alex Jones—scheduled to air this Sunday on Kelly's new NBC News show Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly— has stirred controversy and anger, with even high-profile detractors like Captain America star Chris Evans weighing in against it.
In an exclusive interview with TV Guide Magazine, the NBC anchor defends her interview with Alex Jones and explains why she believes not everything he says is wrong.
Among his conspiracy theories, Jones has infamously tried to dismiss the 2012 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.—which killed 20 children and six adults—as a government hoax. It is this notion of Jones' in particular that has caused substantial outrage among those who feel that Kelly should not be giving him a platform.
On Monday, gun violence prevention organization Sandy Hook Promise released a statement saying that Kelly will no longer serve as host of the organization's annual Promise Champions Gala, which is being held this 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," a quote from Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of the organization, read in part in the statement.
This comes in the wake of JPMorgan Chase pulling its local television and digital ads from all NBC News programming until after the Jones interview airs, The Wall Street Journal reported. Also on Monday, JPMorgan Chase's chief marketing officer, Kristin Lemkau, tweeted the company's reasoning for pulling the ads:
— Kristin Lemkau (@KLemkau) June 12, 2017
It's been a bit of a rocky start for Kelly at NBC News, who signed the former Fox News host on for a salary somewhere between $15 million and $20 million, according to Business Insider. Her first-episode interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin also drew criticism, while ratings for Sunday Night have, so far, been so-so at best.
Kelly tweeted a defense of her Alex Jones interview on Sunday, claiming that she aims to "shine a light" on the man whose Infowars has recently been given a White House press credential:
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 12, 2017
Kelly defended herself further on Tuesday, tweeting out a statement in which she indicates her disappointment that she won't be at the Sandy Hook event, and explains that she finds Jones' suggestion that Sandy Hook was a hoax "as personally revolting as every other rational person does." She also elaborated on the "shine a light" aspect of her earlier tweet:
Here is my statement regarding Sunday night’s interview: pic.twitter.com/iS2VfyLt6S
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 13, 2017
But even Alex Jones himself, who has also been in the news recently during a trial in which he lost primary custody of his children (and during which Jones' attorney argued that Infowars is "performance art"), appears to now think his interview with Megyn Kelly should not air (because he believes it is "misrepresenting" his views on Sandy Hook). He tweeted this on Monday:
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) June 12, 2017
More to come, we're sure.