Exclusive: Megyn Kelly Says Alex Jones Is 'Completely Sincere' in His Beliefs, Not One-Dimensional
Megyn Kelly is no newcomer to controversy and divided public reaction to her interviews. To wit: Presidential candidate Donald J.Trump, who she interviewed for a Fox News special, and Russian president Vladimir Putin, the first guest on her new NBC newsmagazine Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.
However, the promotion for her scheduled June 18 Sunday Night interview with Infowar’s conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was a step too far for some folks. Though his far-right ideas—from 9/11 being an “inside job” to Pizzagate, which held that Hillary Clinton and an associate were running a secret society of pedophiles out of a pizza joint—angered many, it is his view that the massacre of children and staff in Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary was a hoax with actors playing the victims, that has made him infamous.
Kelly will also host a daily show this fall as part of NBC News' 'Today' family.
On Tuesday, Kelly was disinvited from hosting a benefit for Sandy Hook Promise, a gun violence prevention organization, and many people, including celebrities, pledged to boycott the episode. JP Morgan Chase has pulled all advertising from NBC News programming until after the Jones interview airs.
TV Guide Magazine (TV Insider and TV Guide Magazine are both owned by NTVB Media) spoke with the NBC anchor on Thursday, June 8—prior to the Alex Jones' controversy reaching a fever pitch—to talk about Sunday Night and her upcoming daytime talk show for a story running in the June 26 issue. Here's what Kelly had to say about speaking with Jones:
Aren’t you at least a little concerned that you will be disseminating some of his discredited views. For instance, the mass shooting at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school was staged with young actors?
I’m not worried about that because that would never be presented without challenge. Alex and I had a fascinating day together. The end of the day was spent discussing some of these theories and I challenged him strongly. He didn’t much care for that. There were some tense moments, but the piece is going to be about more than just Alex Jones conspiracy theories. We already know about that. Most reasonable people don't buy into that one bit and don't want to see an 11-minute piece proving that Newtown happened. However, no piece about him would be complete without mentioning he said that. He was involved in the Pizzagate conspiracy; he thinks that Waco was an intentional act by the government to kill those people; that the Boston Marathon bombers and the Aurora movie theater shoots were patsies.
Those are pretty incendiary accusations aren’t they?
I went into the interview thinking he might be a thespian. That he may not believe all that stuff. I left thinking he is completely sincere.
Isn’t that scarier?
I’m not talking about the terror attacks or shootings here of course, but he’s not wrong on everything. He objects a lot to genetic manipulation, and other health concerns, that's not totally off-base. It’s easy to make Alex Jones look bad. The more complex thing to do is show people that he’s not one-dimensional. There is somebody who, while very controversial, does care when he talks about children and vaccines. He thinks he’s helping children. People can draw their own conclusion about whether he is or isn’t, but I’m trying to shine a light on the man and the motivations.
On June 13, Kelly issued the following statement via Twitter:
Here is my statement regarding Sunday night’s interview: pic.twitter.com/iS2VfyLt6S
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 13, 2017
Read more of TV Guide Magazine's Megyn Kelly interview in the June 26 issue, on newsstands June 22.