Megyn Kelly’s controversial interview with Sandy Hook denier fails to nab viewers

The uproar ahead of Sunday’s broadcast of Megyn Kelly‘s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones didn’t translate into ratings.

The interview prompted indignation, especially in Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012. The local NBC affiliate in Connecticut that serves the area where the shooting took place refused to air the interview.

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Fox News -
Megyn Kelly confronts Alex Jones over Sandy Hook, warns he 'isn't going away'

NBC News’ Megyn Kelly defended her interview with online radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones Sunday night, telling her audience that the “Infowars” host “isn’t going away.”. Kelly opened the third episode of her newsmagazine series by promising to confront Jones about his “notorious lie” that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre that killed 26 people in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax. “Some thought we shouldn’t broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren’t just offensive, they’re dangerous,” Kelly said in introducing the 20-minute long segment.

The Guardian -
Alex Jones doesn't give Megyn Kelly a direct answer on Sandy Hook massacre

The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones hemmed and hawed when pressed repeatedly by Megyn Kelly to admit he was wrong to call the massacre at Newtown, Connecticut, a hoax.

Kelly’s old employer needled her at the weekend, sending a tweet headlined “Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones: NBC News under fire for ‘botched’ rollout.”

LA Times -
Megyn Kelly and NBC News take the gloves off in Alex Jones interview — and now he's mad

Megyn Kelly presented a highly critical 19-minute piece on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on her NBC newsmagazine “Sunday Night” after a week of harsh criticism over the decision to present his views on network TV.

On Twitter, ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams said: “Watching @megynkelly interview with Alex Jones, I’m even more convinced that her piece wasn’t just ok to do, but important journalism.”

The Guardian -
Alex Jones cries foul ahead of interview with 'Medusa' NBC host Megyn Kelly

Controversy over NBC host Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones is intensifying before its Sunday night broadcast, with the far-right conspiracy theorist – and supporter of Donald Trump – claiming to have secretly recorded his entire interaction with the former Fox News host and threatening to “leak” the results.

In a statement sent to the Guardian on Saturday, an NBC spokesperson said: “Despite Alex Jones’ efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right.

Fox News -
Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones: NBC News under fire for 'botched' rollout of Kelly on eve of interview

NBC’s storied news division is coming under heavy fire for what its critics say is a botched handling of its new hire Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – and for its overall rollout of Megyn Kelly as a broadcast network news star.

The controversy over Kelly’s Jones interview exploded after NBC aired promos for the interview in which Kelly did not appear to be challenging Jones’ Sandy Hook conspiracy theories sufficiently harshly.

New York Times -
Critical Test Looms for Megyn Kelly, and the Network That Bet on Her

Until Megyn Kelly, no prime-time Fox News anchor had attempted the leap from partisan basic cable to the more pedigreed world of network news.

Less than a month into her tenure at NBC, Ms. Kelly and her new employer — which has placed a multimillion-dollar bet on her success — are learning just how daunting the transition can be. Ms. Kelly’s coming interview with Alex Jones, the conspiracy-monger and influential voice of the alt-right, has generated a fierce backlash from critics on the right and the left, just as the anchor is trying to introduce herself to a broader national audience.

Reuters -
Cox: NBC's fake-news foray could have real fallout

To remain true to those values, Kelly and NBC really have but one option: the show must go on, and it must expose the real danger of the fake news Jones and his ilk pose not just to NBC's mission but to the wider American social fabric.

On Sunday, Comcast's flagship network, NBC, will extend a similar courtesy to Infowars by airing a segment on Alex Jones, its founder and conspiracy theorist-in-chief.

LA Times -
Sandy Hook families threaten legal action against NBC News over Alex Jones interview

Several of the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have threatened legal action against NBC if it airs Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has called the 2012 massacre a hoax.

In a letter to NBC News executives obtained by the Los Angeles Times, a law firm representing the families says the network is inflicting harm on them by presenting the views of Jones, a right-wing Internet radio host and founder of the website Infowars, even though the network knows they are false.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte