An anti-gun violence organization founded by parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School has dumped Megyn Kelly as host of an event in Washington this week because of her plans to broadcast an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
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Kelly said in a statement Tuesday that she understands and respects the decision by Sandy Hook Promise to revoke her invitation to host its Wednesday gala, but is disappointed. She said reporting on Jones’ falsehoods is what journalists are supposed to do.
NBC is taking considerable heat on social media for its Father’s Day broadcast of Kelly’s interview with “Infowars” host Alex Jones, who has questioned whether the killing of 26 people in 2012 at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax. The firm JPMorgan Chase has asked that its advertisement not run on the broadcast.
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“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,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed at Sandy Hook, founded the group with Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son Daniel.
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In her statement, Kelly said that she found Jones’ suggestion that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax “as personally revolting as every other rational person does.
“It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?”
President Donald Trump, she said, has helped elevate Jones with his attention and letting “Infowars” in some White House events, she said.
“Our goal in sitting down with him was to shine a light, as journalists are supposed to do, on this influential figure and, yes, to discuss the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity,” she said. The interview is the planned centerpiece of her third broadcast of the newsmagazine “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.”
The interview has put Kelly, who jumped to NBC from Fox News Channel earlier this year, squarely back in the headlines. She was one of Donald Trump’s favorite targets during the presidential campaign.
The New York Daily News put the story on its front page Tuesday, with the headline “Nutwork News.” Jones, for his part, has already denounced the interview as “fake news.”
Kelly‘s interview is scheduled to air on Sunday on her new NBC newsmagazine, “Sunday Night.” A spokesman for NBC News did not immediately return a request for comment.