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Megyn Kelly and NBC News have faced heavy criticism for a plan to air an interview this Sunday with Alex Jones, the controversial purveyor of the InfoWars website and radio outlet who has pushed false conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton and the Sandy Hook massacre.
But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on the Kelly uproar, Jones, 43, says the backlash is merely a publicity stunt. Furthermore, he says he does not want NBC to air the piece on Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly because it will be edited to make him look crazy.
In response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy where 20 children and six adults were murdered, Jones told his listeners that Anderson Cooper was probably using a green screen; that the school had actually been closed years prior to the shooting; and that some videos showed parents laughing when they thought they weren’t on camera, so they may have been actors.
“I simply explored three theories: that another group killed the kids; or that they used actors; or the story is all true,” Jones says. “I played devil’s advocate because the Internet didn’t believe the official story.”
Sandy Hook parents were horrified by his remarks (many have come out against Kelly’s interview). But Jones now says it didn’t take him long to accept that Sandy Hook happened largely as reported, even while he still insists there are unanswered questions and that the left-leaning media exploited the tragedy to push for gun control.
“Kids were killed at school and I think it should be investigated,” says Jones. “Clearly, there were PR firms involved exacerbating it.”
Already, J.P. Morgan is insisting its ads not run during the Father’s Day airing of Kelly’s show, while Sandy Hook Promise has dumped Kelly as host of a planned fundraiser. But Jones says the controversy was manufactured to drum up publicity for the show, which has struggled to find an audience since debuting June 4.
“Don’t air the piece, because from the promos NBC has run, Megyn is distorting me,” Jones says. “It has all the markings of a PR stunt. The minute she put that promo out there, there were groups calling for boycotts. It was basically instantaneous.”
Jones says he spent 13 hours with Kelly at NBC in New York, but he expects the show’s producers to cherry pick the parts that make him look bad in order to preserve the host’s reputation as a serious journalist in the eyes of detractors who accuse her of giving a platform to a conspiracy theorist.
“Isn’t it newsworthy that I’m saying, don’t air the interview?” Jones asks. “None of the media will pick it up. They just want me to be the devil because I’m the alternative media. That’s not going to get people to trust the mainstream media. Fake news lives at NBC. They basically made me look like a Halloween character.”
NBC did not respond to a request for comment but Kelly and NBC News chief Andy Lack have defended the interview as a way, in Kelly’s words, to “shine a light” on a controversial figure who has a relationship with President Donald Trump.
Jones tells THR that he’s used to being ridiculed by his media detractors, and it doesn’t bother him much.
“I question official stories,” Jones says. “But to call someone a conspiracy monger is a way to dehumanize me, like my ideas don’t count. Like George Orwell says, ‘Telling the truth is a revolutionary act’. I want to be dangerous. I want to wake people up. I want to change things.”
Jones has become so controversial that he says many in the media are using his friendship with Trump to bash the president.
“I talk to him quite a bit, but I miss a lot of his phone calls because I tend to not stay up past 10 at night,” he says. “The president finishes my sentences sometimes because he’s the real deal, and that’s why we’re synced up — God, guns, John Wayne, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, free-market capitalism and 1776. The media tries to hurt the president with his association with me, but that gives him the rock ‘n’ roll aura.”
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