Sandy Hook Organization Drops Megyn Kelly as Benefit Host Over Planned Alex Jones Interview
The move is the latest fallout from NBC's controversial decision to air a sit-down with the 'Infowars' host, who has questioned whether the killing of 26 people in 2012 at the school in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax.
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, D.C., this week because of her plans to broadcast an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Kelly said Tuesday that she understands and respects the decision by Sandy Hook Promise to disinvite her as host of 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, Conn., was a hoax. The firm JPMorgan Chase has asked that its advertisement not run on the broadcast.
"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 six-year-old son Dylan was killed at Sandy Hook, founded the group with Mark Barden, who lost his seven-year-old son Daniel.
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?"
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 Trump's favorite targets during the presidential campaign because he was annoyed at tough questions she asked him at a Fox-broadcast debate.
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." On Monday, he also called for Kelly to cancel the airing of the interview "for misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook." He also tweeted the link to a YouTube video in which he claims that Kelly lied to him about the substance of their interview.
In the clip, he said in part, “She said the interview was not going to be about Sandy Hook and the mass shooting there, and it was not going to be about PizzaGate and these other issues that the media always obsesses on, and misrepresents what I’ve said and what I’ve done.”
4:05 p.m.: Updated to include Jones' request to cancel the airing of the interview.