Alex Jones interview draws 3.5 million viewers

Jenna Warner
June 20, 2017

The decision to interview Jones was met with criticism from those arguing a mainstream outlet like NBC should not give a platform to a unsafe conspiracy theorist - but Kelly's tough questioning of Jones and some selective editing drew plaudits from skeptics who assumed Kelly would grant the Infowars host a puff piece.

NBC's Megyn Kelly defended her heavily criticized interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones by saying at the start of the Sunday broadcast of her program that the man who called a 2012 CT school massacre a hoax has the attention of President Donald Trump.

While Mr. Jones apologized in May for peddling two other baseless conspiracy theories - one involving a D.C. pizza parlor, the other an Idaho-based yogurt factory - he has not apologized for calling the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax and claims that his views on the tragedy have been misconstrued. But he continued to express doubts, saying that he looked at footage of children leaving the building and thought it looked like a "drill". "I've watched the footage", he said.

Even as viewers and advertisers balked at Jones' inclusion, NBC News defended the segment's journalistic value.

Regarding one statement he said on his show in 2014 - "The whole thing is a giant hoax". AFHV boasted an audience of 3.7 million viewers to Ms. Kelly's 3.5 million. Lawyers representing 12 people who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook massacre wrote to the network and asked them not to air the interview.

Just 3.5 million people tuned into Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, her lowest-rated episode yet in the three weeks she's been on the air. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told the AP that the Jones story would be edited with its critics in mind. In the conversation, Kelly was heard promising she would not portray him as "some kind of boogeyman". The station was the only NBC affiliate that would not give airtime to the program, which devoted a 15-minute segment of its one-hour running time to Jones.

Before Bill O'Reilly's "exit" from Fox News, Kelly's salary at NBC made her the 6th highest paid TV host in the nation.

Merely sitting down with Jones did not go over well with Sandy Hook families and a few advertisers.

Other reports by Insurance News

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