It’s the interview that could have easily never seen the light of day.
Shrouded in controversy, NBC proceeded with its broadcast of Megyn Kelly’s Sunday Night interview with InfoWars host Alex Jones, a radical conspiracy theorist infamous for suggesting that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. was a hoax.
During the Q&A, Jones restated his belief that “there was cover-up and manipulation” to support his previous claim that “the whole thing,” in regards to the massacre, was “fake.” Jones then attempted to change the subject when asked about his assertion that parents faked the deaths of their children, saying that people don’t ever seem to get as upset about the “half-million dead Iraqis from the sanctions” and “all the illegals pouring in.” Kelly proceeded to stop him, insisting that he was purposely dodging her questions. In response, Jones once again changed course by saying that “the media never covers all the evil wars.”
Kelly also asked Jones about his immediate response to the May 22 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande performance in Manchester, England. The tragedy, which left 22 dead and dozens of others wounded, including children, was at the time summed up by Jones as “the bombing of liberal trendies.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t blow them up. I know. But I did something bad, though?” he asked sarcastically, to which Kelly pointed out that he was speaking about children as young as eight years old. He continued by once again wagging his finger at the mainstream media, blaming initial news reports for not specifying the ages of the victims. Kelly would go on to characterize his response — a mix of “reckless accusation, followed by equivocations and excuses” — as “classic Alex Jones.”
Later, Kelly grilled Jones about his alleged influence over noted fan President Donald Trump, who as a candidate appeared on InfoWars in 2015 and referred to Jones’ reputation as “amazing.”
“I think my influence on Trump is way, way lower than what [the mainstream media] has said,” Jones argued. “He has called sometimes, talked about politics and thanked me. Stuff like that. That’s it.” Jones would go on to say that he and Trump are on “friendly” terms, but refused to give Kelly an exact number when pressed on how many phone calls he’s exchanged with POTUS since he took office.
Since announcing that Jones would be an interview subject, Kelly and NBC have faced a barrage of criticism for giving the conspiracy theorist another high-profile platform. What’s more, NBC’s Newtown affiliate opted not to air the interview at all.
In the days leading up to the broadcast, Kelly defended her decision to interview Jones, suggesting that the segment was fueled by curiosity about his growing audience of millions of Americans and the support he’s received from Trump. At the top of the broadcast, Kelly referred to Jones’ many conspiracies as “not just offensive, but dangerous,” but also suggested that he’s “not going away.”
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