Megan Kelly has been forced to defend her NBC News interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has suggested the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. The interview is scheduled to air on June 18.
Kelly, who has been criticized by Sandy Hook families and has lost J.P. Morgan as an advertiser over the interview, tweeted a statement on June 13:
I find Alex Jones's suggestion that Sandy Hook 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 Trump, by praising him and citing him, appearing on his show, and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many. 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.
However, Kelly has been slammed for lending credibility to Jones, just as Kelly accused Trump of doing.
Kristin Lemkau, the chief marketing officer for J.P. Morgan, slammed Kelly on Twitter on June 12: “As an advertiser, I'm repulsed that [Megyn Kelly] would give a second of airtime to someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes. Why?”
Sandy Hook Promise, a gun violence prevention group, announced in a press release on June 12 that Kelly would not be hosting its annual Promise Champions Gala on June 14.
Sandy Hook parent Nelba Marquez-Greene, who lost her daughter Ana Grace at Sandy Hook, condemned Kelly’s choice to interview Jones in a series of tweets on June 11:
Hey [Megyn Kelly], let me know if you want to give his victims equal air time. Promoting this fool is bad news. Do not encourage his abuse.
Here you go [Megyn Kelly] - her name is Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. Say her name- stare at this & tell me it's worth it. [NBC] #SandyHook."It's a miracle no #sandyhook parent has ended their life yet. The loss of a loved one and the constant harrasment is too much. [Megyn Kelly].
The family of Victoria Leigh Soto, a teacher killed at Sandy Hook, posted an open letter to Kelly on Facebook on June 11:
We would like it to be publicly known that we are greatly disappointed in your decision to give Alex Jones airtime. Alex and his followers have done nothing but make our lives a living hell for the last 4 1/2 years. Every family picture has been stolen, dissected, & analyzed with complete falsehoods. Our friends have even had their pictures stolen and have been harassed by these Sandy Hook hoaxers.
One of his followers, Matthew Mills, showed up at Vicki's race, disrupted the race, harassed our family and was ultimately arrested. You can find videos online of Mills and Jones directly interacting. This incessant need for ratings at the cost of the emotional well-being of our family is disgusting and disappointing. You should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this behavior. We hope you never are subjected to the kind of torture that Alex Jones and his followers inflict on us.
One day we hope your conscience kicks in and you realize that there are real people on the other side of the tv screens watching you praise a man who has made our lives a living hell. We hope you never have to endure what we have at the hands of that man.
Jones himself told Kelly to kill the interview with a tweet on June 12: "I'm calling for [Megyn Kelly] to cancel the airing of our interview for misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook."