Kelly tweeted a promo video for the interview with Jones, who thinks the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, and Jones thinks the promo proves the interview will be edited to make him look bad. He called Kelly to talk to her about it, secretly recorded their conversation and tweeted it, and is now threatening to release unedited footage of the full interview.
“I’ve never done this,” Jones says in his video. “In 22 years, I’ve never recorded another journalist. I’ve never done this, but I knew that it was a fraud, that it was a lie.”
In the leaked recording of the phone conversation, Kelly can be heard saying, “All I can do is give you my mind. If there’s one thing about me, I do what I say I’m going to do and I don’t double cross. You know you just became very fascinating to me. I just always thought you were this maybe, one-dimensional guy, like this is your thing.”
She continues, “My goal is for your listeners and the left — you know, who will be watching some on NBC — to say, ‘Wow, that was really interesting.’ And then next time I wanna get somebody, they’re gonna say, ‘Look what you did to Alex Jones.’ It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that. …. Of course I’m going to do a fair interview. I’ll still be me. I’m not going to go out there and be Barbara Walters, but you just trust me. I’ll ask you about the controversies. I’ll be fair about it. I’ll give you a chance to respond.”
Responding to rumors that the controversial interview would be pulled off the air, NBC issued a statement reading, “Despite Alex Jones’ efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right.”
Megyn Kelly’s switch from Fox News to NBC was pretty highly anticipated. But now that she’s made her debut on the new network, she’s faced hardly anything but criticism.
First, there was her exclusive sit-down with Russian president Vladimir Putin during which she lobbed softball questions amid a federal investigation into Russia’s involvement in November’s U.S. election. Now, she’s under fire again for her decision to air an interview with one of the most controversial names in media today: Infowars creator and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Kelly’s interview with Jones is set to air this Sunday, June 18, which is just bizarre timing; Kelly was scheduled to host a benefit for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on June 14, while Jones has maintained publicly for years that the shooting was a hoax.
Sandy Hook Promise, the gun violence-prevention organization behind the Promise Champions Gala, announced in a statement its decision to rescind its invitation to Kelly to host the event.
“This decision was spurred by NBC’s planned broadcast of Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who believes the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, was a hoax,” the statement read.
Nicole Hockley, a co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the shooting, also released a statement, saying, “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. It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan Chase has pulled its ads during Kelly’s Sunday show, and she’s received criticism from other big names on Twitter, including Chelsea Clinton, who wrote, “There is no justification for amplifying lies (or a liar), particularly about unimaginable tragedy. I hope no parent, no person watches this.”
Kelly has not publicly addressed the backlash, but tweeted a preview of Sunday’s interview.