Amid growing outrage, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is asking for the cancellation of an upcoming interview with Megyn Kelly.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been at the center of controversy for years including statements he has made claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was staged, that the FBI was behind the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, the U.S. government was behind the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11th attacks… the list goes on an on.
In the midst of all this controversy, Jones’ lawyer argued this April at a pretrial hearing in his child custody case in Austin that his public statements shouldn’t be taken seriously, that: “He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist.”
The lawyer, Randall Wilhite, declared “that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.””
Jones finds himself in the center of controversy again this week as his interview with NBC anchor Megyn Kelly sparks rage with Sandy Hook families and at least one advertiser.
As Fortune reports, that interview “has resulted in a firestorm of criticism, notably from the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims. And now an advertiser is reportedly pulling from NBC programming until after the episode airs on June 18.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that J.P. Morgan Chase has asked to have all its advertisements removed from all NBC news programs, to include Megyn Kelly’s, until after the interview airs.
Although the company has not officially announced the move, J.P. Morgan’s Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau made her opinion of the interview crystal clear in a Monday morning tweet, writing:
“As an advertiser, I’m repulsed that @megynkelly would give a second of airtime to someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes. Why?”
— Kristin Lemkau (@KLemkau) June 12, 2017
Others, such as the families of those killed in the Sandy Hook shooting are speaking out as well, like Cristina Hassinger whose mother, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dawn Hochsprung died trying to protect her students.
“This piece of actual garbage encourages people to call my mom’s death a hoax and harass other Sandy Hook families. Shame on you @MegynKelly,” she wrote.
— cristina hassinger (@chass63) June 12, 2017
She went on to praise J.P. Morgan for pulling their ads:
— cristina hassinger (@chass63) June 13, 2017
The Washington Post reported this morning that Megyn Kelly has been dropped as the host of an upcoming Sandy Hook gala over the interview.
According to The Washington Post, “Kelly will no longer host the Promise Champions Gala, an annual event for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a nonprofit gun violence prevention group founded by family members of some of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, the organization announced late Tuesday. The event is scheduled to be held Wednesday in Washington, D.C.”
“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,” Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of the organization, said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
Curiously, the New York Daily News reports that Alex Jones himself has “denounced” the interview:
Jones, the host of “InfoWars” and peddler of a debunked and reviled notion that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, said Monday he wants NBC News to pull his pre-taped interview with Kelly — a “rigged” report full of “fake news,” he said.
“They’re scared of what we’re covering,” Jones wrote on his rant-filled website, claiming the NBC piece was edited to misrepresent him. “They’re scared of what we’re doing.”
The Daily News reports that:
In a promo released by NBC of the pre-taped interview, Kelly challenges Jones about his controversial views — which also include calling 9/11 an inside job.
“When you say people faked their children’s deaths, people get very angry,” she says in the snippet, and then accuses Jones of a “dodge” when he tries to change the subject.
Late Monday, the show’s producer told CNN that the interview would continue as scheduled despite the controversy according to the Daily News.
“Until you see the full program, in the full context, I wouldn’t judge it too much,” said “Sunday Night” executive producer Liz Cole.
“Judge it when you see it. Megyn does a strong interview. We’re not just giving him a platform … Viewers will see Megyn do a strong interview where she challenges him appropriately… That’s the benefit of putting him out there. When someone actually sits down and asks him questions and he has to come up with answers — there’s value to that,” Cole added.
You can watch a short video from Fortune about the controversy, below: