Megyn Kelly reports on Alex Jones and 'Infowars'

Posted June 20, 2017

After a week of buildup, backlash, retooling, and preemption, Megyn Kelly's interview with Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones aired without incident Sunday night on NBC.

Kelly's old employer needled her over the weekend, sending a tweet headlined "Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones: NBC News under fire for "botched" rollout".

The NBC program was seen by 3.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, an audience dwarfed by CBS rival "60 Minutes", which drew 5.3 million viewers.

Jones has claimed 9/11 was an inside job, perpetrated the debunked Pizzagate story - though he has since apologized for doing so - and has enraged parents of the children murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre by calling it a hoax.

Those numbers were practically even with last week's episode, in which Kelly interviewed Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, and down sharply from her June 4 debut episode, which featured an interview with Russian president Vladimir Puttin and drew 6.1 million viewers.

Putin: New sanctions will 'complicate' Russia-US ties
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In the days preceding her segment on Jones, Kelly had received widespread criticism for giving a platform to a man whose false allegations only added to the pain of the Newtown tragedy and even encouraged people to harass relatives of the victims.

Kelly said Jones never completely disavowed his previous statements about the killings being a hoax. Members of that community, where 20 children and six educators were killed, were among the voices raised against NBC airing the interview. Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan in the shooting, publicly announced she wouldn't view the interview for "obvious" reasons. "I don't have that".

Unsettling as it may be to have to aired it at all, Kelly's 20-minute segment on Jones and his influence (his fans include President Donald Trump) seemed to have benefited greatly from the pre-criticism and brouhaha that swirled around it last week (one NBC-owned station declined to air it; an advertiser backed out), assuring that Kelly and her producers delivered a tightly edited, firmly reported, no-nonsense story about someone who tells risky lies.

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"Ninety-five percent of what we cover is looking at a news article and then, you know, discussing it", Jones said to her at one point.