5:31 PM PDT 6/12/2017 by the Associated Press , THR Staff
Kelly has defended her decision to feature the ‘Infowars’ host on her NBC newsmagazine amid criticism from the families of Sandy Hook victims.
J.P. Morgan Chase has pulled its advertisements from NBC News in light of Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with Infowars host Alex Jones, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The company has decided to remove all of its TV and digital ads from all programming on the network until after the show airs on Sunday, according to the paper.
Kelly has defended her decision to feature Jones on her NBC newsmagazine despite taking heat Monday from families of Sandy Hook shooting victims and others, saying it’s her job to “shine a light” on newsmakers.
Critics argue that NBC’s platform legitimizes the views of a man who has suggested, among other conspiracy theories, that the killing of 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 was a hoax. The network released a brief portion of the interview, which is scheduled to air on Sunday.
Kelly, who interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the June 4 premiere of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, said on Twitter that President Donald Trump has praised Jones and has been on his show. Since many people don’t know Jones and his views, Kelly noted the importance of explaining them. NBC hasn’t immediately commented on the criticism.
J.P. Morgan Chase’s chief marketing officer tweeted Monday that she was “repulsed” that Kelly would “give a second of airtime someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes.”
Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace was killed at Sandy Hook, said she fears that giving Jones exposure would encourage his followers who have harassed her and others. “You can’t just put him in a box and say he’s just a character,” Marquez-Greene said. “He’s really hurting people.”
A year ago, a New York City man who was a follower of Jones was sentenced to probation after approaching a sister of slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto during a charity road race and angrily claiming the shootings never took place. On Facebook, Soto’s family said the “incessant need for ratings at the cost of the emotional well-being of our family is disgusting and disappointing.”
A writer for the conservative website Red State, Andrea Kutz, wondered, “What is Megyn Kelly thinking?”
“I’m a news and politics-engaged individual,” said Kutz, “but I don’t care to watch interviews with liars of either Putin’s or Jones’ ilk. These interviews aren’t interesting even in the abstract.”
In the interview clip released by NBC, Kelly said to Jones, “When you say people faked their children’s deaths, people get very angry.” When he tried to change the subject, Kelly said, “That’s a dodge.”
After the interview had been taped, Jones denounced it on Infowars as “fake news, in my view.” He said he expected a “rigged” report because a day’s worth of interviews will be boiled down to an 11-minute report. “They’re scared of what we’re covering,” he said. “They’re scared of what we’re doing.”
Jones also described Kelly as not feminine, cold and robotic. “I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly,” he said.
Among Kelly’s social media critics was Shannon Watts, the founder of the anti-gun violence group Moms Demand Action, who suggested that Kelly “turn your light off and let him back under the refrigerator.”
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