Since the interview was announced, Kelly has faced a considerable amount of backlash for booking Jones on her new NBC show “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” — JPMorgan Chase & Co. said on Monday that it would pull all ads and digital spots from the show until after the interview airs, and earlier Tuesday morning Kelly was dropped as the host of Sandy Hook Promise’s gala.
“I understand and respect the decision of the event organizers but I’m of course disappointed that I won’t be there to support them on Wednesday night,” Kelly wrote. “I find Alex Jones’s suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does.”
Kelly went on to defend her decision to proceed with the interview, especially considering the far-right media personality’s affiliation with President Donald Trump. “President Trump, by praising and citing him, appearing on his show, and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many,” Kelly wrote. “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.”
Jones is a familiar subject of controversy, and has promoted many conspiracy theories, including that the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn. was a government hoax.
Kelly was scheduled to host the annual gala of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit gun violence prevention group that has strong ties to the Newtown shooting. The organization’s co-founder and managing director Nicole Hockley said Tuesday that Kelly had agreed to “step down.”
“Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones,” Hockley said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
Read Kelly’s full statement below:
Kelly expressed similar sentiments in a tweet sent on Sunday. “[Trump has] been on and praises Alex Jones’ show,” she wrote. “He’s giving Infowars a White House press credential. Many don’t know him; our job is to shine a light.”
Kelly drew more tempered ire for her show’s debut interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In her review for Variety, critic Maureen Ryan called the first installment of Kelly’s show “a long way from must-see TV.”