State NBC affiliate won’t air controversial Alex Jones interview
Connecticut’s NBC-owned station WVIT won’t be airing Megyn Kelly’s controversial interview with Info Wars host Alex Jones. The station serves the region of Connecticut that includes Newtown, which is where the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting took place in 2012. The shooting, which left twenty eight dead, including twenty children, has been called a hoax by Jones who insists it was orchestrated by actors.
Media: WochIt Media
Even while NBC News has vowed to go ahead with Megyn Kelly`s report Sunday Night on Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Connecticut`s NBC affiliate will not air the story.
In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, WVIT-TV staff members were told station executives made the decision after listening to concerns from employees, Sandy Hook families and viewers and considering «the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal.»
Meantime, the network said that it remains «committed to providing 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.»
Jones, a radio host, has alleged the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown was a hoax.
The story, scheduled to air Sunday evening, has NBC being buffeted from both sides. Jones has said he believes it will be a «fraud,» and he said he would release an unedited version of the interview that he recorded. So far, he`s only released snippets of a supposed conversation with Kelly, which could not be independently verified.
Alex Jones releases secret recording of Megyn Kelly
The attorney signifying ten families who lost loved ones in the shootings sent a heartfelt request to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and other network executives to cancel the interview.
«Parents have marked their children`s seventh, eighth, and ninth birthdays not with wonder and joyful chaos, but with the most profound loneliness this world knows,» attorney Joshua Koskoff writes. «Then there are all the other days . where a sound or a smell can convert the unrelenting ache of trouble into intense, physical agony.»
Jones, the Texas-based host of «Infowars,» said he questions whether the shootings of twenty first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook School in two thousand twelve happened.
«(W)e cannot fathom – from a moral, ethical or legal standpoint – NBC`s decision to amplify the voice of a man who . has weaponized his radio demonstrate to publish false and defamatory statements about our clients; chief among them that they are actors perpetuating a massive fraud on the American public by faking the deaths of their loved ones,» the families` letter reads. «(B)y choosing to air his interview with Ms. Kelly at all – let alone at prime time on Father`s Day – NBC has tendered its good name and considerable influence to provide Mr. Jones with something he has never liked: legitimacy.»
The interview with Jones has been in the headlines since Sunday, when Kelly posted a 90-second clip on social media.
As a result, Kelly was dropped as the emcee at the Washington, D.C., gala of Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun violence nonprofit, led by parents who lost loved ones in the shootings.
Kelly said she was disappointed, but defended her interview with Jones as good journalism.
Lack told the AP that the story on «Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly» will be edited with the sensitivity of its critics in mind.
Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Nicole Hockey responded by writing a letter to Lack, asking him to cancel Kelly`s interview.
An NBC spokesman said Lack would react to Hockley personally before releasing a public statement.
Koskoff is the lead attorney in the families` wrongful death lawsuit against Remington, the maker of the AR-15-style rifle used in the Sandy Hook shootings.
Staff writer Rob Ryser and the Associated Press contributed to this report.