NBC is holding “crisis meetings” as the network has come under intense pressure to pull anchor Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with controversial InfoWars founder and radio host Alex Jones, according to a report.
The planned interview — in which Kelly questions Jones about his previous assertion that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre was a hoax — is scheduled to air on Sunday June 18 as part of the anchor’s new show, Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.
However, NBC has faced pressure from social media users — including some relatives of the victims of the Sandy Hook attack — to cancel the interview. In the wake of the controversy, J.P Morgan Chase reportedly decided to temporarily pull its advertising from the network.
Nevertheless, the network has pledged to move ahead with the interview, with NBC News Chairman Andy Lack saying the interview will be edited to provide sensitivity to the Sandy Hook victims.
“No one expected sponsors to pull out, but this is why they hired Megyn. They expect to lose and gain viewers and they want the buzz,” one source told Page Six.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 11, 2017
However, Page Six reported that the network held multiple meetings Wednesday to discuss its response to the criticism, with some employees urging the network to axe the interview.
“It’s a sh*t show. No one wants to withstand a whole week of criticism over this. There are a number of people who want to pull the interview,” an unnamed source told the outlet.
In a statement posted to her Twitter account Tuesday, Kelly said:
“I find Alex Jones’ suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does. It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?”
As a result of the controversy, Kelly has agreed to step down as host of a gun violence prevention fundraiser being held Wednesday by Sandy Hook Promise, a group that was founded after the 2012 attack.
“What I think we’re doing is journalism,” she said. “The bottom line is that while it’s not always popular, it’s important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He’s been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don’t get the choice over who has power or influence in our country.”