Sandy Hook rage over Megyn Kelly's Alex Jones interview

By Lamia Estatie
BBC News

image copyrightGetty Images/BBC
image captionSome are calling on NBC to pull Megyn Kelly's interview with Alex Jones, due to air on 18 June

An interview by NBC's anchor Megyn Kelly with InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has angered families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Finance giant JPMorgan Chase has pulled all of its adverts from NBC News until after the pre-recorded interview is aired on 18 June. And Sandy Hook Promise, an organisation formed to protect children from gun violence, announced that Ms Kelly would no longer host their annual fundraising gala on Wednesday.

Some social media users have lambasted Ms Kelly for providing Jones with a national platform "to discuss controversies and conspiracies". Jones admits "some real kids" were killed at Sandy Hook but has helped push a theory that the Sandy Hook massacre was "synthetic, completely fake with actors".

Twenty-six people, mostly young children, died in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. For years, families of the victims have been targeted by conspiracy theorists who falsely claim that the tragedy was staged by the government in an attempt to tighten gun control laws.

image copyrightTwitter/@Nelba_MG
image captionThe mother of six-year-old Ana Grace Márquez-Greene - killed at Sandy Hook - has said giving Alex Jones a platform is "especially cruel"

Ms Kelly has defended the interview, saying US President Donald Trump gave "White House press credential" to Jones by appearing on and praising his show. But Jones has called for the interview's airing to be cancelled for "misrepresenting his views".

The mother of Ana Grace Márquez-Greene - a six-year-old girl who was killed at Sandy Hook - tweeted the NBC host an image of her daughter: "Here you go @megynkelly - her name is Ana Grace Márquez-Greene. Say her name - stare at this & tell me it's worth it. @nbc #SandyHook"

She also told The Washington Post that giving "Alex Jones a platform on Father's Day is especially cruel to me".

"This piece of actual garbage encourages people to call my mom's death a hoax and harass other Sandy Hook families. Shame on you @megynkelly," added Cristina Hassinger - whose mother and principal of Sandy Hook, Dawn Hochsprung, was also killed.

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Others said the interview was akin to "defiling the memory" of the killed and would "help legitimise" Alex Jones.

Chelsea Clinton said there was "no justification for amplifying lies" while actor Chris Evans added that human decency was being "trampled by the quest for ratings".

New York mayor Bill Blasio also called on NBC to "pull the segment".

And tens of thousands also used the Twitter hashtag #ShameOnNBC, rallying people to call the network and tell them not to air the interview. Some, including political commentator Ana Navarro, said they would not be watching the show in support of the victims.

One Twitter account added as an alternative it would air the video about the "26 Sandy Hook Angels" who died. Ms Kelly left Fox News earlier this year to anchor her NBC show "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly".

image copyrightTwitter/@KaivanShroff

In a video posted to his website in November 2016, Alex Jones said in his "final statement" on Sandy Hook: "There is some evidence that people died there... I don't know what the truth is, all I know is the official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese."

Jones has also helped push forward the theory that 9/11 was a "fable" and an "inside job" and other theories surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing as well as mass shootings in Orlando and Aurora, Colorado.

However, he has retracted some of them when threatened with legal action, including his defamatory remarks about yogurt company Chobani, and has apologised for promoting the false Pizzagate theory.

By the UGC and Social News team