Families of Sandy Hook shooting victims are castigating NBC host Megyn Kelly for conducting an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that is set to air Sunday night.
The interview, which was already taped and previewed last week on "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" has yet to air, but it has already drawn scrutiny, with critics asking whether Kelly and NBC are just giving Jones a platform to air his controversial views.
"This comes with the territory," NBC News chairman Andy Lack told CNN on Tuesday. "We kind of know, when we're doing controversial stories, that's going to happen. It doesn't stop us from doing controversial stories."
Some claim that NBC needs the controversy to bring in new viewers and shake up its usual Sunday night lineup. Still, some inside the network are concerned about the interview, holding "crisis meetings" to handle the backlash, according to Page Six.
The families of Sandy Hook victims are upset over Jones calling the the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which killed 20 children and six adults, a government hoax.
The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a nonprofit founded by some of the family members of the victims, announced late Monday that it dropped Kelly as the host of its annual gala following her interview with Jones, a radio host who runs InfoWars.com.
The families were not reassured by the promo clips that Kelly released on her Twitter page.
"Well, Sandy Hook is complex because I've had debates where with devil's advocates have said the whole story is true; then I've had debates where I've said that none of it is true," Jones said.
"When you say parents faked their children's death, people get very angry," Kelly said.
"Oh, I know, but they don't get angry about the half a million dead Iraqis from the sanctions, or they don't get angry about all the illegal—" Jones responded before Kelly interjected to say he was dodging her question.
"No, it's not a dodge. The media never covers all the evil wars it's promoted, all the big things," Jones said.
"That doesn't excuse what you did and said about Newtown and you know it," Kelly followed up.
Sandy Hook families are not the only ones to express their displeasure with the Jones interview. JPMorgan Chase pulled its local television ads from NBC News programming until after the interview airs.
Responding to the backlash Kelly and the network have received, the NBC host released a statement Tuesday on her decision to interview Jones.
"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?" Kelly wrote.
There has been discussion over whether the interview will actually air Sunday, but Lack was overheard telling fellow journalists at Tuesday’s Mirror Awards that the interview will still air.