If publicity is what Megyn Kelly wanted for her new Sunday night show on NBC, she must be very happy today, but many others are not.
Kelly is feeling backlash to her upcoming Father’s Day interview with controversial Infowars host Alex Jones, the man who contends the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was orchestrated by the U.S. government.
He once alleged the parents of the 20 slain children were just actors.
He believes 9/11 was an “inside job.”
In a preview of the interview, Kelly begins by asking Jones whether he the “most paranoid man in America.” She goes on to confront him about his conspiracy theories. “When you say parents faked their children’s death, people get very angry,” she tells him.
She accuses him of “a dodge” when he tries to steer away from the topic.
But the very fact Kelly sits down with a man who has led others to question whether Sandy Hook even happened has touched off a strong reaction. Chelsea Clinton has all but called for a boycott of the episode.
“There is no justification for amplifying lies (or a liar), particularly about unimaginable tragedy,” Clinton tweeted. “I hope no parent, no person watches this.”
Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter, Ana Grace, died in the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook, berated Kelly for a tweet that promised her interview would be “riveting.”
“I promise you it’s not riveting,” Marquez-Greene tweeted. “How would you feel if someone shot your kids, some fool said it wasn’t true – and I gave him a show?”
In a subsequent tweet she wrote: “You have a powerful platform. I encourage you to ‘shine light’ on affirming the losses suffered here — NOT on a person who mocks those losses.”
She also tweeted a photo of her slain daughter.
Kelly’s Twitter feed is dotted with even more objections to the interview.
Marquez-Greene told CBS News she worried that the interview will encourage other conspiracy theorists, some of whom, she says, have harassed her and accused her of being part of a giant hoax.
According to CBS, a New York City man approached a sister of slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto, who was running in a charity race, and angrily claimed the shootings never took place. The man was allegedly a follower of Jones.
One man asked Marquez-Greene to show him photos of her dead daughter to prove she’d really died, CBS reported.
“Any time you give someone like Alex Jones a platform, their followers will double-down or increase their attack on grieving families,” Marquez-Greene told CBS. “You can’t just put him in a box and say he’s just a character. He’s really hurting people.”
As the criticism rained down, Kelly defended the interview on Twitter on Sunday night, saying it was her job to “shine a light” on a man praised by the president and given a White House credential.
In the interview, Jones challenges Kelly to investigate how “30 years ago they began creating animal-human hybrids,” though it’s not clear who “they” are.