Megyn Kelly, in the role of an NBC anchor, has recorded an interview with Alex Jones. Where this attracts attention is that there has been a complete shitstorm even though it has not yet been broadcast.
Both names are perhaps familiar. Megyn Kelly quit Fox News and joined NBC last January. Her latest thing is to apparently interview controversial individuals, and so she started off by interviewing Vladimir Putin on 5th June. The latest has been her interview with popular conspiracy nut Alex Jones, and that is the interview that has generated rather a lot of heat for her and also NBC. As reported by the BBC …
- Finance giant JPMorgan Chase has pulled all of its adverts from NBC News until after the pre-recorded interview is aired on 18 June.
- “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 (14th June).
The root cause behind the controversy here is focused specifically upon the claims that Mr Jones promotes regarding Sandy Hook.
The Actual Incident
On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook school, brutally shot and killed twenty 6-7 year old children along with 6 staff, then shot himself dead. It was the deadliest mass-shooting at a US school, and also the third deadliest mass-shooting in US history.
The final report into the shooting concluded that Lanza had acted alone, and also noted “significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others“.
The Conspiracy Claims
Arising from this tragedy were some quite frankly obnoxious and quite bizarre conspiracy allegations. There is no one conspiracy theory, but instead a collection of distinctly different ones that asserted different claims. Below is a small list, I’m not going to link to any of the actual claimants and grant them the oxygen of yet more publicity, but will instead point you at the Wikipedia page that covers the topic in detail …
Bizarre Claim: The US Government did it …
- The Shooting never actually happened, it was a complete hoax staged by the US government
- Adam Lanza was drugged and hypnotised by his handlers to make him into a killing machine as an excuse as the regime is itching to take all means of self-defense from the populace before the economic collapse
- It’s all a hoax to scare people into supporting more gun control and a step toward an outright repeal of the Second Amendment.
Bizarre Claim: Israel did it …
- The attacks were an act of “revenge” for the perceived cooling of Israel–United States relations under President Obama and so Israeli death squads did it.
Bizarre Claim: Adam Lanza did do it, but had help from a second shooter …
- A Cincinnati news anchor for Fox affiliate WXIX-TV suggested on his personal YouTube channel that Adam Lanza was accompanied by another shooter
Bizarre Claim: It was really those behind the LIBOR financial scandal attempting to silence a witness …
- Lanza’s father was supposedly going to testify before the Senate Banking Committee with information about the Libor scandal, and this was all setup to silence him.
Bizarre Claim: It did not happen as described in the media …
- James Tracy, a former professor at Florida Atlantic University who taught a course on conspiracy theories, has suggested the shooting either did not actually occur or occurred very differently than accounted in mainstream reports, claiming political motives for the coverup.
There is more, and while the various theories put forward are all often quite different, they do have one common factor; they are all BS and do not hold together when critically examined.
Alex Jones and Sandy Hook
Jones himself promotes a theory to his millions of followers that “no one died” at Sandy Hook Elementary School because the Uniform Crime Reports showed no murders in Newtown for 2012, and that the victims were “child actors.”. His “evidence” for this claim is utter nonsense. In reality, because the Connecticut State Police was the lead investigator after the attack, the Sandy Hook victims were included in Connecticut’s statewide records (under “State Police Misc.”) rather than under the Newtown statistics.
Reactions to the Interview
As you might imagine, when the parents of those that died at Sandy Hook found out that the guy who claimed that their children never existed was to be interviewed on Fathers Day about this, a huge backlash developed.
— Newtown Action (@NewtownAction) June 13, 2017
— cristina hassinger (@chass63) June 12, 2017
— Nelba Márquez-Greene (@Nelba_MG) June 12, 2017
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) June 13, 2017
Megan Kelly Defends the Interview
She attempted to justify doing the interview …
Here is my statement regarding Sunday night’s interview: pic.twitter.com/iS2VfyLt6S
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 13, 2017
… but many are not convinced that Trump endorsing Jones is sufficient justification for giving him a platform to spout nonsense.
Alex Jones himself now wants the Interview cancelled
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) June 12, 2017
The Sandy Hook families are rather upset
The family of slain teacher Vicki Soto, posted a letter on Facebook, saying they were “disgusted and disappointed” in the decision to air the interview.
“Alex and his followers have done nothing but make our lives a living hell for the last four-and-a-half,” they said.
“This incessant need for ratings at the cost of the emotional well-being of our family is disgusting and disappointing. You should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this behaviour.”
Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose six-year-old daughter, Ana Grace, was among those killed, said she feared the interview with Mr Jones would encourage other conspiracy theorists who have harassed her and accused her of being part of a hoax.
“Any time you give someone like Alex Jones a platform, their followers will double-down or increase their attack on grieving families,” she told the Associated Press.
“You can’t just put him in a box and say he’s just a character. He’s really hurting people.”
If you are going to grant a primetime platform to interview a conspiracy nut who has no qualms about making absurd claims about murdered children never actually existing, then it should come as no surprise to discover that rather a lot of people will quite rightly get upset about this. Actions have consequences.
No matter how hard she might wish it to be so, giving a megaphone to a conspiracy nutter is not journalism.