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Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Alex Jones interview draws 3.5 million viewers

Alex Jones interview draws 3.5 million viewers

NBC's broadcast of a much-scrutinized episode of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, which led with a segment about controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, appeared to run with fewer than the usual amount of commercials that typically accompany a first-run program.

Jones, for his part, live streamed a response to the interview - watched at its peak by almost 20,000 people on YouTube - slamming the episode as "fake news".

Infowars founder Jones leaked exclusive audio of his interview with Kelly prior to the airing of the episode, creating a wave of criticism against both parties. Jones has said he believes that the shooting was a government hoax that used child actors.

Kelly, who gained prominence as an anchor at Fox News, joined NBC this year.

Jones' comments about the Sandy Hook shooting-he continues to argue the murderous rampage was a government-sanctioned hoax-were the main flashpoint for many advertisers and viewers.

The segment with Jones combined Kelly's interview with background on his history of false remarks, his relationship with Trump and comments from Newtown parent Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was killed in the shooting.

"Some of it looks like it's real but then what do you do when they've got the kids going in circles in and out of the building with their hands up".

In an internal memo that was obtained and published by the Hartford Courant, NBC Connecticut WVIT's President and General Manager Susan Tully said the decision to boycott the presentation was based on conversations with the families of the shooting victims.

Lawyers who represent 12 people who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook urged NBC News officials not to air the interview.

Kelly's first episode came out high, averaging 6.2 million viewers, while her second episode dipped down to 3.6 million viewers and was dwarfed by competitor 60 Minutes. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told The Associated Press that the Jones story would be edited with its critics in mind.

Before Bill O'Reilly's "exit" from Fox News, Kelly's salary at NBC made her the 6th highest paid TV host in the nation.

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