NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has generated a storm of controversy over the past week.
Parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School have blasted Kelly for giving Jones a platform, despite the fact that he has questioned whether the 2012 mass shooting was real. Jones has blasted Kelly, accusing her of lying to him and threatening to release audio of their interview on his own website, InfoWars, before NBC airs it Sunday.
But in the Hartford & New Haven, Connecticut, television market, the controversy will be bypassed completely Sunday, as the NBC affiliate in that market, WVIT, has chosen not to air the interview, according to multiple news reports.
In a memo obtained by AdWeek, the station’s management informed employees of the decision, citing “the pain (that) resurfaces for our community” whenever Sandy Hook makes national news.
Instead, BuzzFeed News reports, the station will air local coverage, including a special report featuring Sandy Hook parents, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and advocates on issues including mental health and gun violence.
In the memo, the station’s management also notes that the interview will still be available online for those who want to watch.
According to AdWeek, it is not unusual for a television affiliate to opt out of certain programming, but WVIT’s decision is surprising given Kelly’s high profile and the fact that the station is owned and operated by the network.
On social media, users were quick to praise WVIT’s decision.