Megyn Kelly Interview With Alex Jones Does Poorly in Ratings

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Kelly presses 'Infowars' host Jones on Sandy Hook denial

After all the outrage and chest-thumping, about 3.5 million viewers watched Megyn Kelly poke holes in Infowars poobah Jones' conspiracy-theory schtick on Sunday primetime according to early stats - which would be her smallest crowd to day on her new NBC newsmag. "Some thought we shouldn't broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren't just offensive, they're risky", Kelly said.

Megyn Kelly stepped into a hornet's nest with her Alex Jones interview, seemingly placing NBC News and its new star in a no-win situation.

The interview prompted indignation, especially in CT, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.

NBC noted Kelly's radioactive interview, which had been a top media story for days, outdelivered CBS's 60 Minutes rerun in the demo.

Those numbers were practically even with last week's episode, in which Kelly interviewed Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, and down sharply from her June 4 debut episode, which featured an interview with Russian president Vladimir Puttin and drew 6.1 million viewers.

Jones never gave a direct answer in a segment on NBC's Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. It now has 6.1 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49.

But the controversy didn't end there.

Setting the cautionary aspects of dealing with such a personality aside, "Sunday Night" can only be judged by what made it onto the screen, which began with Kelly promising to "confront [Jones] on his notorious lie about the Sandy Hook massacre". In response to criticism, Kelly invited parents to participate in the segment, an offer that one father accepted. But here's the thing: "Alex Jones isn't going away", Kelly said at the beginning of the NBC News interview. Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan in the shooting, publicly announced she wouldn't view the interview for "obvious" reasons.

Prior to the interview, Kelly released a statement on Twitter June 13 explaining the importance of airing her conversation with Jones.

Relatives of the shooting victims have called Jones' comments hurtful and said he has encourage people to harass them.

Al Tompkins, the Poynter Institute's senior faculty for broadcasting and online, told Forbes that Kelly will need to boost her ratings to ensure her reported seven-figure salary with the network.

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