Weekend Entertainment: NBC to air Jones interview despite efforts to ‘distract’

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News vowed Friday to go ahead with Megyn Kelly’s report on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Sunday, despite his “efforts to distract and ultimately prevent” its airing.

The network said that it remains “committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right.”

The story, scheduled to air Sunday evening, has NBC being buffeted from both sides. Jones has said he believed it will be a “fraud,” and said he would release an unedited version of the interview that he recorded. Meanwhile, parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre have urged NBC not to give him airtime because he’s theorized the shooting could be a hoax.

Jones’ website, Infowars.com, touted the availability of the unedited interview, but it was not online as of Friday morning.

NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told The Associated Press that the story on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” will be edited with the sensitivity of its critics in mind.

According to Variety, at a CNN press event Thursday, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and “New Day” anchors Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota discussed the news value of the segment as well as the way NBC News had teased it in a short video preview.

“Let’s not prejudge what the story is until we see it,” said Zucker. “But they’ve done themselves no favors in the way they’ve marketed this.” The teaser sparked alarm by showing Jones and Kelly in conversation, but not necessarily grilling him intensely about a slew of conspiracy theories he has widely promoted.

Already, one advertiser has signaled alarm. J.P. Morgan Chase has asked NBC to remove any local and digital advertising that could appear adjacent to Kelly’s interview with Jones.