Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is still trying to find her sea legs on her new NBC show.
It’s still early on, and she’s already found herself at the center of a media firestorm.
Kelly did an interview with controversial talk show host Alex Jones, and the PC brigade went bananas.
In addition to receiving a deluge of negative reaction, Kelly was scolded by a bigwig at JP Morgan Chase who pulled advertisements from her show.
From the Washington Examiner:
Just hours after a top JPMorgan Chase advertising executive said she was “repulsed” by Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the financial powerhouse has decided to pull its advertising from Kelly’s program.
The company has asked for its local advertisements and digital ads to be removed from Kelly’s Sunday evening program until after the show airs. A spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal Monday the company does not want any of its advertisements to appear adjacent to any promotion of the interview.
JPMorgan’s chief marketing officer, Kristin Lemkau, on Monday questioned why Kelly would conduct the interview with the InfoWars host, who has suggested 9/11 was an inside job.
“As an advertiser, I’m repulsed that @megynkelly would give a second of airtime to someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes,” Lemaku tweeted.
Outrage on social media grew Monday, causing the hashtag #shameonNBC to trend, but JPMorgan is the only advertiser as of Monday night to announce it will remove its ads from the program.
Jones, who has faced criticism for suggesting the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax, clarified his views during a Monday broadcast. He said he believes Sandy Hook did happen and that children likely died but argued there are anomalies about the event.
He claims those portions have been edited from NBC’s promotion of the interview and has demanded that Kelly’s “hit piece” not air on Father’s Day.
“I’m tired of being misrepresented,” Jones said.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of Alex Jones, the rising occurrence of politicized calls to have advertisers pull money from shows is troubling.
It devolves into a way of controlling speech, which is a slippery slope toward banning speech altogether.
In this particular instance, Chase seemingly made an unprovoked decision to pull ads, but the trend is still a problem.
Broadcasters and journalists shouldn’t feel handcuffed as to who they can and can’t interview. Ed Sullivan once interviewed Fidel Castro in the midst of a brutal revolution.
Kelly recently interviewed Vladimir Putin, who, among other things, has had dissident journalists and political rivals killed.
Yet somehow there was no outrage over that interview because it was deemed substantive. Kelly is a professional news personality. If she deems a guest newsworthy, she should be given the benefit of the doubt.
The fact that people like Chase’s marketing chief despises Alex Jones is a good reason he should be interviewed; challenge the man’s ideas. Pretending he doesn’t exist won’t make him go away.