Megyn Kelly's interview with famous jerk and creator of Infowars Alex Jones hasn't even aired yet and it's already mired in controversy.
The contentiousness of the decision to interview such a man hasn't gone unnoticed. Advertisers have been fleeing to the hills.
And now Megyn Kelly's been asked to step down from hosting a Sandy Hook benefit ... because Alex Jones and his people famously declared that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax.
Tomorrow, Sandy Hook Promise, a major gun violence-prevention organization, holds its annual Champions Promise Gala, where Megyn was originally supposed to emcee.
She has now been asked to step down from that role.
In case there was any doubt as to why she's being bumped, Sandy Hook Promise issued this statement:
"This decision was spurred by NBC’s planned broadcast of Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who believes the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, was a hoax."
Yeah, we can absolutely see how that would rub grieving parents the wrong way.
"Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host. It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview."
That's pretty understandable.
Networks care about image, but only up to a certain point and only as a means to an end.
What most of them really care about is ratings and advertisers, and the ratings only because they attract more money from advertisers.
While some controversies and drive up viewers, some businesses do not want to risk the association and pull their ads -- which is exactly what's happening here.
J.P. Morgan Chase has pulled its ads from NBC -- not just for Megyn's timeslot -- until after the interview is scheduled to air on June 18th.
J.P. Morgan Chase's chief marketing officer tweeted that she was "repulsed" that Alex Jones would receive airtime.
Alex Jones, for his part, has already declared to his followers that the interview will be "fake news" and that "they're scared of what we're covering."
As always with conspiracy theorists, the use of "they" could mean anything from "the establishment" to Illuminati lizard people, which are often just one and the same.
Everybody learns of the existence of Alex Jones and Infowars in their own way.
Have you ever made the mistake of looking up something without paying attention to where you were looking it up?
I did, a few years back. I looked up some dumb movie -- Transcendence -- for an analysis of its portrayal of transhumanism.
The first couple of paragraphs just summarized the film, and the next one briefly defined transhumanism -- it's basically just technology making our lives longer and better.
The next paragraph, and in fact the rest of the article, was talking about how this film was made as part of some diabolical campaign to "prepare" the public for transhumanism, though it would only be reserved for "global elites."
That was when I looked up at where Google results had taken me -- it was Infowars. Other articles discussed various vague and elaborate "plots" that involved various innocuous elements of pop culture and politics. I'd quickly had my fill of nonsense.
These days, the far-right fringe conspiracy site is much better known.
From a viral video of Alex Jones decrying that he doesn't "like 'em putting chemicals in the water that turn the friggin' frogs gay!" to the disturbing links between Infowars and Donald Trump, people these days are much more familiar.
Unfortunately, a huge part of that is because of ironically named "Sandy Hook Truthers" who deny that the Sandy Hook mass shooting took place, and instead insist that the children never existed and that the very real grieving parents are paid actors.
That's a lot more upsetting than a dumb theory about a dumb movie.
So Megyn Kelly choosing to interview Alex Jones has her on blast for giving the guy a platform.
Parents who are still -- and will always be -- grieving don't want to see see anyone even seem to give credibility to the guy who's claims that their children never existed.
It's one thing to interview Putin, who's terrible but can't be ignored.
It's another thing to give a platform to Alex Jones.
But, at the same time, we have to wonder if she could do more good by exposing Alex Jones for exactly the sort of man he is.
Especially since Alex Jones has been praised by Donald Trump and Infowars has been given White House press credentials, as if they were a real news organization.
One thing's for sure -- this interview's going to get a lot more viewers due to all of the controversy. People will want to see what all of the fuss is about.
Assuming that NBC doesn't pull it entirely.