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.
The decision to interview Jones was met with criticism from those arguing a mainstream outlet like NBC should not give a platform to a unsafe conspiracy theorist - but Kelly's tough questioning of Jones and some selective editing drew plaudits from skeptics who assumed Kelly would grant the Infowars host a puff piece. But he added that he remained skeptical after he "watched the footage" of children leaving the building.
"I tend to believe that children probably did die there".
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NBC noted Kelly's radioactive interview, which had been a top media story for days, outdelivered CBS's 60 Minutes rerun [which it was up against] in the [news] demo. The families told NBC that the interview was likely to cause devastating human consequences. Lawyers representing 12 people who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook massacre wrote to the network and asked them not to air the interview.
Kelly drew 6.2 million viewers to her interview of Vladimir Putin during her show's June 4 debut.
Kelly and NBC nevertheless appeared to be caught flatfooted by the visceral response providing Jones such a platform would trigger, which they shouldn't have.
"I think my influence on Trump is way, way lower than what MSM (mainstream media) has said", he commented, saying he and the president were "friendly", but not friends.
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Kelly's NBC unveiling had clocked a 1.2 rating in the news demo, 25-54, delivering NBC's best non-sports crowd in the Sunday 7 PM slot since March 2016.
She then was a key figure in the downfall of former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, telling in-house investigators of inappropriate conduct by Ailes that supported Gretchen Carlson and other women who had made similar accusations.
The Times piece admitted the segment did a good job painting Jones, a radio host who runs InfoWars.com, in a negative light.
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There's a new mechanic that lets you place pins on the game's map to remind you to revisit areas. You'll be able to play the original story but also enjoy something completely new, Minion Quest .