In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, WVIT-TV staff members were told station executives made the decision after listening to concerns from employees, Sandy Hook families and viewers and considering “the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal.”
Meanwhile, 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.”
Jones, a radio host, has alleged the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown was a hoax.
The story, scheduled to air Sunday evening, has NBC being buffeted from both sides. Jones has said he believes it will be a “fraud,” and he said he would release an unedited version of the interview that he recorded. So far, he’s only released snippets of a supposed conversation with Kelly, which could not be independently verified.
The attorney representing 10 families who lost loved ones in the shootings sent a heartfelt request to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and other network executives to cancel the interview.
“Parents have marked their children’s seventh, eighth, and ninth birthdays not with wonder and joyful chaos, but with the most profound loneliness this world knows,” attorney Joshua Koskoff writes. “Then there are all the other days … where a sound or a smell can transform the unrelenting ache of grief into intense, physical pain.”
Jones, the Texas-based host of “Infowars,” said he questions whether the shootings of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook School in 2012 happened.
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