Alex Jones interview draws 3.5 million viewers

WVIT substituted yesterday's broadcast of "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" with a rerun of the syndicated home fix show "George to the Rescue".

Despite a week's worth of stories about her controversial interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the Q&A ended up being watched by only 3.5 million viewers, and was soundly beaten by CBS rival "60 Minutes", which drew 5.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Jones claims that he secretly recorded all of his discussions with Kelly as evidence, suggesting that it's a hedge against amusing business NBC might pull in the editing process of the interview.

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The interview also was seen as a test of the interviewing skills of Kelly, the former Fox News star whose questions two weeks ago for Vladimir Putin were widely panned for being too easy on the Russian leader. That episode drew an average of 6.1 million viewers.

ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams praised Kelly, writing on Twitter, "I'm even more convinced that her piece wasn't just OK to do, but important journalism". Meanwhile, Jones demanded the segment be killed, insisting NBC News' promo for the interview had been edited to distort his views and threatening to release his secret recording of the full interview - which has yet to surface.

But the controversy didn't end there.

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It's hard to say if anyone started with Kelly and then switched when she was done. He leaked audio of his pre-production discussions with Kelly, hoping to create suspicion that Kelly's real objective for wanting to interview him was to do a hit piece on him. Although his theory has been discredited, people who believe Jones have harassed and taunted families of the victims.

Jones' comments about the Sandy Hook shooting-he continues to argue the murderous rampage was a government-sanctioned hoax-were the main flashpoint for many advertisers and viewers.

Lawyers who represent 12 people who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook urged NBC News officials not to air the interview. When Kelly asked him whether he had anything to say to Jones for Father's Day, he responded, "I think he's blessed to have his children to spend the day with, to speak to".

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"What will show her success long term is if she gets the ratings she needs or not", he explained.

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