Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo Defend Megyn Kelly’s Decision to Interview Alex Jones, But Criticize Marketing Of It

By A.J. Katz 

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CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker supports the idea of Megyn Kelly interview with Alex Jones. He just doesn’t like how his former network has been promoting the controversial interview.

“I think he is newsworthy because the President of the United States relies on him and his points of view and that has made him relevant,” said Zucker during a breakfast with reporters this morning. “I think the issue, here, is the way that they have thus far presented it, which hasn’t led to much belief that he’s been held to account,” said Zucker, who then referred to an image that has been circulating of Kelly and Jones. “You can’t put out pictures of yourself riding in cars together, and wearing sunglasses, and tease the way they did. If you’re going to do the story, the tease needs to be you holding up a picture of dead kids in Sandy Hook and say: ‘How dare you.’ I think that their marketing of this has thus far been unfortunate.”

Kelly has had her own say on the matter and promises a tough interview. But her competitors aren’t so sure.

“My feeling is that I’m interested in how Alex Jones justifies his philosophy and the things he barks out, and I would interview him if given the opportunity,” said Camerota. “But obviously the task and the responsibility is on the interviewer to be prosecutorial and to really hold his feet to the fire. From the tease that they showed on Sunday, it was hard to tell if she will be prosecutorial. So I’ll reserve my judgment for Sunday.”

“It got her in trouble here,” said Cuomo of the initial promo. “I think that’s pretty objectively stated. It’s always going to be about ‘how you do it,’ and it’s a little dangerous to get into the “you don’t deserve a platform business.’ If someone has no following, and they come out of nowhere and I decide to elevate you, and make you relevant,  you have a bigger issue. But you’re dealing with someone like Alex Jones, who clearly has a constituency which includes the president of the United States,” said Cuomo.

The breakfast get-together was meant to mark the 4th anniversary of the network’s morning show New Day. In addition to Zucker, Cuomo and Camerota, CNN political commentator and NY1 news anchor Errol Louis, ep Javi Morgado, and new morning VP Izzy Povich also took part.

New Day is coming off a solid May, a month where it defeated its rival Morning Joe in the advertiser-coveted A25-54 demo (but fell short in total viewers). Its 255,000 A25-54 demo delivery is a monthly record for the show. The program also averaged 683,000 total viewers last month, the show’s second-highest delivery on record.

Cuomo and Camerota are slightly more than 24 hours removed from a unique broadcast, highlighted by a marathon phone interview Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who joined the program via phone and gave a passionate, detailed description of yesterday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, an event which left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in critical condition.

“It was an intense interview,” Camerota told TVNewser after the breakfast. “In moments like that you just need to remember the basic 5W’s – What Happened? Who Was Involved? Where did it take place? When did it take place? Why did it happen?”

“To be frank, I don’t know if he would have been as passionate, detailed and stayed with us for as long if he had been in front of a camera, as opposed to being on a phone,” added Cuomo.