Well, well, well … well, well. All I can say is it’s about time. Well past time, if you ask me, that ol’ Alex Jones of Fox News’ InfoWars is heading off to court. In December 2016, I considered Alex for an Idiot of the Week post, but I didn’t do that post. Today, curious as to why I hadn’t, I found in my notes that I considered him simply too evil for an IOTW post. A brief bit of background …
On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. President Obama, as well as leaders from many countries and organizations throughout the world also offered their condolences through the weekend after the shooting.There were a few however, who chose to further add to the grief and torment of the families, rather than join in offering compassion, and among those, Alex Jones led the pack. Within days, Jones put out a video, since removed by YouTube for violation of terms of service, saying that the massacre was “staged,” “inside job,” “undoubtedly there’s a cover-up,” “giant hoax,” “the whole thing was fake,” “in my view, manufactured”. He was selling snake oil, nothing more, and he knew his snake oil wasn’t the cure for anything, but guess what? He didn’t care, for he was making money. He was the talk of the town, his video having been viewed more than 10 million times by mid-January 2013, less than a month after the murders.
Nope, Alex didn’t care, but can you even imagine what it must have been like for the parents of those murdered children? They lost the most precious part of their lives, and then to hear this nutcase say it never happened? I remember now why I thought he was too evil for an IOTW post. But it didn’t end there. Jones’ claims that the ‘deep state’ government orchestrated the ‘event’ in order to justify shutting down or repealing the 2nd Amendment were as nothing as compared to what came next.
In a March 2014 broadcast, speaking of the parents of the murdered children in Newtown, Jones said …
“Undoubtedly, there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying, and they were pre-planning before it.”
He has accused the families of the murdered children of being paid actors, of lying and the media of staging coverage with green-screen video technology. Does Jones even belief this himself? I seriously doubt it … any more than I think Leonard Nimoy believed he was on the Starship Enterprise saving the world from evil. (All you Trekkies out there, please forgive me for my blasphemy!) But it got attention, it had entertainment value, and Fox, InfoWars and Jones were making money.
Today, a few of those parents stand a good chance of getting a bit of their own justice.
Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, parents of 6-year-old Noah Pozner who died in the shooting, have filed a lawsuit in Travis County District Court in Austin, Texas, where Jones lives and InfoWars is broadcast. A second lawsuit, also in Travis County District Court, has been filed by Neil Heslin, father of murdered 6-year-old Jesse Lewis. Both lawsuits are based on comments Jones made just last year in a segment on his radio show called “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed,” which aired on April 22, 2017, as well as other broadcasts he has done over the 5-year period since the murders. Four-and-a-half years later, and Jones was still milking this tragedy for all he could, bringing new waves of grief to the parents. And not only grief over their lost children, but threats and obscene phone calls & letters. One such threat was by 57-year-old Lucy Richards, who last June pleaded guilty to issuing death threats to Leonard Pozner, for she was convinced by Alex Jones’ taunts that the entire thing was a hoax and that the parents of the slain children were lying. Ms. Richards is now serving a five-month prison term.
The lawsuits contend the defendants acted with malice and their defamatory publications have injured the plaintiffs’ reputation and image and that they have exposed them to “public and private hatred, contempt, and ridicule.” Both lawsuits are for a minimum of $1 million, a paltry sum for Jones, whose net worth is estimated at between $7 million and $10 million.
I am a firm supporter of the 1st Amendment, the right to freedom of speech, the press, and religion. However, I do not support unlimited free speech, nor does the law. Remember Pizzagate, another of Jones wild conspiracy theories? People almost died because one man actually believed his fantasies. I hope these parents win their lawsuits, if for no other reason than to send a message to Fox and other media outlets that allow such pure garbage as Jones puts forth. The message needs to be that there are limits, there is accountability, and the media has a responsibility to be truthful, else to label fiction as just that – fiction. I think networks such as Fox and Breitbart that allow … nay, encourage … such falsehoods, should be obligated to label them as such, to present a clear and bold disclaimer that “what you are about to see is not based on fact, but is for entertainment purposes only.”
Jones is also being sued by Brennan Gilmore, who received death threats after Jones maliciously and incorrectly claimed Gilmore was a CIA operative who helped stage the scenario where a driver plunged into a group of protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, killing Heather Heyer.
Alex Jones is not at all a nice man, not even a decent human being, for he puts forth his theories in order to make money, with no thought as to the lives he is endangering, the grief he is causing. I would very much like to see Fox decide that he isn’t worth the trouble, but since he brings in the money, that is unlikely. It is also unlikely that the public will tire of his garbage and tune out, or wise up and realize that he is not a newscaster, not an analyst, but merely an entertainer.
One final thought: Donald Trump has praised Alex Jones, saying “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” Perhaps Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, the one who also represents conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity, will take on Jones’ case. Think on that one for a while …