This is quite frankly wonderful news, it could not have happened to a nicer person than Alex Jones of Infowars fame.
Let’s first give you a bit of context. If you have no idea who Alex Jones actually is, then the background context is that he is most probably the leading conspiracy theory promoter in the US. Truly crass examples include his claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were false flag operations engineered by gun control advocates. In particular, he has stated that “no one died” in Sandy Hook. Imagine being a parent of a dead child not only listening to this, but then being harassed by gullible idiots who believe what Jones claims.
The latest Suits
Last Monday (16th Apr) two suits were filed against Jones seeking more that $1 million in damages on behalf of the parents of children murdered in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012.
Alex Jones has spent years claiming the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School ― where a shooter killed 20 small children and six adults ― was faked. He has claimed the parents of these dead children are liars and “crisis actors.”
Now, those parents are coming after him.
In a pair of lawsuits filed late Monday, the parents of two children who died in the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, say Jones’ repeated lies and conspiratorial ravings have led to death threats. The suits join at least two other recent cases accusing the Infowars host of defamation.
… “Even after these folks had to experience this trauma, for the next five years they were tormented by Alex Jones with vicious lies about them,” Mark Bankston, the lawyer handling the cases for the parents, told HuffPost. “And these lies were meant to convince his audience that the Sandy Hook parents are frauds and have perpetrated a sinister lie on the American people.”
These suits are not a First
I was writing last month about another lawsuit that had been taken out against Jones. In that instance …
Brennan Gilmore is suing him along with others, not specifically because of Sandy Hook, but because of the manner in which the absurd false claims made by Jones and others regarding Mr Gilmore’s supposed role as a crises actor at Charlottesville have destroyed his life.
Rather ironically Jones held a press event last week in Washington to “discuss” the above lawsuit. As reported by Right Wing Watch who went along, it turned into something that was not exactly a Press Conference, but instead was more akin to one of his InfoWars shows …
The press conference didn’t appear to attract any reporters from prominent news outlets, but it did feature a few familiar faces from right-wing social media and a myriad of “citizen journalists” representing obscure right-wing YouTube channels, such as “Trump Talk US.” Jones theorized that mainstream media outlets had ignored his press briefing because they were adhering to a “business plan” designed to destroy him. One man seated in the front row held an ornately bound copy of the Bill of Rights.
And of course, because this was an Infowars conference, Jones took time to defend his now-infamous claim that global elites “put chemicals in the water that turn the freaking frogs gay.”
After the press conference, I approached Jones in the hallway and asked if he would answer a few questions for Right Wing Watch. ThinkProgress reporter Luke Barnes was standing next to me.
“It’s a joke, man,” Jones said to Barnes and me. “You guys just want to pretend you talked to me. It’s just a prop. Make up whatever you’re going to make up.”
He would later tell us, while streaming live to his viewers, “You guys think you’re intellectuals. You don’t know shit. You really don’t. You don’t know anything.” He then said we had “plastic haircuts,” whatever that means, before dancing around and attempting to mock us by moaning, “Uh, uh, uh, we’re intellectuals, uh, uh, uh.”
Actions really do have consequences
The anguish that the parents of Sandy Hook have had to endure over the years is truly heart breaking …
As of Tuesday morning, Infowars still had blatantly false stories posted on its website claiming the mass shooting was a hoax. “FBI SAYS NO ONE KILLED AT SANDY HOOK,” screams one headline.
Bankston told HuffPost he has never before seen cases involving the kind of “mental anguish” these parents are experiencing.
“I think as a father, it’s a very surreal experience,” Bankston said. “Anyone, parents or not, who spends 15 minutes talking to one of these parents will understand immediately how vile this lie was, and how genuine their pain is.”
… and remember, the promotion of this stuff has motivated others to act …
Infowars’ practice of disseminating outright lies has led to serious consequences for the families of the Sandy Hook victims, the lawsuit says. In June 2017, Florida woman Lucy Richards, then 57, was sentenced to five months in prison for sending threats to Pozner.
“You gonna die,” Richards told Pozner in one recorded voicemail message. “Death is coming to you real soon.”
Jones might indeed claim that these suits are part of an “anti-free-speech campaign”. That however is not what is going on here. These are people who have had some deeply traumatic mental anguish thrust upon them by the lies that Jones continues to promote, and so he now reaps the consequences of it all because his victims have had more than enough of his BS …
The defamation lawsuits could have devastating consequences for Jones and Infowars, especially because these are not the only ones against him. In March, the man who recorded the deadly car attack at last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sued Jones for calling him a “deep state shill” and a “CIA asset” who helped organize the attack ― he’s not, and he didn’t.
And then there’s the lawsuit Bankston filed earlier this month. He’s suing on behalf of the 24-year-old man whom Infowars falsely identified as the gunman who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
It’s long past the time for the lies that Jones promotes to stop, and these lawsuits just might indeed go a long way towards achieving that goal.