Alex Jones gets retribution in Sandy Hook defamation trial – finally

There is nothing more satisfying in this world than to see a bad person receive his retribution.

The pleasure of seeing someone humiliated after repeatedly “getting away with murder” is better for the human body and soul than vegetables and religion. But over the past few years, the consequences haven’t felt like they were on the cards for many famous people. Bad people don’t get retribution anymore. They sign contracts for books, or TV shows, or are elected prime minister. Bad people get rich.

Unless, of course, your name is Alex Jones, which is to say, in which case the bad people get humiliated over and over again in a public forum and then are taken into the purge by the vulnerable people they used to make a name for themselves.

For those who don’t know, Alex Jones is the founder of the far-right news agency Infowars, a website known for spreading conspiracy theories and misleading news. Jones founded Infowars in the late 1990s but only began to gain mainstream attention in 2015 after helping to promote then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Far from being a funny conspiracy theorist – the kind of person who believes the mole people control the government from a series of underground tunnels – Jones is known for peddling some pretty damaging lies, the most insidious of which is that the Sandy Elementary School massacre -Hook in 2012 was rigged. government to help ensure public interest in gun laws.

The lies that Jones promoted about Sandy Hook led the parents of the children killed in the massacre to harassment and death threats for nearly a decade, so it’s no surprise that those same parents chose to sue Jones for making their already difficult lives even more traumatic. What is surprising, given the total impunity with which Jones has seemingly acted over the past 20 years, is the extent to which the court showed him the consequences of his actions.

Jones has already lost the case, as the families are now seeking $150 million in damages from the disgraced TV host after forcing him to finally admit under oath that the massacre was “100% real.” As a result, Systems of Freedom of Speech LLC, the parent company of Infowars, filed for bankruptcy in anticipation of reaching that figure. That outcome now seems all but certain as Jones’ lawyers make mistake after mistake, from being caught swearing at the opposing council to accidentally sending two years of incriminating text messages to the Sandy Hook Families’ legal team.

Jones met this test with a predictable lack of self-awareness, using the bystander position as an opportunity to sell his ineffective supplements and flirt with committing perjury. Thankfully, the court didn’t treat Jones the way the rest of the world apparently did, with the judge repeatedly scolding him for lying under oath and otherwise speaking out of turn. Throughout the trial, there was a real feeling that Jones was completely unprepared to deal with people accusing him of his bullshit, and the moment the aforementioned text messages rained down on him, he became the perfect digestif for a real banquet of gloating. .

While the court has provided Jones with a much-needed dose of karmic justice, it raises the question: is this enough? It’s nice to see someone like Alex Jones get busted for his misdeeds, but how was he allowed to get this far?

I was in Newtown in 2016 when Jones began to be regularly supported by Donald Trump, and it’s hard to overestimate the level of damage that mainstream denial of the most traumatic event in community history can do to the community. Everyone in this town knew someone who had been hit by Sandy Hook. All were survivors, either directly or by association.

Imagine that you discovered that your child narrowly escaped being killed by a lunatic; put up with the ensuing media onslaught, which meant you couldn’t leave your house at certain times of the day without being stalked by a reporter; slowly accustom yourself and your family to live a normal life again; and then found out that the next leader of your country backed a guy who said none of this ever happened. It’s not just upsetting – it’s obscene.

For me, Alex Jones is a cartoon character. If you were to create it for a movie meant to satirize conspiracy theorists and the far right, people would tell you to tone it down. There is even some debate about whether the version of Alex Jones we know is real, as his lawyers in a previous custody case in 2017 argued that Jones is putting on a performance for his audience, and that his on-air image is akin to a “performance”.

He is the human litmus test for how far disinformation can be spread before finally seeing the consequences, and now we have the answer: you can do it for 10 years and get repeatedly praised by the most powerful person on the planet, simultaneously millions dollars.

Let’s hope Jones is the first of many overblown, odious dominoes to fall as we finally begin to see justice done for the many indignities inflicted on us over the past few years by terrible people. The hearings on January 6 in the US have already put provocateur Steve Bannon in a hot spot, as he was found guilty of contempt of Congress after ignoring a subpoena and now faces up to a year in prison.

Here in the UK, Boris Johnson has finally been forced to resign after what seemed like an endless string of scandals proving that even Conservative MPs have a limit to the humiliation they can endure before finally taking action.

It takes a long time for justice to be done—longer than it should—but it happens. Maybe there is more justice to come. We can only hope.