Alex Jones, alt-right political guru at the roots of several unfounded conspiracy theories, is having a hard time. The InfoWars creator, known for his subversion of mainstream narrative by embracing ridiculously far-fetched conjectures about the “deep-state,” has been slapped by several lawsuits in the past few months — two of the most prominent ones being from the family of a Sandy Hook victim and a person who was wrongly identified by Jones as the Parkland shooting suspect.
While Jones has gone about spewing his claims without any accountability, it appears now that his time of reckoning is near. The lawsuits claim that Jones has defamed the plaintiffs by raising questions about the very existence of the Sandy Hook massacre, as well as spreading completely unsubstantiated rumors about them. It is probably the first time that Jones has actually felt threatened as far as his enterprise is concerned.
Jones has claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 people including 20 children, was a “false flag” operation by a government seeking to restrict gun rights. Basically, and not unlike what Jones has said about possibly every mass shooting since then, Sandy Hook has been imagined by the alt-right theorist as a rehearsed tragedy which included actors.
Not surprisingly, it has led to a great deal of frustration for actual victims of the massacre, including Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, parents of a 6-year-old named Noah who died at the hands of Lanza.
Their lawsuit argues that Jones’ baseless claims have led to very real threats to their lives. Lucy Richards, a woman who was a great fan of Jones, threatened Pozner and De La Rosa with dire consequences for being part of the Sandy Hook “hoax.” In fact, Richards was sentenced to five months in prison with the judge ruling that she be barred from watching Alex Jones’ shows altogether, according to Texas Monthly.
There are several other allegations against Jones, and while his attorney Mark Enoch has tried to paint the lawsuits as a malicious attempt by deep-state actors trying to bring his client down, it is quite clear that what works for Jones in his broadcasts won’t work in a court of law. To this end, Enoch is defending Jones by claiming that the broadcaster is not liable for Lucy Richards’ actions because, he argues, no one should take the alt-right pundit seriously anyway.
“There can simply be no statement of fact when Mr. Jones views a video… and provides his commentary,” Enoch said about one instance mentioned in the lawsuit, according to which Jones opined that CNN’s Anderson Cooper and De La Rosa had faked an interview.
“No reasonable reader or listener would interpret Mr. Jones’ statements regarding the possibility of a ‘blue-screen’ being used as a verifiably false statement of fact, and even if it is verifiable as false, the entire context in which it was made discloses that the statements are mere opinions ‘masquerading as a fact.'”
This is the closest that anyone within the Jones inner circle has come to admitting that all of his programs are “acts” performed to fulfill a particular function. Enoch has essentially conceded that “no reasonable reader or listener” should interpret Alex Jones’ shows as based on facts, and what he says in his broadcasts are merely his opinions “masquerading as a fact.”
Seems like a long road ahead for Jones.