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Alex Jones Will Have to Explain His Despicable Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories in Court

Alex Jones of Infowars looking bummed.

Following the horrific shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, Infowars’ Alex Jones bolstered his career by pushing absolutely abhorrent conspiracy theories about the tragedy. Jones has long insisted that the shooting, which left 20 very real children and six adults dead, was “completely fake” and a “giant hoax” perpetrated by gun control activists and backed by the U.S. government.

At least eight families have sued Jones for defamation. His actions towards the families of these murdered small children have been unthinkably cruel—denying their loss, calling them paid actors, and all the while profiting off of their pain.

He even sued one of the families for $100,000 for court costs after they sued him over his evil lies, and he inspired his followers to spend years harassing those families. These people lost their six- and seven-year-old children, then found themselves called liars by Jones and doxxed and threatened by his supporters for years to come.

Now, Jones will have to explain his actions in court. A judge has ordered him to sit for a five-hour deposition in a defamation case brought by the families of four murdered children.

The Hartford Courant explains,

“The lawsuit alleges a yearslong campaign of ‘abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones are paid actors who faked their relatives’ deaths.’ The lawsuit also accuses Jones of orchestrating a sustained attack that lasted for years, accusing shattered family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting was a hoax and inciting others to act on these malicious lies.

“The families claim Jones knew the claims were false but that he kept perpetuating them because it was good for his ratings, drew advertisers and made him money.”

In the past, Jones has defended himself and the despicable things he says on air by calling himself a “performance artist.” That’s the argument his lawyer made during a custody hearing regarding his children. Jones’ ex-wife argued that he was “not a stable person,” and Jones’ defense was that his on-air persona is “a character” and doesn’t reflect who he is or what he believes.

Will he use the same argument now, when faced with the victims of an unthinkable tragedy who he slandered for ratings and profit? It’s possible, but does it matter whether he believes what he’s saying or if he’s just playing a character? Absolutely not.

It doesn’t ease the hurt done to the families if his accusations are disingenuous. It doesn’t lessen the impact he had on his gullible and paranoid followers. This wasn’t Stephen Colbert-style satire, clearly mocking the lunatic ideas he’s voicing. Even if he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, he wants his audience to believe it, and they do.

As Jones’ ex-wife’s attorney argued in that custody trial (where, by the way, the jury also didn’t buy the whole “performance art” thing), “Mr. Jones is like a cult leader, and we’ve seen the horrific damage cult leaders do to their followers.” A cult leader doesn’t have to believe their own teachings to destroy the lives of their followers. Alex Jones doesn’t have to believe what he’s saying to be held accountable for it.

(via Jezebel, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.