How bad was Alex Jones’ week in court?
It was bad. He was caught lying under oath about his previous lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
And he discovered that his lawyers had accidentally given every one of his text messages and emails to the lawyers for the families he slandered.
And he was ordered to pay one of those families nearly $50 million in total damages (though that number could change).
It was an extraordinary record. And that’s probably just the beginning.
You know what perjury is, don’t you? one of the lawyers asked Jones.
Indeed, he does.
It is also a reminder that in today’s conservative movement, insanity is not just tolerated but encouraged.
But Jones’ very bad week should also be a teachable moment. Of course, this is a television example of pure schadenfreude. But it’s also a reminder that in today’s conservative movement, insanity is not just tolerated but encouraged. Because Jones is toxic, anti-government conspiracy theories have slowly but surely seeped into political waters. Things that would have been dismissed 10 years ago are now being repeated in the halls of Congress. And of course, former President Donald Trump is in the middle of it all.
For decades, Jones has weaponized and monetized conspiracy theories, fake outrage, lies and paranoia. He and his website have advanced theories that 9/11 was an inside job, suggesting the government may also be behind the Oklahoma City bombings, which killed 168 people, and the Boston Marathon. , who killed three. Jones claimed the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a deep state false flag operation designed to start a civil war. He told his followers that the mass murder at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado was a false flag, mind control event. The Columbine school shootings were 100% false flag, as were the attacks in Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas and San Bernardino, California.
In his post-truth world, Jones accused the government of planning to use chemicals to make people gay, saying: I have the government documents where they say they’re going to encourage homosexuality. with chemicals so that people don’t have children.
And, of course, he lied about the kids shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He now admits that attack was 100% real. But that wasn’t the story he peddled for years.
sand hook [was] synthetic, completely false, with actors, in my opinion, said Jones in a clip released to the jury this week. Made. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors, they clearly are, but I thought they killed real kids. And it shows how bold they are, they clearly used actors, I mean they even ended up using photos of children killed in mass shootings in a fake mass shooting in Turkey . Or, uh, Pakistan.
The pain he inflicted on the families of the murdered children was unimaginable. The grieving parents have been subjected to years of threats, insults and intimidation.
But, for Jones, there were few negative consequences. Rather, he thrived in the growing bubble of alternate reality where he could drive the political narrative, independent of fact-checkers. Instead of being shunned or marginalized, Jones found lying to be a lucrative business model that leads to fame and political clout. According to his own leaked text messages, at times Jones claimed he made $800,000 a day.
But more importantly, as his audience grew, Jones’ conspiracy theories were amplified by others in the right-wing media ecosystem. And he was a major player in the rise of Donald Trump. Here, the worlds of mainstream politics, MAGA bigotry, and fringe conspiracy theory begin to collide.
As his audience grew, Jones’ conspiracy theories were amplified by others in the right-wing media ecosystem.
Your reputation is amazing, I won’t let you down, Trump told Jones during a December 2015 appearance. Trump’s pal Roger Stone called the conspiracy theorist the most prominent voice in alternative conservative media and a valuable asset that will rally the people around President Trump’s legislative agenda.
The Monday following his election victory, the president-elect called Jones to thank him for his campaign support and promised Jones he would return to his show, a promise the Washington Post called an extraordinary gesture for a new president. whose calendar is filled with calls from world leaders and the daunting task of overseeing the transition.
But this week, Alex Jones found himself in court, where the lies finally caught up with him. And when it happened, the karma was breathtaking.
This is your Perry Mason moment, a surprised Jones said after being confronted with incriminating texts and emails about Sandy Hook in open court.
The reprimand from the judge presiding over the trial was only slightly less dramatic.
You must tell the truth while you testify, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble told Jones. It’s not your show. You need to slow down and not take what you see as opportunities to advance the message you want to get across and instead only answer the specific and exact questions you’ve been asked, she said.
When Jones attempted to argue that he believed he was telling the truth, Gamble clarified the difference between an alternate reality media world and a court. In the law, she told him, the truth was actually a real thing.
You believe everything you say is true, but it’s not, she told him pointedly. Just because you claim something is true doesn’t make it true. It does not protect you. It is not allowed. You are under oath.
It was, by all accounts, a heartwarming moment.
Sadly, however, his dramatic downfall does not spell the end of Jones’ now much more common mark of political paranoia.
Jones now owes millions in damages. And it can even get worse. The Jan. 6 committee will issue subpoenas and Jones, a serial liar, could also face perjury charges. Other law enforcement officials are likely to express interest in the content of his phone.
Sadly, however, his dramatic fall does not mean the end of Jones’ now much more common mark of political paranoia. The right-wing media, encouraged by the former president himself, has grown accustomed to big lies and doomsday conspiracy theories. Dangerous and blatantly false theories about voter fraud and the Deep State are now commonplace.
Dozens, if not hundreds of impersonators, scammers and background eaters are ready to take its place. But his successors should be very attentive to the fate of Alex Jones.
It can give them insight into their own future.
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