Alex Jones “is a carnival barker, up there with a dog and pony show, and he’s profiting. He’s profiting off of the lies he tells…. It needs to come to an end; there needs to be consequences for the lies that he’s told.”
Conservative wingnut Alex Jones has been widely criticized for years for propagating conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members.
Jones has claimed for years that mass shootings are false flag operations engineered by gun control advocates, in particular stating that “no one died” in Sandy Hook. He has lashed out at family members of victims of the 2012 gun massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; and most recently he has accused Stoneman Douglas High School survivor David Hogg of being a crisis actor. [A claim that was rated “Pants on Fire” by Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking organization PolitiFact]
The time to put his money where his mouth is arrived last week when three parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones.
The New York Times reported that:
Mr. Jones, the popular radio show host who also operates the conspiracy theory website Infowars, has questioned for years whether 20 children and six adults died in the school massacre in Newtown, Conn. To bolster his false claims, he often cites news reports and video clips from the hours after the shooting that turned out to be incomplete or based on wrong information.
Soon after they buried their children, many Sandy Hook parents started to come under fierce attack by conspiracy theorists who have said they are actors in an elaborate scheme to enact stricter gun control laws. The fringe theories still thrive in small forums online but have reached a far greater audience through Mr. Jones, the most vocal propagator.
The two lawsuits filed on Tuesday represent the first civil action taken by parents accusing Mr. Jones of defamation. One was filed by Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, and the other was filed by Neil Heslin. Their sons, Noah Pozner and Jesse Heslin, both 6, were killed at Sandy Hook.
Neil Heslin penned an op-ed piece for NBC News titled: “Alex Jones has profited off the lies he told about me. He needs to face the consequences.”
He began, writing:
I’m suing Alex Jones for accountability and responsibility; he just can’t go around spreading false propaganda. There are laws against defamation for a reason.
The lies that he’s told about me, as part of his effort to portray the tragedy at Sandy Hook as a hoax or conspiracy, are disrespectful to me. But his larger efforts are also a disrespect to my son, a disrespect to the first responders who were so dedicated there that day, a disrespect to the FBI, a disrespect to the state police and a disrespect to the entire community in Newtown. The lies that Alex Jones continues to peddle about that day — saying that it never happened — affects them emotionally, too.
Continuing, Heslin discussed Jones’ craving for attention and the fame and fortune it brings:
I understand that lot of people distrust our government, and that there is a lot of paranoia in this country. Alex Jones fuels that fire: He’s a carnival barker, up there with a dog and pony show, and he’s profiting. He’s profiting off of the lies he tells…
Honestly, though, he’ll latch onto any big tragedy, because he feeds off the news attention that any event got. Parkland had a lot of news attention; he jumped right on that. Sandy Hook, he jumped right on that. The whole election thing, he jumped right on that.
Heslin concluded, writing:
It needs to come to an end; there needs to be consequences for the lies that he’s told. The fact that he’s profiting off of these tragedies and our losses, it makes the lies even worse. It feels like his business model is to make a stupid statement and win a stupid prize.
My lawsuit has nothing to do with a political agenda: It’s simply about his wrongdoing and the false statements he’s made….
Alex Jones could make this lawsuit go away, and he knows what he’s got to do: Tell the whole truth, make an unconditional apology, shut his mouth about it it and move on. It hasn’t happened yet. We’ll see if it does.