Friday, August 05, 2022


As you know, a jury in Texas ordered Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million to parents of a Sandy Hook shooting victim who've experienced years of harassment since the massacre, largely because Jones repeatedly referred to the shooting as a hoax and the parents as crisis actors. This doesn't seem like much when you learn that Jones got $8 million in bitcoin in a month from an anonymous benefactor this past spring. (Who was the giver? Peter Thiel? That heiress to the Publix supermarket fortune whose donation to the January 6 rally was facilitated by Jones?)

Punitive damages are still to be awarded, but they're unlikely to be much more:

Jones sells more than $50 million worth of Infowars merchandise a year. He can handle this. It won't make him stop. A couple more trials of this kind won't stop him either, unless the verdicts are far more punitive.

I'm not even feeling much schadenfreude at the news that Jones's texts, which were mistakenly released to the plaintiffs' lawyers in this trial, will now go to House January 6 investigators. Will there really be anything relevant to the investigation that the committee hasn't seen? As The New York Times notes:
Even though Mr. Jones refused to share information with the committee, he said the investigators seemed to have found ways around his lack of cooperation. He said the committee had already obtained text messages from him.

“They have everything that’s already on my phones and things,” he said. “I saw my text messages” with political organizers tied to the Jan. 6 rally.
Maybe I'm underestimating the possible consequences for Jones, but for now he's still the same scumbag he's always been. He's not chastened. He's performatively chastened. I watched a Jones clip made in response to the verdict and he's still the cult leader/narcissist/domestic abuser he's always been. Here it is, if you can bear it.

His monologue starts at 1:33. (If the video isn't working, go here or here.

He says he's still the victim of the usual enemies -- and therefore so are his fans:
The Democratic Party, the entire corporate media, lined up against Infowars and the American people's free speech.
He's still portraying the trial as a mockery of justice:
The judge more than twenty times in the last week and a half in Austin, Texas, told the jury, while I was there in the courtroom and was on national TV, that Alex Jones is guilty.
Yes -- last October you were found liable (the correct word isn't "guilty") because you persistently defied the court:
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble in Austin, home of Infowars, entered default judgments against Jones, Infowars and other defendants for what she called their “flagrant bad faith and callous disregard” of court orders to turn over documents to the parents’ lawyers.
As the video goes on, Jones claims a great victory because the plaintiffs' lawyers asked for much more in damages than the plaintiffs will receive. And this is where, in the clip, Jones starts to seem like a domestic abuser. As if he's apologizing for a beating without actually acknowledging that he administered it, Jones now embraces the notion that what he said about Sandy Hook was wrong -- and claims that he was misled. He's the victim as much as the parents are.
I admitted I was wrong. I admitted I made a mistake. I admitted that I followed disinformation, but not on purpose. I apologized to the families, and the jury understood that. What I did to those families was wrong, but I didn't do it on purpose.
Where is this going? Jones is sorting the trial participants into two categories. The parents are good. The judge is bad -- but so are the parents' lawyers.
... the plaintiffs' lawyers got upset in the courtroom, and according to multiple witnesses were screaming and yelling at my lawyers, Joe and Andino, when they were in the hall. They thought they would get hundreds of millions of dollars we don't have. They thought they would shut us down.
Then, later:
... they use these families as pawns. The families come over and shook my hand and hugged me and really woke up to the fact that they'd been manipulated. And their own lawyers went [snaps fingers] like they were dogs: "Get over here and stop talking to him!" On video!
And here's where you learn that the barrel has no bottom:
I told, and my lawyer told, that jury, I said, "Listen, we want to pay for their psychological stuff, we want to take care of problems, we didn't cause all of it, but we want to step up and prove that and do that." And Scarlett Lewis [the mother of the dead child] has a beautiful organization called Choose Love that isn't about gun control, isn't about liberal and conservative, it's about teaching children love and compassion so they're not hateful, so they're not satanic, so they don't kill people, and I have invited Scarlett Lewis on my show. We're going to email her organization. If I see her tomorrow during the punitive phase, I'm going to shake her hand and give her my number, and I am going to gladly have her on my show next week, and I'm going to raise money for her organization on top of the big judgment, because she's a real lady, she lost her child, and I'm not going to let these people misrepresent what I said and did anymore, and claim that I'm the Sandy Hook man. This is a beautiful time, it's a great time, and the trial lawyers, the ambulance chasers, lost, America and the First Amendment won, and the poor parents that went through so much, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, they have won as well.
The parents, to Jones, are people who "went through so much" as a result of ... what? Surely nothing he did! He's not "the Sandy Hook man"!

He's brutalized them and now he's trying to seduce them. It's not pure DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender) -- he's denying guilt, he's attacking the judge, he's playing the victim (I've spared you transcripts of Jones's deceitful whining about bankruptcy), but he's not claiming the parents are the offenders. Instead, he's saying their lawyers are the offenders. They're "ambulance chasers"! They want to make him out to be the bad guy!

Jones's narcissist brain is still churning. He's still selling. (In the clip he lists many fine Infowars products viewers might especially want to buy now, in his time of great need.) He's still bargaining. It upsets me because, while I'm not the kind of person who responds to it, he clearly is telegenic and charismatic in a pro-wrestling, broadcast-evangelist way. He's still good at this. He's not going to stop being this Alex Jones until circumstances make it impossible for him to continue. And this judgment isn't going to accomplish that.

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