Justice isn’t dead for the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre. On Friday, Connecticut’s Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Alex Jones, the infamous conspiracy theorist who falsely claimed the shooting was an elaborate government hoax, must allow the families access to internal documents from his InfoWars studio in their defamation lawsuit.
Following objections by Jones and his several affiliated companies, the judge ultimately decided that Jones must present all documents requested by the plaintiffs during the “discovery phase” of the trial. The legal victory serves a serious blow to the online trade of pervasive conspiracy theorist from which InfoWars garnered their cult success, allowing the victims the chance to review letters, memos, emails and text messages confirming the business and marketing strategies of the brand and their coverage of the shooting, according to a statement published by The New York Times.
The InfoWars coverage was undeniably a rambled mess involving accusations of underage crisis actors, government operatives, unspecified hush money payments to the families and a secret plot to “take the guns” and put innocent right-wing Americans “into FEMA camps”. In reality, Jones’ unwittingly humorous ramblings smeared the names of five children and three adults murdered by a rifle-toting gunman. Speaking to an audience of over 3 million YouTube subscribers, the baseless rants soon resulted in continued “physical confrontation, harassment, death threats, and a sustained barrage of harassment and verbal assault on social media” from his audience directed at families and friends of Sandy Hook victims.
“[The Sandy Hook victims and families] have confronted strange individuals videotaping them and their children. Some have moved to undisclosed locations to avoid this harassment,” the suit reads. “From the beginning, we have alleged that Alex Jones and his financial network trafficked in lies and hate in order to profit from the grief of Sandy Hook families,” added Chris Mattei, a lawyer representing the families, in another statement provided on Friday. “That is what we intend to prove, and today’s ruling advances our effort.”
To put it mildly, for the humble water-filter merchant that is Alex Jones, the jig is up. The suit argues the company’s peddling of outlandishly bogus stories, presented by an admitted over-the-top fake persona embodied by Jones, contributed to noteworthy rises in sales of their product line which includes survivalist gear, defective and dangerously unregulated dietary supplements and, of course, firearm equipment. After all, who better to use as gun market exploitation than the very victims of their chaotic use?
Despite Jones’ loony public image, spreading immoral conspiracy isn’t exactly a foolish business strategy. According to a Times investigation conducted over the last year, the revenue of InfoWars often came from the products being lobbied across these broadcasts. While Jones whored his product line towards his red-blooded-Republican base during the breaks, the primary content of the broadcast would craft absurdist supply-demand narratives where the only choice was to nut and load up, or face death at the hand of the enemy, namely vampire pedophile Democrats. This narrative ultimately cultivated an income of more than $20 million a year in profits, according to Jones.
“If they want a stage to dispute the hoax theory, they have numerous media outlets to choose from; the judicial system is not that stage,” said Marc Randazza, a lawyer for Jones, who released a motion during the week standing on First Amendment grounds. “The only thing this litigation can accomplish is to force defendants to expend unnecessary fees in defence of their right to freedom of speech. The allegation that he somehow spun up a harassment campaign against the [Sandy Hook] parents is a lie.”
This is considerably ironic given the whole scandal surrounds the racket of selling lies for millions on cheap products. The defamation lawsuit even specifically states what Jones pushed was a “monstrous, unspeakable lie” against multiple entities in the name of an incoherent political agenda, and easy illegal, personal enrichment. In our previous article, we explained why Jones’ numerous defamation scandals did not qualify for freedom of speech protections, given his consistent unethical record of unverifiable statistics, falsely attributed motivations and outright character assassination resulting in harassment campaigns directed at people and public groups, with real-world consequences.
Now, thanks to this judicial ruling, the surviving victims and families will seek justice over Jones’ perversion of the free press. Jones faces one other defamation lawsuit launched by Sandy Hook parents in Texas.
A word of alternative advice for Mr. Jones: McDonalds is always hiring.