Saturday, April 21, 2018

About Damn Time

Poor Alex Jones! After years of bullshit over the "Sandy Hook Truthers," he finally is being sued by the parents who had to endure death threat after death threat along with the insinuation that their murdered children never existed. As a parent I find it hard to imagine much that would be more awful, and it's also clear that Jones giving a platform to a bunch of crazies is the whole reason the harassment existed. So as I see it, Jones is entirely responsible. Whether or not he personally defamed the families, which appears to be his defense, it should not have been hard to figure out that this is what some of his listeners were going to do. He's never even come out and forcefully denounced those people either - rather, the only real pushback he gave is essentially that he wasn't sure.

The InfoWars host is being sued for defamation by Neil Heslin, the father of 6-year-old victim Jesse Heslin, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, who lost their six-year-old son Noah, for $1 million each over his conspiracy theories and “vicious lies” surrounding the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Responding to the lawsuits on his show, the controversial broadcaster denied that he ever believed the shooting was faked and 20 children were not killed there.

“You’re allowed to question things in America, that’s not defamation,” Jones said. “But what is defamation is to file lawsuits that say I said things I didn’t say and then put me and my whole family through the ringer and lie about us and hold us up against dead children and say basically ‘we hate their families, we hate the children.' It’s almost like I’ve murdered the children and that’s not what happened.”

Alex Jones of speaks during a rally in support of Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18, 2016. The InfoWars host is being sued for defamation by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. Jones added suggestions of him saying the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax was merely him playing “devil’s advocate.” He told his listeners: “We looked at it, and I don’t think the thing was a hoax.

“The media jumped on it, they exasperated it, they faked some locations, they did some things in the aftermath… but the new hoax is that I’m saying they’re crisis actors and it didn’t happen. My listeners said a lot of them look like they’re acting, we looked at it and I said ‘I can’t say that’—that’s what I’ve always said.”

Here's the thing. I have no idea whether Jones really thought he was "playing devil's advocate" when he gave one of the stupidest conspiracy theories ever air time. May be he thought "I can't say that" constituted a denial, when to any reasonable person it means "I'm not sure." But the reality is, this family got death threat after death threat and was harassed for years by his crazy listeners who were convinced that their murdered son never existed. To me, as a parent, that's absolutely despicable and Jones deserves to be sued into oblivion over even allowing those claims on his show without pointing out how dumb they are.

I am aware that both government and the media politicize mass shootings. There's nothing controversial about that. But there's a mass shooting every couple of days - and, the frequency of them is DOWN from an all-time high in the early 1990's. Before the Columbine shooting, media outlets refused to report on school shootings because they feared that it would encourage copycats. But Columbine was too big a story to ignore especially in the early days of widespread Internet use, and once they saw the ratings it was all over. Now they've upped their coverage, making it feel like more of them are happening.

So that means two things about Sandy Hook. First, the government had no reason to fake a school shooting. They get another one to politicize every couple of days. Second, if the government wanted to make a school shooting happen, it wouldn't have been that hard for intelligence assets to manipulate Adam Lanza into doing it. He suffered from serious mental illness and was a gun nut. The key point is that it would have been WAY easier to manipulate this one dangerous guy with access to a lot of weapons than to put together this ridiculous thing with actors and the like that the "Sandy Hook Truthers" were on about.

So there is absolutely no plausible scenario in which (A) these kids never existed, (B) these kids weren't killed, or (C) that their parents were somehow in on the plot - even if the government had some role in manipulating Lanza into carrying out a shooting, which in turn makes no sense because these things happen all the time and the government would never have any need to manufacture one. THAT is the point Jones needed to make, and make forcefully, if he was going to give these nutters a platform to spout their ridiculous theories to a bunch of other nutters. The fact that he didn't, and that he didn't outright condemn the people harassing these families, is why he's getting sued - and why he deserves to lose.

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