Alex Jones: The Rise and Fall – Part 4

September 30, 2022

Alex Jones’ sphere of influence on the fringe alt-right conspiracy theorists couldn’t be measured after he dropped this bombshell theory. Lenny Ponzer and Veronique De La Rosa were told for years their child, Noah, didn’t die at Sandy Hook on that fateful December day. Conspiracy theorists labeled Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6 year-old Jesse Lewis, as a crisis actor being used by the federal government. Neil Heslen, Jesse’s father, claimed Jones’s supporters fired upon his house. For almost a decade, Alex Jones created a living nightmare for the parents brave enough to stand up to him. Thankfully, it was only a matter of time before his world came crashing down as well.

In July, 2018, Alex Jones was banned from Youtube along with the InfoWars channel. Facebook, Twitter, Apple Music, and Spotify followed shortly after. In the span of a month, the  Alex Jones InfoWars media conglomerate halted. In 2020, InfoWars was removed from Google Play for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. Late in 2021, the Sandy Hook parents fought back against Alex Jones, and the defamation lawsuits came pouring in.

In 2021, a coalition of 13 Sandy Hook parents filed a lawsuit against Alex Jones. The parents involved included the aforementioned Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslen. In October 2021, Alex Jones was found liable in some defamation suits in Connecticut. Almost a year later (July 2022) after 19 people denied his $120,000 payout, the trial for Alex Jones began in Austin, Texas. It didn’t take long for Jones to crack.

“It’s 100% real,” Alex Jones muttered into a courtroom microphone on August 3rd, 2022, ending almost a decade of lies. As Wesley Ball, an attorney for the parents, said to the jury, Send the message to those who desire to do the same: Speech is free. Lies, you pay for.” Jones initially had to pay 4.52 million dollars to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslen, a payment he called “a victory.” A few days later, punitive damages put the sum at nearly 50 million dollars to the families. However, the trial is still ongoing, and the parents have repeatedly stated they will not stop until Alex Jones is drained of cash. 

In the wake of the Alex Jones ruling, Americans have opened up to a very interesting debate regarding the validity of free speech. That after all was the focal point of the defense for Alex Jones. His First Amendment right as an American is the right to free speech, that’s the beauty of living in the land of the free, no? Here’s the catch: abusing the right to free speech is a danger. It’s why America still in the 21st century has extremists marching around the streets of Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us.” It’s why America had to quell the looting and rioting during the George Floyd protest. It’s why election deniers were led astray so much so that a faction of them raided the Capital building. It’s why we have people who vandalize art and buildings in the name of climate activism. The abuse of any constitutional right is similar to abusing any substance. Abuse alcohol or drugs, and your body will fight against you. Abuse the right to free speech and endanger dozens of traumatized people, and society will fight against you. That is what Alex Jones did for a decade, and his reign of terror is coming to a needed end. 

 

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