Comment from Peter Saxon.
In 1999, five years before the advent of Facebook, U.S. ultra-conservative radio talk host and conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones was sacked from KJFK-FM for refusing to broaden his topics. His views, according to the station’s operations manager, were making the show hard to sell to advertisers. Jones, needing both an income and platform for his diatribes went online to start InfoWars: “There’s a war on for your mind.” InfoWars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems LLC mocks the meaning its name conveys.
The name Jones chose, InfoWars, could not have been more prophetic and more apt as the damaging war between Truth and Lies – that threatens democracy itself – rages in America today.
In the information war Jones, has been a loyal soldier for the Lies side all his working life. With his job description of “Conspiracy Theorist” he sees it as his duty to create “alternative facts” to the actual facts presented in the MSM – which, in parroting Donald Trump, he paints as “fake news” while purporting his Lies as Truth. That’s what Jones does for a living – a very handsome living at that.
Jones makes up lies that undermine his listeners’ confidence in government, the justice system and other institutions which, in turn, sows doubt over the veracity of the pillars of democracy such as freedom of speech, free and fair elections and the rule of law.
He fires up his listeners to a frenzy by convincing them that “they” (The Left, the Democrats, The Deep State, Antifa, Black Lives Matter the “woke” non-Christians and lizard paedophiles) are the enemy, coming to take away “your” freedoms (You being the God fearing gun toting, white Christian patriots who love America). This is the language that secures P1 listeners and cult followers that reportedly spend some 60 million USD (86.8m AUD) per year buying merchandise and vitamin supplements from the InfoWars site.
Last week Truth won a decisive battle in the information war over Alex Jones’ Lies.
Jones lost a long-running defamation case brought against him by the parents of a child who was gunned down in December 2012, when a deranged gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children aged around six and seven at The Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones was ordered to pay a massive $US 49.3 million ($AU 71.3mil) in compensation and punitive damages.
Soon after the massacre, Alex Jones took it upon himself to create an alternative reality by telling his audience that the whole event was a massive hoax, staged by the ‘deep state’ to undermine their second amendment right to bear arms. “No one died at Sandy Hook,” Jones insisted. According to him, the kids, the parents, the teachers and even the gunman were all “crisis actors” hired to make it look like a genuine school shooting.
Of course, as Jones would have it, the mainstream media was either in on the conspiracy or sucked in by it. But not InfoWars and Alex whose listeners could rely upon to tell them the “truth” or, at least, tell them what they wanted to hear – which to Alex is pretty much one and the same, even if it is based on a pack of lies masquerading as truth.
Now, gentle reader, please take a deep breath and think for a moment – put yourself in the shoes of these hapless parents. How would you feel, having lost your precious six-year-old innocent son or daughter to a madman with a gun at a school that you thought was a safe place? The grief, the helplessness, the absurdity and injustice of it all would be overwhelming – virtually impossible to deal with. And just when you would be entitled to think that things could not possibly get worse, along comes another madman – this time, not with a gun, but a megaphone and an army of followers, who believe every word this grub spouts, telling you and them that the child you buried is still alive and that you and they are not victims but crisis actors in service of ‘the gumment that’s comin’ to git yo guns’.
You’d think that these parents could at least ignore Jones and simply avoid watching or listening to InfoWars. But no, for almost a decade, their lives were made a living hell, mercilessly harassed and trolled by Jones’ followers.
In his summation, attorney Mark Bankston, acting for the parents, told the court, “We do not (in The Constitution) protect defamation or false speech. The speech is free. The lies, you have to pay for.”