A look at Alex Jones’ decade of deceit on Sandy Hook – New York Daily News
Alex Jones has spent the last decade waging a losing war on information — and now he’s going to pay for it.
The boisterous InfoWars host on Thursday was ordered to shell out $4.1 million to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse died alongside 19 of his classmates and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They’re among more than a dozen people who have said they were subjected to harassment and death threats, triggered by Jones’ claims the shooting at the Newtown school never happened.
Then on Friday, Jones was hit with $45.2 million in punitive damages, leaving him on the hook for nearly $50 million.
Here’s a look at some of the comments he’s made in the 10 years since the classroom carnage unfolded:
A gunman kills his mother inside their Newtown home and then makes his way to Sandy Hook Elementary, where he fatally shoots 26 students, teachers and administrators with an AR-15 before killing himself.
In the immediate aftermath, Jones started sowing seeds of doubt about the massacre during a 50-minute segment on InfoWars.
“It’s more than these dead poor children — you’ve gotta go with your gut, and my gut tells me I’ve never felt this freaked out,” he told viewers. “I really think they’re going to come after our guns and start a civil war.”
Later on in the program he warns against ruling out the possibility the entire massacre had been orchestrated by “the globalists.”
“Don’t ever think the globalists who hijacked this country wouldn’t stage something like this,” the internet personality says. “They kill little kids all day, every day.”
“Let’s start analyzing the incredible lies of (then-President Barack) Obama flying the Newtown families around — on every news channel you’ve seen it,” Jones says before briefly impersonating the former president.
“‘If you care about the families, let’s have sensible, reasonable gun registration, confiscation and make all gun owners felons.’”
He adds with a fake sob, “Oh, the Newtown kids.”
In the same clip, Jones calls the mass shooting “staged” and that it has “inside job written all over it.”
Jones starts floating the idea that news coverage of the carnage, particularly segments from CNN’s Anderson Cooper, were staged to further the narrative of the shooting.
“Folks, we’ve got video of Anderson Cooper with clear blue-screen out there,” he says. “He’s not there in the town square. We got people clearly coming up and laughing and then doing the fake crying. We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts for different people, the building bulldozed, covering up everything.”
Jones later doubles down, claiming: “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying, and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it.”
InfoWars publishes an article titled, “FBI SAYS NO ONE KILLED AT SANDY HOOK.”
“The whole thing is a giant hoax,” Jones says.
“The general public doesn’t know the school was actually closed the year before. They don’t know they’ve sealed it all, demolished the building. They don’t know that they had the kids going in circles in and out of the building as a photo-op. Blue screen, green screens, they got caught using.”
The far-right media personality also takes aim at Obama and blames his administration for the supposed cover-up.
“It took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake,” he says.
Jones calls the Sandy Hook shooting “synthetic, completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids. And it just shows how bold they are that they clearly used actors.”
He continues: “I mean they even ended up using photos of kids killed in mass shootings here in a fake mass shooting in Turkey — so yeah, or Pakistan. The sky is now the limit.”
InfoWars also published an article pushing the latter claim: “SANDY HOOK VICTIM DIES (AGAIN) IN PAKISTAN”
“The more we look at Sandy Hook, I don’t want to believe it’s a false flag. I don’t know if kids really got killed,” he tells his audience.
“But you got green screen with Anderson Cooper where I was watching the video, and the flowers and plants are blowing, some of them, and then they blow again in the same direction. It’s looped! And then his nose disappears. I mean, it’s fake. I mean the whole thing… I don’t know what happened.”
Jones goes on to compare the shooting to “a hologram in Disney World in a haunted house.”
“I don’t know how they do it, but it’s not real,” he says.
Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump appears on InfoWars and tells Jones his “reputation is amazing.”
Jones responds to an open letter penned by Erica Lafferty, whose mother Dawn Hochsprung was the principal at Sandy Hook and was killed in the attack. She requests that then President-elect Trump disavow the right-winger and stop making appearances on his show.
The internet host says his comments about the shooting have been taken “out of context” before going on to push his past talking points.
“We’ve sent reporters up there, man, and that place is like Children of the Corn or something. I mean it is freaking weird,” Jones says of the elementary school. “All I know is something’s going on and you don’t like us looking at it. You don’t like us questioning you.”
Jones publishes a segment titled “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed” in which he accuses grieving parents Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, of being crisis actors. Their son, Noah, was killed in the massacre.
He also rehashes his theory suggesting CNN has used green screens to bolster their so-called phony coverage of the school shooting.
“So here are these holier than thou people, when we question CNN, who is supposedly at the site of Sandy Hook, and they got in one shot leaves blowing, and the flowers that are around it, and you see the leaves blowing, and they go [gestures]. They glitch,” Jones said. “They’re recycling a green screen behind them.”
Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, during an appearance on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” recalled how he “held my son with a bullet hole through his head.”
The interview aired on Father’s Day.
Shortly after the interview aired, InfoWars presenter Owen Shroyer argues Heslin’s claims are “not possible” given the circumstances of the shooting.
“Quite frankly, the father needs to clarify. NBC needs to clarify,” Jones says in reference to the controversy, adding, “You can’t blame people for asking.”
Pozner and De La Rosa file a defamation lawsuit against Jones in Texas, where Jones operates InfoWars. Heslin also files suit, prompting the mother of his son to do the same.
Jones takes to his internet show to respond, saying his lawyers are “very, very confident” they are “frivolous” and “will be thrown out” of court.
“They will be dropped because they have no merit,” Jones adds.
Six more families who lost loved ones in the shooting and an FBI agent that responded to the scene sue Jones in Connecticut. Another two families later follow suit.
Social-media companies, including YouTube and Facebook, begin to remove some of Jones’ content amid a broader effort to curb misinformation. His YouTube channel for InfoWars had 2 million subscribers before it was booted off the platform.
Jones, in a deposition recorded as part of a defamation case brought by some of the families, claims he had a “form of psychosis” that caused him to question whether certain events like the Sandy Hook mass shootings were staged.
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“And I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’m now learning a lot of times things aren’t staged,” Jones says in a clip released by a Texas law firm representing some of the families.
Jones is found liable in the first defamation cases filed against him in Texas.
A superior court judge in Connecticut also rules Jones is liable by default in a defamation lawsuit brought by the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victim.
The Sandy Hook families reject Jones’ settlement offer of $120,000 for each of the 19 people the courts concluded he defamed. The offer served as an effort to avoid trials in both Texas and Connecticut aimed at determining how much he will pay in damages.
Jones admits the Sandy Hook shooting did in fact happen during testimony at a defamation trial in Texas.
“It’s 100% real,” the right-wing host testified.
The InfoWars host was ordered by an Austin, Texas, jury to pay nearly $50 million total to Lewis and Heslin for the phony claims he has made about the shooting over the last decade.