Alex Jones has built a career on lying. This week, in a courtroom in Texas, he has met with a reckoning. Eugene Robinson writes:
The far-right radio host’s trial in an Austin courtroom has been almost enough to restore my faith in truth, justice and the American way. Jurors have been determining how much of his likely nine-figure fortune he must pay to the parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook school massacre for defaming them and their late son. Jones’s wildly successful business model has been based on concocting outrageous lies and shouting them at the top of his lungs to millions of listeners. But that does not work so well, it turns out, in a court of law.
“You are already under oath to tell the truth,” Judge Maya Guerra Gamble admonished him. “You’ve already violated that oath twice today. ... Just because you claim to think something is true does not make it true. It does not protect you. It is not allowed. You’re under oath. That means things must actually be true when you say them.”
Like Donald Trump, Jones has made a fortune from a Big Lie:
What Jones did was unspeakably vile: He claimed repeatedly — and falsely, with absolutely no factual basis, since none exists — that the 2012 Sandy Hook killings never happened at all, that they were some kind of “false flag” operation that was “a giant hoax,” and that the 20 dead children ripped to pieces by rounds from an assault rifle were nothing but “crisis actors.”
Yesterday, the jury fined Jones $4.1 million. But that's just the beginning. They will now determine how much Jones owes in punitive damages.
The way to shut up people like Jones is to make lying very expensive. By the time the legal system is finished with him, Jones literally won't have a pot to piss in.