Conspiracy theorist and “Infowars” host Alex Jones is defending the false Sandy Hook narrative he’s been pushing by comparing himself to The Washington Post reporters who broke the notorious Watergate scandal during Richard Nixon's presidency.
Jones has been embroiled in a defamation lawsuit filed by the families of some of the victims killed in the 2012 Connecticut shooting because he repeatedly called the massacre a hoax. In written arguments filed on Friday, Jones used his absurd comparison in an attempt to have the case dismissed, CBS News reports.
"Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein relied on allegations from 'Deep Throat' to link the Nixon Administration to the Watergate break-in," his lawyers wrote in filing for a dismissal. "Such journalism, questioning official narratives, would be chilled if reporters were subject to liability if they turned out to be wrong.”
Now that Jones claims he believes the shooting was real, he is trying everything in his power not to be held accountable for his previous remarks questioning the shooting and labeling the grieving parents as crisis actors.
The problem with Jones walking back his claims now is that it’s simply too late. His rhetoric led to years of relentless harassment and torment of the victims’ families by his followers.
"The First Amendment simply does not protect false statements about the parents of one of the worst tragedies in our nation's history," said Bill Bloss, an attorney who represents the families. "Any effort by any of the defendants to avoid responsibility for the harm that they have inflicted will be unsuccessful."
The plaintiffs include the parents of four of the slain children — Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, Ben Wheeler, and Avielle Richman — as well as relatives of two murdered educators, Principal Dawn Hochsprung and first-grade teacher Victoria Soto. Additionally, one of the first responders, FBI agent William Aldenberg, is named as a plaintiff.
The amount the families are seeking is undisclosed, but the total includes monetary and punitive damages and attorney fees, among other costs.
Jones is also facing separate lawsuits filed in Texas where his “Infowars” media company is located. Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, the parents of victim Noah Pozner, and Neil Heslin, the father of victim Jesse Lewis, filed separate lawsuits of their own seeking over $1 million in damages.
Along with Jones, former police officer Wolfgang Halbig is named as a defendant. He appeared as a regular guest on Jones’ show, tossing around his theories about the shooting and questioning the chain of events. Although he has clarified that he believes people died in the shooting, he said he also believes there are some discrepancies in the official story that authorities won’t clear up.
Jones suggested that he has a constitutional right to have people like Halbig on his show and is not responsible for their own views and opinions.
"To stifle the press (by making them liable for merely interviewing people who have strange theories) will simply turn this human tragedy into a Constitutional one," his attorneys wrote.
Sorry to break it to Jones, but his integrity — or lack thereof — could never compare to that of real journalists. It was a nice try, but the courts will likely see right through his excuses and attempts to backpedal.