Surprise! Far-Right Creeps Are Defending Alex Jones, Generally Losing It

“No matter what you think of Alex Jones, all he did was speak words. He was not the one who pulled the trigger.”
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InfoWars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media outside Waterbury Superior Court during his trial on September 21, 2022 in Waterbury, Connecticut. (Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

Within minutes of a Connecticut jury ordering conspiracist Alex Jones to pay $965 million for calling the Sandy Hook mass shooting a “total hoax” and causing a decade of emotional distress and harassment for the victims’ families, his supporters on the far right were defending his actions and saying the court’s decision was an attack on their First Amendment rights.

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“No matter what you think of Alex Jones, all he did was speak words. He was not the one who pulled the trigger. Were his words wrong and did he apologize? Yes. That’s what freedom of speech is. Freedom to speak words. Political persecution must end.”

This was the argument tweeted out by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who, despite her extremist views, has become an increasingly prominent figure in the mainstream Republican Party in recent months. Greene’s stance should come as no surprise given that she has in the past publicly berated Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg, calling him a “coward.”

Erica Leslie Lafferty, the daughter of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the Sandy Hook principal who was killed in the 2012 shooting, responded to Greene’s tweet, asking the Georgia lawmaker: “Did you also miss him doubling down saying that the shooting did look ‘synthetic’ - AS WE WERE IN COURT FOR THIS TRIAL?!”

Nick Fuentes, the leader of the far-right America First movement, defended Jones on his nightly show, calling the ruling “absurd” and saying that because Infowars was “news,” whatever Jones said on the show was protected by Jones’ right to free speech.

He then floated a conspiracy that the ruling was part of some deep-state plan to bring down Jones’ media empire.

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Mike Cernovich, the far-right provocateur and prominent promoter of the Pizzagate conspiracy, also defended Jones’ right to harass and abuse the families of the Sandy Hook victims by citing the First Amendment.

“Alex Jones killed no one,” Cernovich tweeted. “He apologized for his erroneous reports, of which there weren’t many. Nevertheless, in a trial where he wasn’t allowed to defend himself on free speech grounds, he’s now being ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Stalin’s ghost has returned.”

While the First Amendment does indeed protect citizens’ right to freedom of speech, that protection does not extend to defamatory or false statements, and Jones’ statements on the Sandy Hook massacre were so obviously false and malicious that they fell well outside the bounds of First Amendment protections.

Jones has claimed he no longer believes the shooting was “a total hoax,” which he did more than a dozen times on his show, but as recently as last week, during the trial, he called the massacre “synthetic” and called the trial “rigged.”

Throughout this trial and a previous one in August, where a Texas jury ruled that he and Infowars should pay a combined total of $49.3 million, the conspiracist has claimed his free speech has been violated.

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“If questioning public events and free speech is banned because it might hurt somebody’s feelings, we are not in America anymore,” Jones said during his deposition for the Texas trial. 

But as the lawyers for the defendants pointed out: “Speech is free, but lies you have to pay for.”

Despite the almost $1 billion judgment against him, Jones continued to make his free speech argument while broadcasting on his Infowars show as the verdict was being handed down.

Then he suggested that what had happened to him could soon be happening to everyone else.

“They want to scare everybody away from freedom and scare everybody away from questioning Uvalde and whatever happened there,” Jones told his audience, before instantly switching to shilling his vitamin supplements and asking for “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in donations to drag the legal process out for several more years.

“Now they’re coming after your free speech, now they’re coming after your right to listen to what you want and to hear what you want.”

And it wasn’t just prominent GOP lawmakers and right-wing talking heads who were listening to Jones’ arguments. Members of far-right forums and message boards populated by extremists who have repeatedly made violent threats against law enforcement and other officials echoed Jones’ talking points, and quickly turned his free speech defense into a battle cry.

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“Now is the time to stand for free speech, people,” a user on the rabidly pro-Trump forum TheDonald wrote. “The attack on Alex Jones is an attack on YOU who support freedom. Do not forget they are communists attacking people who disagree with them. They came after Alex Jones to try and make an example out of him. It’s not Alex Jones they are after. It’s you. Be the warrior and make your voices even LOUDER. If one falls may 10 more rise and take their place. Alex Jones proved that one voice is enough to make sleeping giants wake up.”

Members of the same forum repeated the lie that Sandy Hook was a hoax, goading the authorities to “sue me.” Some members claimed that the decision would result in a widespread shutdown of free speech and predicted a wave of similar lawsuits against other far-right figures.

On Telegram, users baselessly claimed the ruling was undermining their right to freedom of speech.

“This is an unwarranted attack on free speech. I swear to God we’re living in a madhouse,” one user wrote, while another called the jury’s decision “such an egregious violation of the first amendment.” 

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