'Despicable lies': WaPo Editorial Board admonishes Alex Jones after Sandy Hook verdict
The Washington Post editorial board is offering a relatively critical assessment of InfoWars host Alex Jones in the wake of the unfavorable verdict he received for the lawsuit filed against him by family members of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.
The board began with a harrowing look at what really transpired on the day of the deadly shooting. "Try to imagine the horror of your six-year-old son gunned down at school. Think about what you would feel as you sat in a local firehouse and waited for hours to learn of your child’s fate," the board wrote. Try to envision holding the body of your son, a bullet in his head."
The editorial board went on to offer an in-depth view of the aftermath and the added layer of suffering Jones and other conspiracy theorists may have caused with their own baseless claims about what may have transpired.
"Then imagine what it would be like, as you are grieving, to have lies spread about your child’s murder — that the shooting never happened, that it was an elaborate hoax and you were an actor playing a role in a government plot to advance gun control," the board wrote, adding, "And think what it would be like to be hounded, harassed and threatened by zealots pushing unhinged conspiracy theories."
Offering an assessment of the civil trial, the editorial board explained how the plaintiffs' legal teams laid out a case to detail the damaging extent of the conspiracy theories and falsehoods circulated by Jones:
Testimony during the civil trial left no doubt of Mr. Jones’s mendacity. During harsh cross-examination of Mr. Jones on Wednesday, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents revealed that Mr. Jones’s lawyer had accidentally sent the plaintiff’s counsel two years of data from Mr. Jones’s cellphone, including emails and text messages that showed Mr. Jones had apparently perjured himself during sworn testimony.
Weighing in on the verdict and punitive damage amount Jones will have to pay, the news outlet notes that while it is nowhere near the $150 million the plaintiffs requested, it is far more than Jones initially suggested that they deserve.
"The $4.1 million is far less than the $150 million sought by the parents, but much more than the $8 recommended by Mr. Jones. The truth is that no amount of money can compensate for what Mr. Heslin described to the jury as the “living hell” that has been made of their lives. What is important is that Mr. Jones has been called to account, in an indictment of today’s culture in which the spread of misinformation is tolerated and even encouraged."
Mark Bankston —a lawyer for Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, the parents of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis— put Jones' actions into perspective with his opening statement. “Speech is free, but lies you have to pay for,” he said.
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