Alex Jones is a vile cult leader and liar
We have defamation laws for a reason - both to compensate victims of defamation and to punish those responsible for that defamation.
Imagine your child is viciously murdered. A cult leader claims your child never existed and that you are a paid actor. You are harassed on the street and sent death threats and obscene messages by the cult leader's obsessed followers. You have to move several times and you cannot even visit your murdered child's grave. Imagine how angry you would be.
Alex Jones was ordered to pay $49 million to the grieving parents who sued him for defamation for his lies about the Sandy Hook massacre. Some conservatives have warned that this is the judicial weaponization of "cancel culture." It is not. It is the proper outcome of the legal system, and a just punishment for a cult leader who ruined the lives of innocent people who had already been subjected to more pain than any parent should ever have to face. The Sandy Hook massacre happened. An evil man slaughtered children, and then killed himself in a final act of cowardice.
Was the Sandy Hook massacre exploited by unethical people, including President Obama? Was that exploitation a cynical political move that preyed on emotion to push laws that would not have stopped the massacre? Yes and yes. There are plenty of ways to oppose the gruesome exploitation of the mass murder without denying that the victims ever existed.
When Alex Jones was banned from multiple social media platforms in an obvious act of collusion by Big Tech, many of us warned that he is "the canary in the coal mine." He was the test case to see how people react to censorship, and he is the excuse to shrink the Overton Window and target millions more conservatives for censorship. Notice how quickly Big Tech moved from removing a conspiracy theorist, cult leader and liar to declaring that it is "hate speech" and even "violence" to say that someone born with a penis and testicles is a man.
But we can and should be able to intellectually separate Big Tech censorship and collusion from the legal consequences of defamation of character. The Sandy Hook parents never wanted to be celebrities, but were forced into the spotlight by the lies of a cult leader. We have defamation laws for a reason - both to compensate victims of defamation and to punish those responsible for that defamation. The damages are not unprecedented, as both Gibson’s Bakery and Bradley Cohen won tens of millions in their own respective defamation cases. Jones spread vicious lies against grieving parents, and now he has to pay damages. That is not cancel culture. That is justice.
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