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    Tuesday, September 27, 2022

    Alex Jones and an empire of lies

    For several years, Infowars' Alex Jones has perpetuated a conspiracy theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. The right-wing radio host adamantly claimed “crisis actors” were involved in a “deep state” operation to encourage the government to take up strict gun control.

    Now that he has been found liable of defamation by the jury and ordered to pay $49.3 million or more in damages, Jones is quick to drop the hypothesis.

    But the damage has already been done: Jones is facing serious financial consequences and a hard blow to his dwindling credibility. And the repercussions of being caught in a lie could also be felt by others in the host’s circle and beyond. Suspected planners and executors of the Jan. 6 riot may be among those most at risk.

    After Jones’ lawyers accidentally sent two years’ worth of his cellphone records to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 event requested the information be handed over. Previously, Jones had denied digitally corresponding about Sandy Hook, a claim proved false by the uncovered emails and texts.

    It remains to be seen if the records will be useful to the committee, but it is known whom Jones has corresponded with in the past; some of these individuals may be of interest to the committee. Communication with fellow Donald Trump allies — including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and former Trump adviser Roger Stone, both companions to Jones — could either be embarrassing or incriminating.

    The records might share a clearer picture of Infowars’ founder and friends’ involvement in Jan. 6 and other possible crimes.

    Like a line of dominoes, Jones’ fabrications about the Sandy Hook tragedy has consequently dumped dishonest politicians and commentators into hot water. Most of them have some sort of tie to Trump, whom the House committee alleges to be the ring leader of the insurrection. If Jones’ phone held any previously undisclosed information about the former president, the committee could get a substantial leg up — and that could be bad news for Trump’s cronies.

    No matter how powerful or influential someone is, the spreading of untruths can eventually pile up, possibly taking allies down, too. Ironically, a cascade of lies can inadvertently collapse an empire built on lies.

    The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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