Alex Jones trial – live: Infowars host says he didn’t lie about Sandy Hook ‘on purpose’ as his testimony nears
Jury shown video of Alex Jones mocking Sandy Hook parents
A second defamation trial is underway in Connecticut for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who confronts the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting he claims was a hoax broadcast to millions of viewers.
Jones appeared outside the courthouse on Tuesday morning and gave a brief statement to reporters, calling Judge Barbara Bellis a “tyrant.”
Last week, the court heard three days of testimony from Brittany Paz, a designated representative for Jones’ media company Infowars, about its operations — although much of her testimony was recused. The jury saw how Jones’ audience grew exponentially in the wake of the tragedy and the company’s revenue increased dramatically.
Multiple videos showed Jones’ shocking claims about the shooting, including when he mocked the victim’s parents as “crisis actors” and presented completely false information about the events of the day.
Last month, following a similar lawsuit, a Texas jury ordered him to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of a slain child. Jurors will now decide how much he should pay relatives of the eight victims and FBI agents who responded to the scene of the 2012 massacre.
Court hearing tomorrow at 10 am.
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 21:54
From discussions about memes, to the success of George Orwell’s 1984 campaign, the Obama campaign and Isis’s social media campaign, questions have been raised.
The court played the same clip of Jones again from the day of the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012.
Mr Pattis asked Jones if he had resorted to fear in the clip, or if people were already feeling fear. “People might be scared,” Mr Watts said.
“Legally so,” Mr Pattis said, before comparing Jones’ saying “they’re coming” to Paul Revere saying “the British are coming”.
Oliver O’ConnellSeptember 20, 2022 21:27
Mr. Pattis began to question Mr. Watts.
He starts by asking if Alex Jones is a domestic enemy. Mr Watts said no.
Mr. Pattis reviewed Mr. Watts’ qualifications, experience, writing and media presence. On the subject of his Wikipedia page, it has been edited several times by someone whose IP address was traced back to Russia.
Oh, the robot is chasing you? asked Mr. Pattis. I don’t know, do I? Mr Watts responded.
He asked Mr Watts what his understanding of the term “deep state” was, and he replied that it was a derogatory term implying that a group controlled the government.
It is unclear where this line of questioning will lead.
Oliver O’ConnellSeptember 20, 2022 21:14
Mr Watts said he could conduct a “minimal coverage” analysis by recreating lost data using the Way Back Machine, Infowars’ website and Sprout Social, which tracks how content spreads and grows across various social platforms.
Infowars’ main website gets a lot of traffic from visitors who go there directly rather than through social media, he said, which explains why Jones hasn’t been affected as much as some think he’s been out of the social media platform (he claims) the platform of 2018.
Using the Wayback Machine and Google Analytics, Mr. Watts compiled a snapshot of the number of times Infowars’ Sandy Hook content was viewed and discussed between 2012 and 2018.
Mr Watts said the lowest estimate of Infowars’ fake Sandy Hook content was 550 million views through social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) during this period.
Oliver O’ConnellSeptember 20, 2022 20:47
The court continued, and Mr Watts was asked to make an overall estimate of Jones’ online influence.
Mr. Watts replied that he had left out some data related to Facebook impressions.
Among the data available, he was able to track the spread of some of the Sandy Hook lies from Infowars on social media sites.
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 20:28
The company’s org chart was revived in an attempt to show that Infowars was actually an organized, well-run place to track sales and traffic and drive them effectively with content that excites audiences.
As Jones’ father David pointed out, “simulate traffic spikes.”
The court now has a 15-minute break.
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 20:01
Mr Watts reviewed some of Jones’ video content in Infowars, noting that it was “very effective in terms of content production” and that the use of war imagery and text was “inciting”.
We are now conducting another in-depth look at the analysis associated with the Infowars website. Much of the audience and sales figures were shown in testimony last week.
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 19:40
The court resumed and the jury returned.
Disinformation expert witness Clint Watts continues to investigate his testimony directly with plaintiffs’ attorney Josh Koskov.
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 19:10
Watching: Alex Jones’ audience increased by 50% in 2013
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 18:25
Lawyers for the plaintiffs compared the audience numbers of other right-wing news and opinion sites and figures, including Newsmax, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, which drew audiences of a similar size to Infowars.
He asked Mr Watts if any of them questioned the events at Sandy Hook within three hours of the tragedy. Mr Watts said no, as far as he knew, they didn’t.
Oliver O’Connell20 September 2022 18:01