The view, filmed by the American mediawill take place at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, August 2. A woman who has been grieving for almost ten years, Scarlett Lewis, looked Alex Jones in the eye:
“I want to tell you face to face, because I want you to know that I am above all a mother, and I know that you are a father: my son exists (…). [Le massacre de] Sandy Hook is a terrible reality. Terrible. No one wants to believe that twenty-six children could be killed. I can understand people not wanting to believe it and, frankly, I don’t want to believe it myself. but [mon fils] Jesse is real. I am a real mother. There is nothing else. »
Scarlett Lewis lost her 6-year-old son Jesse on December 14, 2012. That day, 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at an elementary school in the small town of Newton, Connecticut, which killed twenty children from 6 to 7 years old, as well as six school employees, before turning his weapon against him. It is the third deadliest school shooting in the United States. After this tragedy, MME Lewis founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a charity that works in schools to promote well-being, understanding and compassion in students.
Far-right conspirator and influencer
Facing him, the shirt collar wide of a bullfighter, gray beard and baritone voice, stands Alexander Emerick Jones, known as Alex Jones, 48-year-old Texan radio host and web entrepreneur, ruthless conspirator since his high school days.
It is fascinated by the theory of deep state (“the Deep State,” a phantasmagorically malevolent occult group that secretly pulls the strings at the White House, in conspiratorial mythology) has made a fortune selling survivalist products and spreading its dubious interpretations of every event online, via on the most influential English-language conspiracy site, InfoWars.
From September 11 to SARS-CoV-2, Alex Jones fired up all the paranoid counter-narratives to appeal to a wider audience. Being the figurehead of the Anglo-Saxon conspiracy, he had 900,000 followers on Twitter and his Facebook and YouTube pages gathered more than 2.4 million followers before he was banned in 2018. One qualified by Steve Bannon, the former director of the American far-right site Breitbart Newsthe greatest American thinker since the Founding Fathers, long ago declared that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened.
Among the first to deny the truth of the murder
From the days that followed this mass murder, Alex Jones describes the attack that was initiated, orchestrated by Barack Obama with the aim of repealing the second amendment, which guarantees every American citizen the right to bear weapon The InfoWars site quickly contributed to the spread of the idea, now common in conspiracy thinking, that “Crisis actors” paid to play extras who cry during television reports about murders, which are not true, to manipulate public opinion. Sandy Hook was a massive manipulation; and grieving parents, comedians.
In 2017, InfoWars, among others, accused Neil Heslin, the father of little Jesse, of lying when he claimed he was holding his son, whose skull was criss-crossed by a bullet. He took up the argument, so prevalent in conspiratorial circles, that the bodies of children should not have been shown. In 2021, the bereaved father despaired:
“There was an open casket, 5,000 people saw Jesse. you realize ? So what about Alex? [Jones] hope [son partenaire] Can Owen Shroyer say that I didn’t hold my son, that I didn’t see him? ».
Neil Heslin has since been harassed by followers of Alex Jones, who have accused him of lying. Along with his wife, he is now suing the founder of InfoWars and his associates for defamation. The charismatic conspiratorial entrepreneur, an ardent Trumpist who has lost ground since the former president’s departure from the White House, faces a fine of more than 150 million dollars. If he has to pay this amount, InfoWars “run”, Alex Jones assured. At the end of July, he put his parent company, Free Speech Systems, into bankruptcy.
A vague mea culpa
Since the opening of the trial on August 3, Mr. Jones oscillated between a provocative posture – chewing gum in his mouth, he repeated that this test was an attack on his freedom of expression – and mea culpa. The Sandy Hook shooting was “100% true”, he now admits, assuring that he regrets saying for years that it was a hoax. A sincere conspirator, he accused the media of lying so often that it was impossible for him to trust them at the time, and explained that meeting the dead parents allowed him to admit the harsh truth.
However, his regret seems to be just a facade. In court, between two testimonies, he involved the judge in famous conspiracy theories, or even violently attacked Scarlett Lewis to tell him that he “manipulated”.
Emails sent in error
More importantly, in a rare misfire, Alex Jones’ lawyers mistakenly sent a copy of all the text messages and work emails on his mobile phone for two years to the lawyers of Jesse Lewis’ parents. . The mismanagement, which was revealed to the full court by their lawyer Mark Bankston, revealed that Alex Jones lied repeatedly since the beginning of his trial.
The businessman assured that InfoWars never brought him more than 200,000 dollars a day? His letters arouse peaks of $ 800,000 in 2018. His audience has fallen since his accounts on mainstream platforms such as YouTube and Facebook fired him? In fact, it continues to grow. He assured that he had not spoken for years on the conspiracy theories surrounding Sandy Hook? However, they can be seen in his phone conversations. “Do you know what perjury is? »asked Mark Bankston harshly, remembering that in the United States lying under oath is severely punished.
The businessman did not dispute the authenticity of the documents, but regretted handing over his phone to his lawyers. “I made a mistake. You have the messages », he was content to know, annoyed. These documents should play an important role in his lawsuit for defamation linked to the Sandy Hook shooting, but not only. According to the American magazine website RollingStone, the committee to investigate the riots of January 6, 2021 in Washington is preparing to seize the letters of influential American conspirators. He wondered, in particular, whether he had been in contact with Donald Trump’s teams before the attack on the Capitol.