The Bulletin

Just deserts for Alex Jones

By: - April 25, 2022 12:01 am

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones recorded a video in front of the Virginia Capitol the night before a major pro gun rally. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Why should anyone believe Alex Jones ever tells the truth? He’s an execrable conspiracy theorist, huckster of dietary supplements and vile tormenter of parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre.

Jones’ Infowars site filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently in Texas, delaying civil litigation while his business reorganizes its finances. He claimed Infowars, based in Austin, has assets of only $50,000 or less and possible liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.

Believe that if you want. Jones, a serial provocateur, has zero credibility. 

He’s also made news in Virginia – most of it outlandish.

A Texas judge last week pushed back a trial over how much Jones should pay the Sandy Hook families, after Jones called the 2012 killings a hoax; 20 first-graders and six educators were shot dead. The violence was very real to the relatives who buried them, who wept for them. 

The families said they were subjected to continued harassment and death threats because of Jones’ nonsense. The relatives already have won defamation lawsuits against him.  

Jones, belatedly, said he believes the shootings occurred. And isn’t that special, given all the torment he helped unleash on those families in Newtown, Conn.? 

I asked John G. Merna, a Virginia bankruptcy attorney, what the filings mean. 

“The companies Mr. Jones put in bankruptcy either over-leveraged, meaning they took out too much debt, and revenues would not support payment of the debt and continue operation,” Merna said by email Thursday. “Or revenues dropped, thereby no longer supporting the existing debt.

“A Chapter 11 restructuring does not necessarily mean creditors don’t get paid. It does mean that Infowars and the other companies of Mr. Jones are seeking to reduce what they pay their creditors in order to continue operations.”

Last month, Jones settled a defamation lawsuit for $50,000 filed by a witness of the 2017 Unite the Right car attack in Charlottesville. Former U.S. Foreign Service officer Brennan Gilmore had seen and filmed the deliberate crash that killed a counter-protester and injured others. 

Gilmore said Jones and others had spread conspiracies about him, leading to death threats against him and his family. Defendants including Jones and Infowars admitted defaming Gilmore.

Then there was Jones’ stunt in early 2020, in which he traveled around Richmond in a what looked like an armored vehicle and spoke through a bullhorn before a gun rights rally. He criticized the Democratic Party as “degenerate” and said rally supporters gathered “in defiance of the globalist tyranny and their attempts to trigger a civil war.”

Jones deserves whatever condemnation – and financial judgments – are levied against him.

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Roger Chesley
Roger Chesley

Longtime columnist and editorial writer Roger Chesley worked at the (Newport News) Daily Press and The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot from 1997 through 2018. He previously worked at newspapers in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Detroit. Reach him at [email protected]