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PAINFUL TRUTH: Taking joy in a jerk's suffering

Sometimes you can't help enjoying the downfall of an odious person
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Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

As I write this, Alex Jones, the notorious conspiracy theorist and radio/web host has been ordered by a judge to liquidate his fortune to pay $1.5 billion in damages.
I can’t help but laugh.
You’re not supposed to take glee in someone’s downfall. It’s still seen as vaguely shameful to cackle with glee at another person’s misfortune.
But some people are so awful for so long in so many ways, that all we can do is hope they eventually receive their comeuppance.
And enjoy it when it arrives.
Jones is one of the most destructive media personalities the English-speaking world has produced in the last century, which is really saying something.
He’s well known for spouting virtually every conspiracy theory under the sun – FEMA concentration camps, government weather control, 9/11 nonsense, and much more – and for being a generally hateful, ranting human being who has railed against the LGBTQ community.
He turned his hatred and bile and the fever-swamp of his conspiracism into a major media empire. Along with conspiracies, he hawked dubious health supplements, raking in the cash.
Evidence in his recent trial suggested he had a net worth somewhere around $270 million.
It’s that defamation trial that has brought him down at last.
In 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting claimed the lives of six staff members and 20 children, all between the ages of six and seven.
It was, at the time, one of the worst mass shootings the U.S. had seen, and the fact that a majority of the victims were young children only made the shock worse.
Jones, naturally, did the worst thing possible. He claimed the entire thing was a hoax. Grieving parents? Just actors. It was all part of a scheme to get people to support gun control, he falsely claimed.
And he kept claiming that, for years, bringing it up on show after show.
With a widespread and fervent following, this translated into years of harassment of the parents of the Sandy Hook victims.
So they sued for defamation. Jones at last admitted, in a court deposition, that he did not believe the murders were a hoax. But that did not save him from one of the most punishing defamation judgments ever levied.
Jones’ homes, his ranch, the company that produces his show, they’re all going to be sold. It doesn’t necessarily mean the end for him. He will likely continue to spew hate in some form, perhaps on some re-constituted version of his program.
But he’s broken. He tormented people, he spread hate and lies, and now he’s going to be broke.
It makes my heart glad to see it.



Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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