Judgment Day arrived on Wednesday for Alex Jones — and he said that it felt like he landed in Hell.
“This must be what Hell’s like,” the notorious right-wing conspiracy theorist said on an Infowars livestream as a Connecticut jury awarded plaintiffs a staggering nearly $1 billion in damages.
The families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims actually know what Hell feels like. Jones put them there with his heinous conspiracy theories and lies about the 2012 shooting, which he repeated again and again over the years, ignoring pleas to stop.
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But Jones isn’t wrong to feel crushed.
As former US Attorney Harry Litman said after the mammoth awards to the plaintiffs were read in court, Jones will be “basically broke” for the remainder of his life. And it’s not just his houses or Rolex watches that he could lose.
With its punishing award, the jury’s decision will likely shrink or even doom Jones’ media empire, which has been at the center of major conspiracy theories dating back to former President George W. Bush’s administration and which was embraced by former President Donald Trump.
Jones has, of course, vowed to appeal. And his company has filed for bankruptcy. So he may be able to delay the inevitable for a little time longer.
But not forever. The clock is now ticking on Infowars. Will Jones have a platform in five years? Ten years?
If he struggled with being deplatformed from major social media websites, Jones is going to be in for an entirely new world of hurt when he loses the instrument he built over the years that allowed him to weaponize information for his own ends.
The reckoning for Jones comes at a seismic moment in American society, where hate, lies, and conspiracy theories have flourished in recent years, often enriching and empowering those who peddle them to the masses.
But the corrosive form of information warfare that Jones rode to fame and fortune is not going anywhere. It is here to stay.
And it is, unfortunately, more popular than ever, with right-wing media stars and top Republican politicians emulating Jones’ modus operandi.
At this point, one has to frankly even wonder how much the ultimate demise of Jones and his Infowars business would even clean up the discourse. After all, his brand of hate and lies have already been fused into a large swath of the public dialogue.