Someone who refuses to be sued, quite a handful in the court system, by individuals who may still live the victimization brought by the defamatory statements they make could have a problem. Many of us respect our Supreme Court’s rulings, to the point where when I wrote a prior post, I attempted to remove because I hadn’t seen Justice Scalia on my screen before, to give my respect and responsibility.
In a shocking decision in Jones v. Sandy Hook Promise, the Supreme Court has effectively reversed the lower court’s finding of liability in this case by dismissing Jones’ claims. The High Court’s decision reads:
In 2010, Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization formed by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre, filed two defamation lawsuits against Infowars’s Alex Jones and his website. One lawsuit in Connecticut asks Jones to pay the family of a man who died from a suicide in a car after reading Jones’s commentaries that gunman Adam Lanza intended to kill as many of his classmates as possible before killing himself. The other lawsuit against Jones and Infowars was filed in Texas in October 2016 and seeks a judgment of $105 million for people who Jones falsely claimed were involved in a series of child disappearances in San Antonio.
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While the High Court is clearly disgusted with Infowars’s conduct by choosing to end these suits, the Court’s decision does not directly address the exact point of the lawsuit. It appears to be doing so through a bit of a parable from Stone’s classic tale, “Pandemic Diseases: 21 Quotes to Help You Fight Them.” Stone was a private detective, hired by a rich man to find the truth behind the “Pandemic Disease.” In the end, however, the “Pandemic Disease” wasn’t a disease but rather a person, Stone, whose brief research led him to accept conclusions he could not prove, and thus, he too is liable.
As Stone said, “My ignorance of the virus is my injury.” And so the case goes. However, if this does open the door for Mr. Jones to make similar claims, then the curtain is drawn back to where we began earlier this year, with the threat of it all.
[i] See: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2012/may/11/tragedy-rising-can-xenophobia-be-reduced-in-social-media-style
[ii] “The final act of the work,” Stone said. “The laughter it creates.”
[iii] “…to the woman with the complicated problem, do not create it.”
[iv] “Insects are different from people.”
[v] “If one just eats very frequently, he may consume too much of the food.”
[vi] “I discovered the disease. I’ve examined the body parts of the patient. There wasn’t a disease there. There were just individuals with mental illness.”
[vii] In Stone’s view, people are free to make their own decisions about how to react. “But we also have the right to know what other people think,” he said. “I have a right to find the disease. And I have the right to report it. And there may be a problem where I go against how the other person reacted to the disease that they’ve discovered.”
[viii] It would be good to hear more about the facts of this case, and I will definitely post updates in the coming weeks, if you would like me to. But suffice it to say, the next time an Infowars viewer does the opposite of what Stone would recommend, and is angered by the fact that another person with mental illness suffered and died as a result of their actions, the Supreme Court is going to be listening.
This article was originally published at http://americanism.com/rundioucq/alex-jones-liability-sandy-hooks-hills-newtown-principal-warning-new-law/
Randy Ruud is a well-known media strategist and national speaker who speaks publicly about issues of “Taken” and “The Four Needs Crisis.”