Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Alex Jones, founder of the radio program “The Alex Jones Show” and the high-traffic Infowars website, has been a leading promoter of the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 was a “false flag” and a hoax. The right-wing conspiracy theorist has been battling an abundance of civil lawsuits from family members of people who died in the tragedy, which claimed 26 lives altogether (20 children and six adults). HuffPost has obtained a video of Jones being questioned by attorney Mark Bankston, who is representing plaintiff Scarlett Lewis, one of the people suing Jones.

In the video, Bankston sets out to demonstrate that Jones repeatedly mocked the families of the Sandy Hook victims on his radio show. Jones was asked about the date December 14, 2012—and he couldn’t remember that it was the date of the Sandy Hook shooting. Jones, obviously frustrated, tried to deny that he ridiculed or defamed the families of Sandy Hook parents on his show.

Bankston asked Jones, “You’ve done mocking imitations of Sandy Hook parents crying, correct?” Jones denied that he had, but Bankston went on to show clips of Jones doing exactly that in 2014 and 2016.

After showing Jones the clips, Bankston said, “You realize now, you were mocking  the difficult emotional reactions of people who provably lost their children.” Jones, however, maintained that his statements were not meant “to mock the parents…. It is you that is projecting mocking onto it.”

Bankston also told Jones, “You don’t believe the official story of Sandy Hook. You think there was a cover-up.” And Jones responded that he had a problem with “all gun owners being collectively blamed” for the Sandy Hook shooting and that he still believes there has been “a cover-up of events.”

"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father — a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service — called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.

A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.

Keep reading... Show less