Alex Jones of Infowars infuriated a lot of people by insisting repeatedly that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax. His defense in a defamation lawsuit might infuriate more: In a legal filing, Jones' attorneys liken him to none other than Woodward and Bernstein as a truth-seeker. "Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein relied on allegations from 'Deep Throat' to link the Nixon Administration to the Watergate break-in," his lawyers wrote in a bid to dismiss the suit in state Supreme Court in Connecticut. "Such journalism, questioning official narratives, would be chilled if reporters were subject to liability if they turned out to be wrong." Jones now says he believes the 2012 shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six educators happened, but that wasn't always his public line.
"I’ve watched a lot of soap operas, and I’ve seen actors before," the Hill recounts him as saying in 2016. "And I know when I’m watching a movie and when I’m watching something real.” An attorney representing families says the First Amendment "simply does not protect false statements about the parents of one of the worst tragedies in our nation's history." Jones regularly had on guests questioning whether Sandy Hook actually happened, and "to stifle the press (by making them liable for merely interviewing people who have strange theories) will simply turn this human tragedy into a Constitutional one," his attorneys write. Jones faces multiple lawsuits over his initial Sandy Hook claims, with parents of slain students among the plaintiffs. (In a separate legal case, Jones acknowledged that his public persona is largely an act.)