Stephen Colbert Cannot Contain His Glee Over Alex Jones Verdict
Stephen Colbert is getting the last laugh when it comes to right-wing pundit Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories.
The “Late Night with Stephen Colbert” host opened his October 12 show saying he is “spiritually refreshed” following the news of Jones being ordered to pay $965 million in damages to parents of Sandy Hook victims after the 2012 elementary school shooting. Jones was found liable of violating Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act by perpetuating lies that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged to sell products on his website.
“Tonight I come to you with a spring in my step, with a song in my heart, emotionally and spiritually refreshed because you know how, as humans, we have to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people? Well, by the grace of God, sometimes bad things happen to Alex Jones,” Colbert said. “That’s a good thing, because thanks to a ruling by a Connecticut jury, Alex Jones has been ordered to pay Sandy Hook victims’ families nearly $1 billion.”
Colbert continued, “That’s a lot of money. You heard that right. Billion, with a capital ‘byeeeee.’ And that’s it. That’s that story. There’s a lot of other stories to talk about tonight, but I’d be just as happy to stand here and grin.”
Jones was sued in a defamation trial by 15 plaintiffs, including relatives of eight Sandy Hook victims plus a former FBI agent. “Infowars” host Jones previously called the Sandy Hook massacre “as fake as the $3 bill” and claimed the killings were staged by the U.S. government in an effort to take away Second Amendment rights. Jones said the victims were actors hired to fake their own deaths.
The Sandy Hook tragedy left 20 students and six faculty members dead in December 2012. The shooter Adam Lanza also killed his mother and himself following the rampage.
After an August trial for defaming the parents of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, Jones said he changed his mind and believes the shooting was “100 percent real.” He was ordered to pay parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $49 million in damages by a Texas jury.
“They want to scare us away from questioning Uvalde or Parkland. We’re not going away. We’re not going to stop,” Jones said during a live broadcast when the verdict came in. “The forces of Satan are trying to drive the world into thermonuclear war…They covered up what really happened, and now I’m the devil. I’m actually proud to be under this level of attack.”
“Infowars” has been banned by all major internet services.
Attorneys for the defamation suit against Jones argued that the pundit profited from his lies over Sandy Hook for a decade. The families of Sandy Hook victims also faced death threats from Jones’ followers.
Jones’ lawyer Norm Pattis told CNN that he plans on appealing the Connecticut jury’s verdict, calling it a “dark day for freedom of speech” with the defamation ruling.
“We disagree with the basis of the default, we disagree with the court’s evidentiary rulings,” Pattis said. “In more than 200 trials in the course of my career I have never seen a trial like this.”
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