Let’s start with a story at the intersection of politics, law, media, disinformation, and pure, raw evil. Via NBC:
Conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones, who claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a "giant hoax," was found liable Monday for damages in lawsuits brought by parents of children killed in the shooting.
Judge Barbara Bellis took the rare step of defaulting Jones in the defamation lawsuits for his and his company's “failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims.” The default means the judge found in favor of the parents and will hold a hearing on how much damages he should pay.
Monday's ruling marks the fourth defamation lawsuit Jones has lost against Sandy Hook families, including three in Texas.
I wrote about the role Jones played in my book, “How The Right Lost Its Mind.”
He has repeatedly suggested that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook was a hoax, calling it “a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids. And it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors. I mean they even ended up using photos of kids killed in mass shootings here in a fake mass shooting in Turkey—so yeah, or Pakistan. The sky is now the limit.”
Similarly, Jones has told his audiences that the mass murder at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, “was a false flag, mind-control event.” He also believes that the Columbine school shootings were “100 percent false flag.” Ditto for the attacks at a nightclub in Orlando and San Bernardino.
Jones also has charged that the government wants to use chemicals to turn people gay: “I have the government documents where they said they’re going to encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children.” He has frequently referred to women as “tramps,” “whore,” and “bitch.” In 2016, less than a month before the election, he declared that Hillary Clinton was “a frickin’ demon and she stinks and so does Obama.”
ALEX JONES (HOST): I’m never a lesser of two evils person, but with Hillary, there’s not even the same universe. She is an abject, psychopathic, demon from Hell that as soon as she gets into power is going to try to destroy the planet. I’m sure of that, and people around her say she’s so dark now, and so evil, and so possessed that they are having nightmares, they’re freaking out. Folks let me just tell you something, and if media wants to go with this, that’s fine. There are dozens of videos and photos of Obama having flies land on him, indoors, at all times of year, and he’ll be next to a hundred people and no one has flies on them. Hillary, reportedly, I mean, I was told by people around her that they think she’s demon-possessed, okay? I’m just going to go ahead and say it, okay?
[. . .]
Imagine how bad she smells, man? I’m told her and Obama, just stink, stink, stink, stink. You can’t wash that evil off, man. Told there’s a rotten smell around Hillary. I’m not kidding, people say, they say—folks, I’ve been told this by high up folks. They say listen, Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur. I never said this because the media will go crazy with it, but I’ve talked to people that are in protective details, they’re scared of her. And they say listen, she’s a frickin’ demon and she stinks and so does Obama. I go, like what? Sulfur. They smell like Hell.
And, lest, we forget, there was the inevitable Jones-Trump nexus.
During the  campaign, Trump appeared on Jones’s show and lavished praise on the conspiracy theorist. “Your reputation is amazing, I will not let you down,” Trump told Jones in a December 2015 appearance.
“I think Alex Jones may be the single most important voice in the alternative conservative media,” says Trump whisperer Roger Stone, who describes the conspiracy theorist as “a valuable asset” who will “rally the people around President Trump’s legislative program.” …
The Monday after the election, Donald Trump called Jones to thank him for his support in the campaign. The newly elected president promised Jones he would return to his show, a pledge that the Washington Post called “an extraordinary gesture for an incoming president whose schedule is packed with calls from world leaders and the enormous task of overseeing the transition.”
Even more extraordinary was the fact that the leader of the free world actually paid attention to this guy.