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This One Thing Made Alex Jones Stop Lying Alex Jones will have...

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This One Thing Made Alex Jones Stop Lying 

Alex Jones will have to pay millions to the parents of Sandy Hook victims.

Fox News might be on the hook for over a billion dollars after making bogus 2020 election claims.

It turns out there actually might be a way to stop the constant stream of lies coming from the right-wing media. How can we do it? Two words:

Sue. Them.

This won’t defeat the right’s media ecosystem overnight — but defamation law may prove to be one vital weapon in the battle against misinformation. Let me explain.

Alex Jones, you may recall, had used his website InfoWars to portray the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre as a hoax involving actors, aimed at increasing gun control. Parents of victim children sued Jones and his media company for $150 millionultimately winning an initial settlement of $49 million.

Courts in Texas and Connecticut had already found Jones liable for defamation. And as a result, Jones’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy.

Even though Jones lost this case and finally admitted that the Sandy Hook massacre was “100 percent real,” he’s probably not going to stop making harmful and deceptive videos anytime soon.

But this defamation lawsuit will serve as a warning to both Jones and others in the media who build their business models around spreading lies.

Like OAN.

One America News, a Trump-allied media organization that pushed conspiracy theories about the election, is facing so many defamation lawsuits from those harmed by the start-up network’s lies that its future is now in doubt.

Cable providers have dropped OAN like an extremist hot potato, and the network is now only available to a few hundred thousand people who subscribe to smaller cable providers.

Talk about cutting the chord.

Defamation lawsuits have also been filed against more established right-wing media organizations, like Fox News.  

Dominion Voting Systems, a maker of election information technology used widely across the country, is suing Fox for $1.6 billion over false claims they say the network knowingly made about its software following the 2020 Election.

The case could potentially be a huge financial blow to Fox, and serve as one of the most consequential First Amendment cases in a generation.

Again, to be clear, defamation litigation will not single handedly stop the rampant spread of misinformation taking over the airwaves and the internet. These lawsuits can take years and often end up being expensive, plus some of the media organizations peddling lies are bankrolled by conservatives with deep pockets and a radical agenda.  

It can also be abused, and in some cases, pose potential threats to the free press. Although, if news outlets are alerted to errors and correct them quickly, defamation shouldn’t be a problem.

But at a time when social media companies clearly can’t be trusted to moderate themselves against weaponized lies — and elected officials have done little to step-in — the courts might be the best avenue we have to take on manufactured deception and put it to rest.

Where other methods to counter half-truths and exaggerations being spewed by Fox News and their ilk have failed, defamation law might make companies think twice before they knowingly spread falsehoods — and help stop the vicious cycle of lies, clicks, and profits that further divides our country.

Robert Reich

This is from Robert Reich’s blog, He is professor of public policy at Berkeley, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, and author of 13 books, the most recent of which is “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.”


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    Total 4 comments
    • Will

      What is the truth about . CNN, MsNBC, Election fraud, war in Ukraine, Who is playing Joe Biden, Nordstrom pipeline, 9-11, Liberal kangaroo courts, Democracy, Journalistic inquisition. 1871 D.C. corporation. Open borders. News media monopolies ???????????????

    • SnakeEyes40

      Except Sandy Hook WAS a hoax. Where is the security footage? Why hasn’t it been turned over yet? Why are the same crisis actor “parents” and “victims” at other tragedies…some of them 3 or more? Because it was a hoax, orchestrated to push gun control, and you’re praising the corrupt, bought and paid for judicial system for silencing the 1st Amendment. People like you are part of the PROBLEM.

    • Linelock

      Getting a civil judgement is easy . . . .

      Collecting on that judgement is entirely different.

    • dave42

      Maybe you should broaden your view the failure of message resonance by the left especially the concepts and mindset of the left is not due to a lack of the right having your information we do have your information and summarily reject the failed concepts.
      The use of corrupt judges and your implants in our nation only verifies our disdain for your behavior.
      Our tolerance has been an act of courtesy not a submission of a conquered humanity.
      The belief of a majority or a superior morality has only been the reflection of an external foe’s funding of divisive rhetoric and funding of artificial popularity in the commercial media. The perceived artificial majority of opinion among social media is simply a purchased product.
      Learning a bit about the last time these techniques were used could highlight the end result desired by the funders.

      The 1917-19 Chester PA outcome is illustrative as well as the 1926 East Tulsa OK when these same external sources allowed a reason for backlash to be created.
      Look at the USA political maps to comprehend how the left has been cordoned into small islands of high concentration totally under reliance and soon siege to and by the vast majority of our nation. Simply cities require the farmers to eat. Cities require the rural generation of power to operate. Cities require infrastructure to survive. Rural require nothing provided by the left. The belief that the left can over power by legal or edict is specious as they lack the impetus for…

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