Nothing like a three-hour deposition under oath to turn an excitable conspiracy theorist into a man subdued, deferential and humbled. That’s the Alex Jones who the world met for the first time on Friday, when attorneys for families of the victims of a school shooting posted his deposition online.
The deposition was given earlier this month in conjunction with a number of lawsuits on behalf of parents of victims of the attack in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Mr. Jones, the longtime misinformation-peddler and founder of the radio and online show Infowars, is being sued for defamation for saying repeatedly during his broadcasts that parts of the Sandy Hook shooting were staged and that the tragedy was a “false flag” operation, designed to take away firearms from American citizens.
For anyone familiar with his broadcasts and style, the deposition is a jarring piece of evidence. It is also perhaps the most revealing portrait of Mr. Jones — one that strips bare the bloviating host to expose a huckster. Amid his heavy sighing and wincing, the hours of out-of-court testimony show the real Alexander Jones: a man caught between the desire to defend his conspiracy empire and a legal system that threatens to bring it all crashing down.