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The Truth in a Post-Truth Era: Sandy Hook Families Sue Alex Jones, Conspiracy Theorist

Mr. Jones claims First Amendment's protection for his efforts, but the trial is challenging the defense. "The first amendment has never evidently protected false, harmful statements as they appealed," said the judgment filed on Wednesday, referring to the New York Times Company v. Sullivan. The Supreme Court has asserted press freedom.

Hindringfall is hard to win. Lawyers for the victims' families "must show that the statements were false facts, not an opinion, and that Alex Jones was at least inaccurate, and did not take the actions that a regular reporter would take to confirm the facts," said David Snyder, CEO of First Amendment Coalition, a free spokeswoman. The legal burden on the families will be heavier than if they are considered public figures.

Mr. Jones, 44, grew up in Dallass suburb Rockwall, son of a dentist and housewife. He told an interviewer in 2011 that he was deeply shaped by reading his father's copy of "No Dare Call It Conspiracy", a 1971 bestseller by Gary Allen, spokesman and speech writer of John Birch Society for George Wallace, former Alabama governor , during his presidential election.

Mr. Jones began his media as a university student in Austin in the early 1990s when he repeatedly insisted on the social connectivity cable that the government was behind the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Distracted from its mission to warn of the dangers of the US government, Jones released college and founded InfoWars 1999, in time to call the September 11 terrorist attacks an "inside job".

Mr. Jones could have been a peripheral conspiracy theorist, if it had not been for Mr. Trump, who appeared on Jones Jones radio show during the 2016 campaign, promised: "I'll never let you go" and "We'll talk a lot." Mr. Jones followed up.

Texas costumes focus on Mr Jones's comments during the previous year, including a segment of his radio show last year titled "Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed." Mark Bankston, a Houston-based firm Farrar & Ball, who heads the lead for Heslin, Pozner and Ms. De La Rosa, said the company's young lawyers grew up listening to Jones Jones radio show and found him a fun, strange local character.

But now, Mr. Bankston another perspective. "For Alex Jones, it seems that the only real thing is his business," said Mr. Bankston. "And if you threatened, you can make him understand that these types of methods have a cost. And if that message goes out to others like him it's a victory for these families. "

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