On Sunday, Infowars filed for bankruptcy protection in US Bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Texas. Infowars faces several defamation lawsuits due to claims made by Alex Jones its founder. The founder of Infowars, Alex Jones, was found liable for damages from three lawsuits last year. These liable lawsuits stem from alleged false claims about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. Alex Jones has maintained that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax and this is where the libel lawsuits stem from. Alex Jones claimed that the Sandy Hooks shooting in Newton Connecticut, was fabricated by gun control nuts and the media. Alex Jones offered to settle the defamation lawsuit in March. Jones offered to pay $120,000 to each of the 13 plaintiffs in order to settle the case. The families in Sandy Hook, rejected Jones offer to settle the lawsuit and reopened their case against him.
Each of the plaintiffs turned down the settlement offer in court documents, saying, “The so-called offer is a transparent and desperate attempt by Alex Jones to escape a public reckoning under oath with his deceitful, profit-driven campaign against the plaintiffs and the memory of their loved ones lost at Sandy Hook.”
One could argue that the plaintiffs are attempting to stifle Alex Jone’s speech further by bankrupting his company, when it’s clear that Jones was apologetic and even offered to try and remedy the situation with a substantial sum for each plaintiff. Although any parent would be sympathetic to the emotional and mental distress that losing your child would cause, many have questioned the motives of these plaintiffs and their persistence.
In court filing Sunday, Infowars had listed its assets in the range of up to $50,000, while it listed its liabilities in the range of up to $10 million. It is possible that they are including in their liabilities likely damages from the lawsuits. Jones was previously subpoenaed by the House of Representatives committee which was probing the January 6th capital uproar.
Moving forward it’s unclear what will happen to Infowars, the business and to Alex Jones. It is further unclear why Infowars would be bankrupt due to Alex Jones’s statements. A business is supposed to be a different and wholly separate legal entity than the person that owns it. Additionally, if the business is being sued why is Alex Jones a defendant? And furthermore, don’t businesses have free speech as well? Isn’t parody allowed in this country? Are we allowed to ask questions in this country? Alex Jones may be a bit flamboyant or eccentric, but he raises questions that no one else will raise. While many of us are uncomfortable with the questions he raises, it’s important that we as a society allow people to ask these questions. It is how we deal with the people that we are not comfortable with that defines us as a people. What we need to know is if Alex Jones and Infowars can be bankrupted for their speech, do we really have free speech?