Above is a photo Noah Pozner, whose father has been forced to move seven times since his son’s death. Noah was was 6-years-old when he was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was Jewish. His father, Lenny Pozner, can no longer safely visit his own child’s grave because people who read InfoWars and listen to Alex Jones have forced him to relocate hundreds of miles away through harassment, stalking, and death threats made against him and his remaining children.
Alex Jones, through his website, podcast, social media pages, and YouTube show, has claimed that the Pozners – as well the other families who lost children and loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary – are not real grieving parents, but are instead “crisis actors” who have been paid paid to fake the deaths of their non-existent children in order to get guns banned in the United States.
To quote Alex Jones from 2015: “Sandy Hook is 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.”
The other families who lost children and loved ones at Sandy Hook have been harassed, too – and they’ve filed a lawsuit against Jones –, but this one Jewish family of the youngest victim of the massacre has been subject to extra vicious treatment by Jones’ followers.
One of the messages Noah’s father received read, “Death is coming to you real soon and nothing you can do about it.” But he said that’s far from the worst he gets on a daily basis. Every time he moves, Jones’ followers find his new address and track him down. They’ve harassed him in every way imaginable – including by calling child protective services on him with fabicrated allegations, hoping to have his remaining two children taken from him.
In 2015, then presidential candidate Donald Trump went on Alex Jones’ show for an interview, where he praised him: “Your reputation’s amazing,” Trump said. “I will not let you down, you will be very, very impressed, I hope.” Alex Jones already had millions of devoted followers – Trump among them –, but Trump’s appearance, praise, and election helped legitimize Jones and expand InfoWars’ reach, such that the harassment of the Sandy Hook families only grew more extreme. The Sandy Hook school board sent Trump a letter after he was inaugurated asking him to renounce and denounce Jones, but the president never responded.
Today, Alex Jones and InfoWars have had their videos and podcasts removed from social media and music platforms by Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook, limiting his ability to further stoke the fires of hatred among the sort of people who would harass, stalk, and threaten grieving parents.
So if your main concern is for Alex Jones’ right to “free speech” (which private companies are free to limit any way they wish), then I’d ask that you look at that photo of Noah Pozner and think of a father who is forced to live hundreds of miles away from his little boy’s grave. Think of a father who has been forced to move seven times to escape the vitriol and harassment incited by Alex Jones. Think of a little boy who didn’t want to get out of bed for school that day, and who, thirty minutes after his dad dropped him off for school, lay dead on the floor of his elementary classroom floor, his jaw and one of his hands blown off. What about Noah Pozner’s right to live? And if he just couldn’t be allowed to live because there are things we in this country consider more precious than the lives of children, then what about Lenny Pozner’s right to visit his own son’s graveside?
In his countersuit against the Sandy Hook families, Alex Jones said he couldn’t be sued because he was just expressing an “opinion” when he said the Sandy Hook massacre was faked, and that the grieving parents were actors. His lawyers have since claimed, as a defense, that “no reasonable person” would take Jones’ statements as fact, because they are “mere opinions masquerading as fact.” But fabrications and about grieving parents are not “opinions.” They are lies – and they are deadly.
Alex Jones has manufactured or fueled countless other conspiracy theories, including birtherism, the 9/11 truther movement, and the pizzagate conspiracy theory, which led to a follower of InfoWars shooting up a pizza restaurant because Jones had convinced him that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex slave ring out of it.
The deepest, darkest, most torturous side of hell must surely be reserved for men like Alex Jones, who profit off of exploiting other people’s pain and then torment them even more. But in this world, the very least we can do is take steps to make sure that a man like Alex Jones – who has the ears of millions of fans, including the president of the most powerful nation on earth – is not given a free platform where he can infect the hearts and minds of millions.
So good on Apple, Spotify, Facebook, and YouTube for banning him. But he should’ve been shut down long ago – and so should all others like him. Let Noah rest in peace, and let his family have the chance to find it.