AUSTIN — George Soros super weed, Star Trek lizard people, and partial amnesia caused by a big bowl of Texas chili all made appearances as Alex Jones took the stand for the second day of testimony in the Infowars founder’s custody battle on Thursday.
Jones faced needling questioning by his ex-wife’s attorney Billy Newman, and seemed ready to tie his own noose, especially on the topic of his previous infidelity. Although Jones finished his second day of testimony without going “full Infowars” on the stand, there were moments when the line between his on-air persona and the embattled father fighting for his kids appeared blurred.
The strategy of his ex-wife Kelly Jones’ legal team appeared to be two-pronged: damage Jones’ credibility and bait him into a witness stand meltdown straight out of an Infowars rant. The legal team—led by Bobby Newman—had mixed success, and the worst damage to Jones appeared to be self-inflicted.
Under questioning, Jones said that alcohol was not an issue for him, and moments later Newman played an Infowars clip in which Jones said “I don’t do this anymore, but I can drink an entire jug of Jack Daniels and not show it.” Jones also denied that he had ever been drunk on his show, and said that sometimes he drinks two drinks a day, sometimes only every few months, but that, “it makes me fat so I try to cut back."
The questioning began, however, with Newman asking Jones about a statement Jones made in his deposition, when he said he couldn’t recall the names of his children’s teachers because he, “had a big bowl of chili for lunch."
Jones confirmed the amnesia-inducing qualities of chili from the Texas Chili Parlor down the street from the courthouse, which scored an unsolicited product placement, and clarified that on Thursday he only had two breakfast tacos and should not suffer any memory problems.
Jones also returned to the headline-inducing statement by his legal team that his on-air persona is an act. He said he agrees with this assertion, but “not the way the media is presenting it, they are playing mind games with the public." (Earlier in the hallway, he referred to a group of reporters as “famous fiction writers” and told another reporter “man you must be so desperate.")
As Jones explained it, the political stances he believes in are absolutely real, and Infowars is 90% news with some comical, satirical bits, including one where he “dresses as the Star Trek Lizard and says kids take your vaccines."
He also took the occasion to call out Stephen Colbert for "making fun of me this week" and asked whether or not Colbert "brings his character home to his kids."
Jones denied that he ever takes his bombastic behavior home to his kids, though he did say he films his show often at home—with the door closed.
The comical and strange Jones moments on the stand were entertaining, but probably not as damaging as the portion where he confirmed that he had slept with a woman other than his wife prior to their marriage. In his deposition, he confirmed it took place while he and his new wife were engaged, but in court on Thursday he sputtered and contradicted himself.
Angry and under attack, Jones was asked if what his ex-wife’s positive qualities were as a mother, to which he said “I can’t perjure myself, she doesn’t have any good qualities [as a mother].” This contradicted repeated statements made by Jones that he had made great efforts to increase their shared custody and make his children spend time with their mother.
How this plays with the seven female jurors could spell trouble for Jones.
These moments seemed to sum up much of what is at the core of this case. While for much of the public, Jones is seen as a full-throttle carnival barker of conspiracy theories, it is unclear how much a jury of his peers in Austin cares about his politics or sees him as much more than a father fighting for custody against a mother who has her own emotional and psychological issues, according to three mental health professionals who testified on the stand.
In addition, if his credibility will be dealt a mortal blow for the jury, it seems more likely that he will do so by contradicting his own testimony about his drinking, his ex-wife or his sex life; and not by his rants about Sandy Hook being a false flag operation or 9/11 an inside job.
It is also unclear how much a Travis County (Austin) jury cares about the fact that Jones smoked marijuana with Joe Rogan in an interview for Rogan’s podcast in California which was aired in court.
Newman did manage to bait Jones up to the brink of losing his cool—during which he told Newman “you have zero decency”—though it’s unclear that Jones behaved differently than an emotional parent in family court whose words had been twisted and used against him in a way that was misleading. The effect may have been to make Jones more sympathetic in the eyes of some jurors.
It’s also undeniable that Jones is a highly talented performer with an extremely expressive face. On the witness stand, his facial muscles, eyes, and prodigious forehead appear to always be in movement and he is constantly animated. This works for Infowars, but it might not play in his favor in the courtroom.
There was momentary drama when a clip from Rogan’s show which was not admitted into evidence was played nonetheless—apparently by accident. In the clip, Jones can be seen dismissing the controversy over Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tape, in which Jones said “when you’re a celebrity, women throw themselves at you. A woman climbing on top of you is not sexual assault, that’s what mammals do.”
The video was stopped, no further clips were played in court, and Jones appeared to be the angriest he’d been at any moment in the legal proceedings.
The more tense moments of Jones’ cross-examination were prefaced by moments of humor and a bit of conspiracy that were hard to keep track of.
When first asked about smoking marijuana on the Joe Rogan show (whom Newman repeatedly called Seth Rogen) Jones confirmed that he’d smoked on the show in California—where it is legal—though he added that he “smokes it once a year to monitor its strength” because marijuana is too strong these days and George Soros is using it “to brain-damage people.”
When Newman asked if there’s a better way for him—a father of three—to test the potency, he said “that’s how law enforcement does it."
In addition, the ban on electronic devices continued on Thursday, a ban which did not stop someone, somewhere from tweeting from Alex Jones’ Twitter account, including videos titled “The Occult Archetype Called Vaccination”, “Video: North Korea Threatens To Destroy US With Nukes”, and, perhaps in a nod to the recent controversy over his on-air persona, “TOP 10 Alex Jones performance art characters."
Jones is set to take the stand a third time on Friday, as are his parents. If he can keep his cool—a man who makes his living losing his cool—then this fight is far from over.