Alex Jones went into March like a lion and came out like a dazed lamb.
The month began with Jones defending lawsuits by parents whose children died in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. For years, Jones peddled conspiracy theories on Infowars about the shooting, leading to harassment and death threats against the parents. By the end of the month, after a disastrous deposition, he finally combusted in a filmed incident at a Texas chicken restaurant.
March was a meltdown month for Jones. And despite a career of throwing strategic tantrums on air, some of these outbursts have real legal implications for him.
In early March, Jones dismissed two of the lawyers representing him in lawsuits brought by Sandy Hook parents. One of those lawyers, Marc Randazza, is a go-to lawyer for the far right and was placed on probation by the Nevada Supreme Court after he pleaded guilty to ethics violations in October. Those lawyers’ dismissal came at a critical moment for Jones. At the end of the month, he was scheduled to be deposed by Sandy Hook lawyers’ parents.
For a man who claims to give viewers the unfiltered truth, Jones doesn’t do very well under oath. In a 2017 custody battle with his ex-wife, Jones claimed his Infowars personality was all an act. In a deposition for that case, Jones said he couldn’t remember any of his children’s teachers’ names because he’d “had a big bowl of chili for lunch.” Jones’s ex-wife won the custody case.
After dismissing counsel, Jones dipped back into the same pool of controversial attorneys. In early March, he hired lawyers Robert Barnes and Norman Pattis, HuffPost reported.
Like Randazza, Barnes has appeared on Infowars, including a February appearance titled “Lawyer Breaks Down The Real Sandy Hook Conspiracy & More.”
Pattis, meanwhile, has made light of school shootings. “Candidly, it looks sort of fun,” Barnes wrote on Facebook of a school shooting video game. On his now-deleted Twitter, he thanked disgraced comedian Louis C.K. for making jokes about survivors of 2018’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The New Haven, Connecticut chapter of the NAACP condemned Pattis in January for tweeting a reenactment of a lynching using beer bottles dressed as Ku Klux Klan members.
With his new legal team in place, Jones sat down for his deposition on March 14. Lawyers for Sandy Hook parents questioned Jones under oath in a three-hour, filmed conversation, which was released online Friday. The filmed deposition punctures the puffed-up persona Jones wears in his shows. Jones, who often cites confidential sources for his conspiracy theories, admitting to cribbing his most outlandish claims from commenters on YouTube and 4chan.
Throughout the deposition, Jones denied having mocked or subjected Sandy Hook parents to danger—only for lawyers to play clips of him mocking Sandy Hook parents and appearing on a broadcast where one parent’s address was read on air. That parent, Leonard Pozner, received death threats after Infowars accused him of being involved in an elaborate “false flag” operation. In 2017, a Florida woman was sentenced to five months for leaving death threats on Pozner’s voicemail.
Jones had previously dismissed his absurd on-air personality as part of an act during the 2017 custody case. He pulled a similar stunt during his March deposition, blaming his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories on a temporary mental illness “almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’m now learning a lot of times things aren’t staged.”
His apparently contradicting claims, that he was either deliberately playing a character or that psychosis caused him to earnestly believe his conspiracy theories, might pose trouble at trial.
Meanwhile, in the days between the deposition and its release online, Jones had a very public meltdown at Lucy's Fried Chicken, an Austin, Texas restaurant. Jones said he went to Lucy’s with his wife and podcaster Joe Rogan, who recently appeared on Infowars. That same day, Jones used Infowars to push a new conspiracy theory about a Sandy Hook parent who recently died of suspected suicide. (Infowars contributor Wolfgang Halbig had previously pushed conspiracy theories about the man’s murdered daughter.)
During dinner, Jones and fellow diners got into a shouting match in the restaurant’s outdoor seating area. In a viral video that picks up mid-confrontation, Jones walks around the restaurant’s picnic tables calling hecklers “slobs” and “traitors.”
"This isn’t the internet, this is the real dimension," Jones told one heckler, apparently while recording on his phone.
The filmed confrontation goes on for more than four minutes.
“You’ve all got an instinct not to breed,” Jones told one group that laughed at him. “Your body rebels against you. None of you have kids.”
“We’ve got three of them,” a man shot back.
"Well, you know what?” Jones countered, “They’re all going to rebel against you.”
After diners mocked him as a “snowflake” and restaurant management showed him the exit, Jones turned around to shout the words of a man who’d just lost a fight.
“I was already leaving, cowards,” he yelled at a woman as he backed into the parking lot.