Alex Jones: CNN cancels much-trailed documentary after outrage from viewers

Far-right host has been sued for false claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, among myriad other incendiary statements

Andrew Naughtie
Monday 28 February 2022 16:04
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CNN last night cancelled the broadcast of a major documentary about InfoWars host and right-wing extremist Alex Jones after being widely criticised for effectively giving him a platform.

The documentary, entitled Megaphone for Conspiracy, was heavily trailed on the network in the week leading up to its scheduled slot. However, critics of Mr Jones and the radical right in general were angry to see Mr Jones treated as a subject of interest as opposed to a dangerous agitator whose ideas have penetrated public discourse with serious consequences.

In advance of the one-hour documentary, CNN promoted it as an investigation of how Mr Jones came to prominence and why he has taken the path he has.

“Through interviews with people who knew him, worked for him, and believed him,” the network wrote, “Griffin explores Jones’ rise from the fringes of public access television to creating a wide-reaching media empire that touched the Trump White House. The hour will also trace the roots of Jones’ conspiracy theories from the 1990s to today.

“CNN obtained exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of InfoWars headquarters, including portions of a revealing interview with Jones never seen before. Griffin will detail how Jones became a multi-millionaire, and show how de-platforming and other efforts have done little to silence Jones or diminish his wealth. As Jones’ empire is being challenged by lawsuits from the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims, and by scrutiny by the January 6th committee, CNN explores how Jones’ message grew from the fringes into the mainstream, and why that could threaten the future of democracy in America.”

In the last two years, Mr Jones – who as the network says has been extremely controversial since he began to reach an audience of any size – has indeed faced legal action over his statements about the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, which included claims that the 20 small children murdered by shooter Adam Lanza were “crisis actors” and that their parents were complicit in a “giant hoax”. Last November, he lost four defamation lawsuits brought against him over his statements.

Mr Jones has also pleaded the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times when questioned by the committee investigating the 6 January riot, where he was present to address the crowd. He claims he got caught up in the event against his better judgment and that he urged the assembled Trump supporters to be peaceful.

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