A week after kick disgraced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaving, John Oliver returned to the Last week tonight office on Sunday to weigh in on the libel trial of lopsided conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was found guilty of falsely claiming that the Sandy Hook Massacre was a “hoax” filled with “actors”.
The jury awarded Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, $45.2 million in punitive damages and $4.1 million in compensatory damages. Jones, 48, faces other libel lawsuits in Connecticut and Texas.
After describing Jones as “a man who boldly answers the question: what if Grimace were a proud boy? Oliver exclaimed, “Guess what, Alex?” You fucked with news and this time the news won. He added: “And the way he handled this trial is almost a master class in what not to do in court.”
For starters, as Oliver pointed out, the judge became so “exasperated” by Jones’ lying in court that she at one point halted the proceedings to respond to it, telling him, “It seems absurd to tell you again that you must tell the truth while you testify, but here I am: you to have to tell the truth while you testify…this is not your show.
That didn’t stop Jones, who continued to appear during the trial on his untruthful Infowars show, where, Oliver said, “he baselessly linked [the judge] to paedophilia” and suggested that his political enemies had stacked the jury with “blue collar workers” who were unable to decide what damages he should pay. It’s typical of Jones, who once claimed that the government poisoned the water and made frogs gay, that Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg was a crisis actor, that the car in Charlottesville was a false flag, that Michelle Obama is transgender, and that 9/11 was “a government-orchestrated controlled bombing.”
“There was a twist that he maybe didn’t see coming,” Oliver said of Jones’ trial.
A lawyer representing the parents of the slain Sandy Hook child presented a text message in court that proved Jones lied on the stand when he claimed there was no text on his phone of him discussing Sandy Hook. When Jones expressed surprise at where the lawyer might have gotten it, he explained to Jones: “Did you know [that] 12 days ago, your lawyers screwed up and sent me a complete digital copy of your cell phone, with all the text messages you’ve sent for the past two years? And once informed, [they] took no steps to identify him as privileged or protected in any way? And two days ago it fell into my possession, and that’s how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have a text about Sandy Hook.
“It’s your Perry Mason moment,” replied a stunned Jones.
“Oh shit!” exclaimed Oliver. “First off, thanks to that lawyer for having the superhuman patience to sit on those text messages for 12 whole days…but the contents of Jones’ phone could become a problem for him. Not only the January 6 committee previously requested these phone records, but they also show that Jones, who tried to plead poverty in the case, was earning up to $800,000 a day in recent years from sales.
Oliver concluded: “Listen, clearly, none of this is going to stop him. There are two more trials coming up, and he’ll probably find ways to turn them into a clown show as well and raise money as well. But at the very least, this phone thing could make her life a whole lot harder, and for a while. And it’s something we should all be allowed to enjoy, because waking up one morning to find that Alex Jones’ lawyers have mistakenly shared his cellphone recordings is a real blessing. We don’t deserve this, but one thing is certain: it absolutely Is.”