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How the right built up Alex Jones — even after his Sandy Hook comments

A Texas jury ordered Alex Jones to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of one of the Sandy Hook victims for compounding their pain and suffering. Alex Jones made transparently ridiculous claims that the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary was a “false flag" and that the families mourning their children were “crisis actors” in on the “giant hoax" Jones has often been wielded by the right more to make a point than anything else — but in the process, he’s been legitimized. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has led the charge on that front, saying Jones lies far less and is far more credible than a prominent State Department spokesman. The verdict should serve as a moment of reckoning for the GOP as it embraces Jones-ian conspiracy theories.

Alex Jones' comments about Sandy Hook have been part of the public record for a very long time. But some Republicans have continued to legitimize Jones, even though he's been accused of lying about the massacre. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a member of Congress, said he would no longer appear on Jones' show. Jones was found guilty of defamation of defamation by a federal court this week. He's not the first to defend Jones, but he's the most willing vector in Congress for the same kinds of conspiracy theories he said about the Sandy Hook massacre.