WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), on Monday joined MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell following a Connecticut judge’s ruling that Alex Jones and Infowars must pay damages for spreading lies about the Sandy Hook victims and their families. Murphy discussed the impact of Jones’s conspiracy theories on the safety and livelihoods of these families and the importance of the legal system in holding Jones, and others who spread falsehoods, accountable. He also highlighted the advocacy of many Sandy Hook families in ending the gun violence epidemic.
On the court’s ruling and how devastating Alex Jones’s conspiracies have been to Sandy Hook families, Murphy said: “I'm thrilled for the families…And I'm glad that Alex Jones and his movement is finally being brought to justice. It's really hard, Lawrence, to explain how crippling this conspiracy theory movement led by Alex Jones–but perpetuated by many others–has been to these families. Lenny Pozner dropped his three kids off at Sandy Hook Elementary School that day and he never saw one of them again. Noah died–he was the first funeral we attended just days afterwards. Lenny Pozner lives in hiding today. He lives in hiding today because he is targeted viciously and violently by these conspiracy theorists.”
Murphy continued: “[T]hese families have been victimized over and over again. First by losing their loved ones and second by having to deal with the terror of a conspiracy theory movement that thinks they are all actors, thinks they are politically motivated, thinks this was all done as a stage act to try to promote a political agenda in Washington. It's sick, and I’m glad that at least today several families from Sandy Hook had their day in court and have been able to reach some justice.”
On Alex Jones’ profit-driven, baseless conspiracies and the effect of misinformation post-January 6th, Murphy said: “We need to start thinking of our legal system as a way to provide some check, some ability to control the worst, most disgusting, most abusive of these lies and conspiracy theories…And I think it is important that especially when these purveyors of propaganda and falsehoods are doing it simply for profit, doing it knowing that it is false, the legal system has to hold them to account and maybe that will provide a bit of a chilling effect on others who are going to try to spread future lies that ultimately could bring down our democracy.”
Murphy concluded: “Many of the Sandy Hook families appreciate the attention that their kids have gotten, but they believe that every single kid who loses their life due to gun violence should get the same amount of attention. And that's a struggle we have to fight to make sure that folks know even when there's not a day with a mass shooting, with 20 or 30 people dying, there's still an ongoing tragedy of daily repetitive gun violence in this country that is robbing us of too many young lives.”