It was a lie, but, alas, it was a lie believed by many, many of Jones’ more unstable followers. Thus, ever since the deaths of the children, the Sandy Hooks parents’ agony has been prolonged and intensified by the madness of the paranoid Right. They have been harassed and abused. They have been taunted and insulted. They have received death threats.
Now, some of those parents are taking action. They have filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones—the man, or rather pseudo-man who has been the author of so much of their pain, second only perhaps, to the shooter himself, Adam Lanza, who killed twenty children that day.
It is good that they have set out to hold Jones responsible for his actions. I hope that they win, and that Jones will be required to pay a great deal of money. I hope it bankrupts him. Because, of course, money has been at the core of a lot of this. Jones has a great deal to gain by torturing the blameless. It boosts his ratings. It solidifies his base.
Yet, also, let us confess it, there is more to this than simple profit. Jones could make money in other ways. There are other stories he might chase. Other falsehoods he could peddle.
No. You have to think that simple sadism is his driving passion. You have to suspect that he takes pleasure in hurting others. And what could be more brutal than what he has done to the Sandy Hook parents? In defaming the dead and slandering the living? What he did was worthy of De Sade, himself, or the devil…striking others in their most vulnerable place, in the place where their heart is broken …using his words and his images and videos to cause the maximum amount of damage to the most innocent of souls. It is what he does. It is his calling. He is thus profoundly evil, almost literally demonic, and like demons everywhere he delights only in malice and pain.
But, there is something even more frightening about him. To wit, that there are men and women in this country who believe him, who watch him, and who support him.
Ergo, sometimes I think the solution to Mr. Jones is not in the courtroom (though it is good that he has been brought there) but in the school. I think, sometimes, that he will only be defeated when we have educated our children, and ourselves, in the arts of critical thinking, in rationality and objective reasoning, and even in simple humanity.
Only then, when we have restored ourselves and our society to mental health, will he be defeated. For, then, he will no longer be trusted. He will no longer hold his viewers in thrall.
Rather, his power will dissipate … vanish…like an evil stench scattered…