On Tuesday, Alex Jones, owner of the conspiracy-touting website Infowars, was ordered to pay nearly $1 Billion in damages to Sandy Hook victims’ families and one F.B.I. agent. Today’s writing prompt will be based on his time in court and the events surrounding it. Keep reading to see the full writing prompt and my completed version of it.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Witnessing Alex Jones in Court
Today, write from the perspective of a fictional onlooker in and around the courtroom during Alex Jones’s recent trial. Write about what they would be seeing, thinking, and feeling.
Here are some resources to read regarding the trial and verdict:
- Vox. Alex Jones’s lies have cost him $965 million in a second Sandy Hook trial
- The New York Times. Alex Jones was ordered to pay $965 million to the families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an F.B.I. agent.
- NewsTimes. Alex Jones wears ‘Save the 1st’ Amendment tape on mouth as he arrives at court for Sandy Hook trial
- The Washington Post. Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to Sandy Hook families
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
Hypocrisy on Trial, by K.E. Creighton
I see him walk toward the courthouse. He has a piece of white tape over his mouth with words on it. The words read, “Save the 1st” with an advertisement for his website underneath them. I gawk at him and his casual defilement of what millions have died to protect for centuries now— so he can make millions off children’s corpses?
The irony is that he is the one who wants to distort the right to free speech, and no one really sees the distortion. Whose free speech? He’s actively working to take away the voice of the deceased. They can’t lie— the deceased— especially when and where there is proof. Aren’t their tiny corpses evidence enough? What is his evidence? His hubris? His knack for earning millions by exploiting massacred children?
In the courtroom, he’s on the stand and looks bored. His forced apathy is palpable, making him look empty. His body takes up space, but there’s nothing substantial there. He smirks and says everyone is too emotional, attempting to act superior, but his assumed hate betrays his juvenile discontent—his hypocrisy. In the audience, a father of a little girl who was murdered looks at him with a blank stare.
I am under no fanciful notion that he will one day feel shame or remorse for using children’s assassinated bodies, and his attempt to gag their short-lived lives. I don’t want to hear him offer apologies because they’re not sincere or real. At least, not as real to him as the money he made off the children’s backs, which he’ll need to forfeit now. Even if only metaphorically, his verdict sends a message of what he’s worth, too …
[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]
Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt
When I wrote today, I didn’t quite nail down a specific onlooker whose perspective I wanted to use. I could have written from the perspective of a journalist or photographer or family member, etc. But, alas, the above is what I came up with in the end. And it’s a very rough draft.
It’s hard to fathom everything Alex Jones did and still does. At the same time, I’m not angry. I will not be angry because anger is what fuels him; it’s literally what earns him money and feeds him. And I don’t want him to be fueled or be able to make a living that way anymore. I want him to pay damages, of course. But more than that, I want more and more people to truly recognize what free speech is all about now, and discuss what defamation is and why it legally exists.
This case isn’t about Alex Jones— he doesn’t care and never will— it’s time to forget him, but not what he’s done. Otherwise, he’s getting exactly what he wants: anger-fueled attention that makes him money. He’s ordered to pay, so follow up on him paying, then forget him. This case is really about free speech and what it means. Free speech is not to be taken for granted or referred to so capriciously and recklessly— and surely not to be touted while denying the very real massacre of small children in order to turn a profit.