Yes, Alex Jones Was the “Best of Austin” Once
The News Desk was trying very, very hard to pay as little attention as possible to Alex Jones, because he and the Chronicle go way back, and really, what else is there to say? As it happened, we got a shout-out from the InfoWars impresario as he was undergoing friendly questioning from his latest lawyer (he has fired many), F. Andino Reynal, during his damages trial in the defamation case (which he lost by default) brought by Sandy Hook parents Scarlett Lewis and Neal Heslin. As Texas Monthly's Dan Solomon live-tweeted from District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble's courtroom: "Reynal compares the original [Jones Show on Austin Access TV] to Wayne's World; Alex likes that comparison. He talks about winning Best of Austin awards from The Austin Chronicle back in the '90s."
This was not the only thing Alex Jones said on the stand that was inaccurate! But this error actually sold Jones short: He claimed BOA honors from readers throughout the Aughts, until 2007. We gave him notoriety as Austin's Best Looking Crank in a 1997 Critics Pick, before he 'roided out and became a real-life troll under the bridge. After 2007, when a Democrat was in the White House, is when Jones transitioned from libertarian contrarian to full-on white-power conspiracist, and it was no longer so much fun when he showed up at your outdoor event with a bullhorn.
Anyway, our cameo in the latest chapter of the Alex Jones saga came not long before Lewis and Heslin's attorney Mark Bankston revealed that he was in possession of the entire contents of Jones' cellphone, with texts and emails going back to 2020, which Reynal's office had shared with him by accident and which exposed Jones' many lies under oath, at which point the News Desk had to give in and start paying attention. And when we say "he," we mean "he, and all the other Sandy Hook plaintiffs, since this is only the first of several damages trials in both Texas and Connecticut, and also the January 6 committee, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice." So many things to learn! Among them, we are told, is that Jones had the medical records of each of the Sandy Hook plaintiffs on his phone. (Crime?) We also have now learned that he and Tucker Carlson are textin' besties. As we wait for the entire contents of the phone to inevitably leak, we've also learned that the InfoWars enterprise cleared as much as $300 million in revenue per year, even after Jones got deplatformed from much of his audience for spreading COVID disinfo and helping organize Jan. 6. So the jury had little problem assessing nearly $50 million in damages against Jones, ignoring his claims of bankruptcy.