Last week, right-wing radio host and prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered by a Texas court to pay out nearly $50 million in punitive damages for his insistence that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.
To many observers, this is a moment of truth and justice ten years in the making. But does it hail the end of right-wing media dominance or simply usher in a new era?
For today’s show, host Esty Dinur does a deep dive into the Alex Jones story and what it means for right-wing media and conspiracy theories with historian Nicole Hemmer.
Nicole Hemmer is an associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University and director of the Rogers Center for the Study of the Presidency. She is author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Penn Press, 2016) and the forthcoming book Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s (Basic Books, 2022).