Finally, Truth or Consequences

Ideas and Issues
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            Limon, Colorado         There’s actually a town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences.  I’ve actually known people who were from there and living there.  That’s the truth.  A million years ago there was a television show that has some popularity on and off the air from 1950 to 1956.  One of the early hosts, Ralph Edwards, said that he would air the show from any town that would change its name to Truth or Consequences.  Hot Spring, New Mexico signed up for that stunt, and, in for a penny, in for a pound, are still living with the town’s decision almost seventy years later.  True story.

The premise of the show was that if the guests didn’t tell the truth, there would be consequences.  How 1950s is that?  Now in the modern or post-modern or whatever you may want to call our times of fake news, alternative facts, and downright lies, it seems that often falsehoods have no consequences.

In a brightly, shining rare moment, Alex Jones of the conspiracy-obsessed rightwing site Infowars is learning that even in today’s world there is truth or consequences.  He shamelessly promoted a conspiracy for years that the Sandy Hook, Connecticut school massacre was a hoax.  Claiming at different times that people there fomented the mess and often that children were not killed.  Grieving, brave and committed parents of some the tragically killed children sued him and kept after him for years, not settling, and not backing down even in open court proceedings.

The courts have now ruled that he owes damages for his fabricated conspiracy and efforts to create clicks and monetize his websites and hucksterism on the site.  He has also been a scofflaw trying to avoid paying off the millions he owes the families.

Finally, Jones is going to learn that you can run, but you can’t hide.  There still are situations where there are truth or consequences.  Alex Jones has now gone into US Bankruptcy Court in Houston, Texas and ceded his interests in conspiracy-oriented website and media company Infowars and other business assets to provide a mechanism for the payment of the defamation claims against him under Chapter 11 of the code.  Chapter 11 normally allows for reorganization, so I wouldn’t trust him, since as the court has established, he is a liar.  Ceding his interests in Infowars and these other assets might not be worth much without the liar-in-charge, so he may still be trying to sell a pig in a poke so he can pop up like a bad penny somewhere else.

There’s a lesson here though.  He claims it has cost him a pile in legal fees to lose badly.  There are some other folks, I can think of an ex-president for example, a Utah Senator now in the news, and a lot of Fox News and Breitbart folks who need to learn something from all of this.  Many of us still believe in truth or consequences, and it may become popular again sooner or later.