Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, host of the long-running Book Stew, a video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, authors, playwrights, and even a cat who survived a tornado and wrote a book about it.
Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth by Elizabeth Williamson
This is not a recounting of the murders of 26 children and adults in Newton, CT in 2012. Instead, the author looks at the conspiracy theorists who claimed that the murdered children were “crisis actors” who were still alive, and that the entire tragedy was a “false flag.”
Her largest and most heinous target is Alex Jones. She provides background, though no clear explanations, of why he turned out the way he did (hint: daddy’s cash).
She cites the many, many times he and his staff caused harm via the internet to the mourning Sandy Hook parents, and how his worst followers took the bait and demanded, among other travesties, that one parent have his son’s body exhumed to prove that the child was murdered.
Progress is made, by brave parents, by police and law enforcement stepping in (not all the time) to have the worst liars arrested, and, reluctantly, the social media companies finally de-platform Jones and other liars.
Her most valuable revelations are her judgments on why fake news purveyors become viral, but, unfortunately, no solutions except to hire expensive lawyers and hope for extreme financial punishments.
Fascinating reading as the Jones trials are underway in Texas right now.
Quotes: “The more time people spend in this alternative world, the harder it is for them to leave. Turning back would prompt attacks by their group, and acknowledging error could bring shame at their gullibility and a reckoning with the pain they’ve inflicted.”
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