Virginia man sues Infowars, others for 'fake news' after Charlottesville rally

Virginia man sues Infowars, others for 'fake news' after Charlottesville rally
© Courtesy of Alex Jones

A counterprotester at the deadly white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville, Va., is suing the media outlet Infowars, its owner Alex Jones and seven others for defamation. 

Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia on behalf of Brennan Gilmore, who alleges that Alex Jones and other far-right supporters, including former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), published stories about him that damaged his reputation and mobilized an army of followers to pursue a campaign of harassment and threats against him.

Gilmore argues he became the target of elaborate online conspiracies that placed him at the center of a “deep-state” plot to stage the Charlottesville attack and destabilize the Trump administration after he posted a video he captured on Twitter of the car attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured 36 others. 

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“From Sandy Hook to ‘Pizzagate’ to Charlottesville, Las Vegas and now Parkland, the defendants thrive by inciting devastating real-world consequences with the propaganda and lies they publish as ‘news,’” Gilmore said in a statement.

“Today, I’m asking a court to hold them responsible for the personal and professional damage their lies have caused me, and, more importantly, to deter them from repeating this dangerous pattern of defamation and intimidation.”

In addition to Jones, the lawsuit was filed against Infowars’s operating company, Free Speech System; Infowars reporter Lee Ann McAdoo; Lee Stranahan, a reporter who has appeared in an Infowars video and has worked at Sputnik and Breitbart News; Jim Hoft, the author of the blog Gateway Pundit; West, who operates the website www.allenwest.com; Derrick Wilburn, author of a defamatory article about Gilmore on www.allenwest.com; and Scott Creighton, operator of the blog American Everyman.

When contacted for comment, Infowars sent The Hill a link to Monday’s episode of Jones’s show in which he said the lawsuit is full of misrepresentations and argues that Infowars and free speech are under attack.

“Fake quotes of articles that don’t exist, fake headlines of videos that don’t exist,” he said.

Jones went on to say he's honored to be persecuted.

“These lawsuits are all complete frauds,” he said. “All of them and it’s all Democratic party lawyers and I can’t even bring myself to say I want to counter sue them …. Cause I’m just not a piece of crap, but they started the fight.” 

Updated at 12:02 p.m.