The custody battle of InfoWars’ Alex Jones has been an embarrassment of embarrassments, what with its endless procession of revelations about Jones’ incredible preteen sexual prowess, his dank meme skills, and his insistence that he’s just a performer playing a part in life’s conspiracy theory cabaret. All of these things have threatened to damage the credibility of a man who bellows about gay frogs and accuses grieving Sandy Hook parents of being paid actors, but at least Jones can take solace in knowing that he lost primary custody of his three children today, thus confirming his career-defining belief that the entire world plots against him.
A Travis County jury ruled 10-2 on Thursday night to give Jones’ ex-wife Kelly joint custody, along with the power to dictate where their three kids (aged 9, 12, and 14) will live. Jones will have limited, supervised visitation rights—that decision likely stemming from closing arguments made by Kelly Jones’ attorneys, who accused Alex Jones of being a “master manipulator” and “like a cult leader” who was not only turning their children into “Infowarriors” and “foot soldiers,” but turning them against their mother through parental alienation syndrome. It was a damning accusation of Jones’ alleged use of hateful scorn, paranoia, and outright lies to influence the malleable, backed up solely by Alex Jones’ entire career.
Meanwhile, Jones’ attorneys staked their entire defense on painting Kelly as living with an “inverted logic and an inverted sense of reality,” a self-absorbed and emotionally unstable person who is dangerously convinced of a cabal of government forces (chiefly court-appointed counselors) conspiring against her. Somehow, this strategy proved less than convincing.
The decision marks the end to a trial that the court largely fought to keep focused on Alex Jones, the man, not “Alex Jones,” the character that Jones says he plays when he’s not at home eating pool burgers, yummy zebra meat, or memory-erasing chili. As such, the judge did not admit into evidence any of the many, many, clips of Jones ranting, often shirtless, on his show, allowing only a single edited segment of him, allegedly intoxicated on air, on Inauguration Night, and another of him smoking a joint with Joe Rogan (contradicting his claims that he only partakes once a year, as a public safeguard against George Soros’ constant weed-tampering). Another clip, in which Jones bragged of bedding more than 150 women by the time he was 16, wasn’t played but merely referenced, as an example of how he provides a poor moral example for his children. Yet even without much in the way of visual aids, somehow the jury was still able to conclude that Alex Jones may be slightly mentally unsound, based only on listening to him talk.
While the court’s decision seemed to vindicate Kelly Jones, the fallout from the trial—and the national attention that surrounded it—has surely brought, and will continue to bring, great emotional distress to her children, who now, more than ever could use some loving, cooperative parents who will put their needs first. Fortunately, Alex Jones has spent the past 24 hours shouting about the “beautiful” Ivanka Trump’s compassion for refugees, calling Stephen Colbert a chickenshit, and tweeting about a “massive pedophile investigation” and Planned Parenthood “haggling over baby body part prices,” thereby ensuring that they inherit the kind of world Alex Jones desperately wants them to live in.
Even better, BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel says Jones told assembled reporters in the courtroom today that they’d totally missed the “biggest story” of the whole trial, adding cryptically that they would soon “find out” what it was. So there’s every chance that Jones’ kids will discover they don’t actually exist, and that this whole traumatic ordeal was just a false flag. What a relief that will be for them.