An attorney for right-wing radio host Alex Jones plans to argue in a custody case that the Infowars founder and host's on-air demeanor should not be used to determine his fitness as a parent.
Randall Wilhite said of his client during an April 2017 pre-trial hearing: "He's playing a character. He is a performance artist."
But in a video filmed in his car on 18 April 2017, Jones appeared to reference Wilhite's argument, saying, "We're all actors, but I believe in what I stand for. I'm not an actor as my main identity."
He also argued that he was never a "right-wing extremist," saying:
I'm a thinker, I'm an open person, I am who I am. I do have a Texas accent ... and I'm not talking about myself, but because they have to attack who I am everywhere and they have to misrepresent who I am and what I stand for and take everything out of context like [the movie] "A Face In The Crowd" like [Andy Griffith] does at the end of the movie where he goes: "Ha, I don't like any of you, I'm not really real", all this stuff. That's not who I am. I am completely real, and everybody knows it. But the media's so deceptive they'll take that clip where I said "I'm not really real" and then say I said I wasn't real.
Shortly after the video was posted, District Judge Orlinda Naranjo said that Jones was under a gag order when informed about a separate video. If Jones published the video on 16 or 17 April 2017, the judge said, she would "address it" as a violation of that order.
The video has a publishing date of 17 April 2017, and also shows Jones holding up a printout of an article published on the same day:
Jones's ex-wife, Kelly Jones, is seeking sole custody of the couple's three children. She said she was worried because the children are present at his home during his broadcasts:
He’s not a stable person. He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped. I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress.
Her remark referred to the host's use of an anti-gay slur against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) in a 30 March 2017 video. In addition to that slur, Jones also issued a threat to Schiff, saying: "I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch." A week later, Jones said that the statements were "clearly tongue-in-cheek and basically art performance."
On 13 March 2017, Jones accused Alec Baldwin of trying to "defame" him and President Donald Trump in a Saturday Night Live sketch and challenged him to a boxing match, saying:
I'll do it right now. I'll get in the ring with you and I will break your jaw, I will knock your teeth out, I will break your nose, and I will break your neck. You coward, you think you're tough guy, messing with little cameramen people.
A day later, he posted a follow-up video billed as an apology, which in reality was another commentary accusing Baldwin and the sketch comedy show of spreading lies about him and Trump. He said:
I'm a human. I'm actually trying to get freedom in this country. I'm trying to actually promote jobs. I'm actually trying to promote a future. I'm not a globalist eugenicist that wants a post-industrialist world. I'm for real. InfoWars is for real.
Jones, who supported Trump's campaign for the presidency, has also claimed that the December 2012 mass shooting attack against Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut was staged. The school board in Newtown, where the school is located, sent Trump a letter in February 2017 asking him to denounce Jones for the allegation. As of 7 April 2017, the president had yet to respond.
Jury selection in the Jones custody case began on 17 April 2017. Naranjo told attorneys for both parties:
This case is not about InfoWars, and I don’t want it to be about InfoWars. I am in control of this court, not your clients.