This is the last Jim-written Morning Jolt until August 16; Alexandra DeSanctis and Isaac Schorr will be filling in while I’m away. On the menu today: A jury in Texas finds Alex Jones guilty of defamation, but some larger and more difficult questions remain; Did Jones’s audience enable and encourage his worst, craziest impulses? Do you feel like you spend more time now dealing with people who are crazy than you used to? Is it possible that we genuinely have more people who are cuckoo walking around than we did a decade or a generation ago?
Living in Crazy Times
I am not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, and chances are, you aren’t either. That means we’re not properly trained to assess someone’s behavior and conclude that they’re legally insane or mentally incompetent. But . . . we all know when we run into someone who’s crazy. Much as Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart characterized his ability to determine what is and what isn’t pornography, we know it when we see it.
Alex Jones is crazy. Everybody’s known this for a long time. Back in 2018, just about all of the social-media companies ...