A Fairfield County radio station canceled a talk show hosted by Connecticut-based defense attorney Alex Jones after the attorney refused to agree to terms on what he could say to the subject of the Sandy Hook libel lawsuit recently concluded by Jones.
Attorney Norm Pattis said he had hosted a weekday show from noon to 2 p.m. on WICC AM and FM radio for the past five months or so. He took time off from the program during the trial, which began in mid-September and ended with a verdict against Jones on Wednesday.
The libel lawsuit brought against Jones by relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has concluded with a stunning $965 million verdict against Jones and for the 14 family members and a first responder who pursued him.
Much of the evidence at trial was gripping and generally moving testimonies from family members who described suffering a decade of harassment and threats from people who believe false conspiracy theories about the massacre. Sandy Hook Elementary School, broadcast by Jones on his Texas-based radio and internet. platforms.
For years, Jones falsely claimed the school massacre was a hoax and the 20 murdered first-graders, six dead educators, and grieving parents, siblings, and spouses were actors in a hoax. stage intended to generate support for gun control.
Pattis was due to resume his radio show on Friday afternoon, but said the show was canceled after a brief discussion of what he might say.
“They wanted to talk about the limits of what I could and couldn’t say about Alex Jones,” Pattis said. “I don’t believe in prior restraint. So I said in case we couldn’t agree, we should have a backup. And they called and said we love you, let’s talk after the first of the year. We are not made for controversy.
“Well, if a radio station isn’t built for controversy, what good is it,” Pattis said. “I was cancelled.”
An executive from Westport-based Connoisseur Media, which owns the station, responded to an inquiry on Friday with a brief statement.
“Now that the Alex Jones case has been processed through the legal system and given the upcoming tenth anniversary of Sandy Hook, we want to be an agent of healing, not heartache,” Kristin Okesson said. “Our listeners are hurting and it’s important for us to focus on promoting positivity and helping them rebuild.”
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Pattis said he first learned there may be restrictions on what he was allowed to discuss on his show in a text message from a station producer on Friday morning.
“Hey Norm, what time do you expect to be here today?” read the text message. “Based on listener feedback so far on what’s happened this week, we just want to agree on some parameters before we go on air. We’d like to chat first.
Pattis said he phoned the producer and was told the station expected him to discuss the case, the lawsuits and the magnitude of the verdict. Pattis said he would discuss those topics, but also comment on his belief that the verdict is a “miscarriage of justice” and his defense of Jones.
“And he said, ‘Well, that’s what we need to talk about. “said Pattis.
Pattis said he responded that the station should consider finding a backup host in case there is no agreement.
He said his response resulted in a final text message from the producer:
“Hey Norm, I’ve been thinking about your text and chatting internally. Given the sensitive nature of the matter and the volume of feedback we’ve received, we think it’s best to wait. We don’t We’re not really made to handle controversy – that’s not our expertise, especially given Sandy Hook’s tenth anniversary in December. Why don’t we see you again early in the new year? We’re big fans of you and would like to fix the problem once everything is sorted out.