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Elizabeth Williamson's "Sandy Hook": Extremism's war on truth

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In her new book, NY Times feature writer Elizabeth Williamson traces an extremist arc from the tragic 2012 school shooting to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. (credit Penguin Random House/Beowulf Sheehan)

Tom's guest for the hour today is Elizabeth Williamson, a reporter for the New York Times who has written a book that traces the lineage from conspiracy theories that surrounded the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 through every other major trauma that has occurred since, up to and including the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The book is disturbing and important. It chronicles the inhuman and insidious work of people like Alex Jones, the founder of Info Wars, and those who perpetuate his fabricated explanations of tragic events. It lays bare the horrific reality that our country has millions of gullible people, many of whom are willing to viciously demean and defame families whose loved ones are victims of violence. They comprise a loyal audience who have funded Jones and his ilk for decades, and as Williamson masterfully demonstrates, they are part of an “enduring feature of American life” since our country’s earliest days.

The book is called Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth.

Elizabeth Williamson joins us on our digital line from Washington, DC.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.