(CN) – Idaho-based yogurt giant Chobani claims that the conspiracy-driven Infowars media company defamed it by telling viewers the company imported tuberculosis and rapists to the town of Twin Falls, Idaho.
The defamation suit filed Monday in Twin Falls County, Idaho, names as defendants Infowars, Alex E. Jones and Free Speech Systems, all of Austin, Texas.
Jones is the host of radio- and internet-based “The Alex Jones Show,” and, according to the lawsuit, operates the websites Infowars.com and prisonplanet.com. Jones has millions of weekly listeners and his shows are nationally syndicated on about 60 radio stations, according to the complaint.
Among his many theories, Jones claimed that the United States was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the government organized the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the lawsuit says.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate speech, labels Jones as the nation’s “most prolific conspiracy theorist.” Jones has also been an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump since the spring of 2016.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jones blamed the gay community for the 2016 nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed and 53 wounded. Jones has said the United Nations is a space cult plotting to make our children gay and he has said, according to the law center, and that food introduced to Americans’ diets have been responsible for turning children gay.
The lawsuit against Jones and Infowars stems from a video published on April 11, in which the Alex Jones Show purports to describe Chobani’s practice of hiring refugees, as well as an assault in Twin Falls that is unrelated to Chobani, the lawsuit says. According to the lawsuit, reporter David Knight makes the false statement in the video that the Chobani plant “brought crime and tuberculosis to the community.”
Twin Falls, Idaho, has been a safe harbor for thousands of international refugees in the last 30 years, and the town welcomes about 300 refugees per year, according to Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar.
Barigar said in an earlier interview with Courthouse News Service that “refugee resettlement has helped Twin Falls and its residents share a welcoming environment and humanitarian support to those in need for these many decades.
“Refugees have been able to share their cultural experiences with us, have found friendships and opportunity to improve their own lives and those of their families, and have become important and successful members of our community,” Barigar said.
In his April 24 broadcast in response to the lawsuit, Jones said the lawsuit was backed by George Soros’ Islamist-backed company and that the suit is not against “Alex Jones … but the American people.”
The video named in the lawsuit had received 22,349 views as of Monday. Also on April 11, the defendants published the video on Twitter with the headline “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists,” the lawsuit says.
Jones said in his April 24 broadcast that he changed the Twitter headline, “but they don’t care, they went ahead and filed the lawsuit.”
He added: “They have taken my kindness for weakness.”
On his April 24 broadcast at infowars.com, Jones displayed Breitbart News website headlines claiming that “TB Spiked 500 percent in Twin Falls in 2012 as Chobani opened yogurt plant” and “22 percent of Muslims resettled in Minnesota tested positive for TB.”
Jones also said there is an “Islamic rape epidemic” taking place worldwide.
“You want to shut us from reporting that, well that’s not ever going to happen,” Jones said, adding that “I’m very honored to be under attack by all these people.”
He also made sure to mention that in order to fight the lawsuit and the “global trifecta” of “globalism, Islam and modern liberalism,” viewers should visit his online store to purchase “great patriot apparel” and nutritional supplements.
“If you breathe air into our sails … we are unstoppable,” he said.
He responded to the lawsuit by saying on his broadcast, “Well guess what, you just ran into a Texan, so you get ready!”
Chobani is represented by Deborah Kristensen of Givens Pursley in Boise, Idaho, which declined to comment.
The Chobani lawsuit is the second in a week against nationalistic websites. Last week, a Montana real estate agent sued The Daily Stormer and its owner over attacks that the website made against the woman, who is Jewish.