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Sandy Hook dad who killed himself was under a constant attack by conspiracy theorists: NYT reporter

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Sandy Hook dad Jeremy Richman (Photo: Screen capture)

Jeremy Richman’s body was found at the Edmond Town Hall on Monday morning of an apparent suicide. The death of a child is horrific and barely manageable, but Richman was bullied every day by conspiracy theorists who claimed his daughter was still alive.

New York Times feature writer Elizabeth Williamson posted a Twitter thread about the heartbreak the Sandy Hook dad faced that likely made his depression worse with the barage of hate.

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“One of these hoaxers, Wolfgang Halbig–whose Twitter account was suspended ONLY LAST MONTH–spent years insisting that Avielle Richman was alive, living in alias as another girl in Newtown, a child he repeatedly named online,” she wrote Monday evening. “Halbig’s naming of this child has terrified her family. He’s appeared on Alex Jones’ Infowars show multiple times.”

Jones claimed the Sandy Hook shooting was a “false flag” attack by the American government. He alleged that no one actually died and the children were actors. While an FBI report disputes this, the right-wing media host also alleges that the FBI is part of a deep-state attack on Americans, particularly President Donald Trump.

Six families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting as well as an FBI agent who responded to the emergency call filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones for his role in spreading conspiracy theories by Halbig.

Halbig has “also requested thousands of pages of documents from Newtown officials, including the identities of Sandy Hook choir kids invited to sing at the Super Bowl after the shooting,” Williamson explained. “This, again, has terrified the families of Sandy Hook survivors. Halbig has appeared multiple times in Newtown, seeking documents that he wrongly insists will prove Avielle and other children killed at Sandy Hook are alive. He has done this at times with an Infowars camera crew in tow.”

“There’s no current evidence Mr. Richman’s death is linked to harassment by hoaxers,” Williamson clarified. “But too few Americans know the hell these families have endured, after the murders of their children. And social media has enabled it. Thanks for reading.”

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A spokesperson for Jones released a statement Monday saying, “We note the tragic passing of Jeremy Richman with heavy hearts and profound sorrow. Mr. Jones sends his condolences to Mr. Richman’s family and wishes only for peace.”

Read the full thread on Twitter.


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Things are so bad for Republicans the GOP had to send money to Texas

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In 2016, then-anti-Trump Republican Sen. Linsey Graham proclaimed, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it." It seems his prediction is coming closer to fruition.

Financial reporting reveals that the Republican Party was forced to send $1.3 million to ruby-red Texas as the election nears.

It was something spotted by ProPublica developer and ex-reporter Derek Willis Sunday.

"That's never happened before," he tweeted.

He noted that the Texas GOP raised $3.3 million in August, but nearly half of that came from their national parents.

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What the London ‘Blitz’ reveals about how much pain and tragedy people can handle in 2020

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It's hard to imagine how 2020 could possibly get worse. "If we lose Betty White," a friend said on a drive to the Supreme Court to lay flowers.

So many Americans have lost friends or family members to COVID-19. Thousands of Americans survived the virus only to desperately needed organ transplants and forever will struggle to breathe the way they once did. Others are still suffering without smell or taste even three months after having the virus. Millions of Americans are out of work. Debt is stacking up for those trying to survive in the COVID economy. A lack of health insurance can mean hospitalizations from the virus are putting people into bankruptcy.

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Stop trying to convince people you’re right — it will never persuade anyone: expert

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MSNBC host Joshua Johnson noted that this year has been full of strife, with Americans having a lot to stand up about. Whether the slaying of unarmed Black men and police brutality, or healthcare, and the coronavirus, Americans are lining up to protest.

Johnson asked if people try to start tough conversations, how do they keep it productive, and when it's time to give up. In her book, We Need to Talk, Celest Headlee explains tools that people can use to have productive conversations about tough issues that help move the needle.

"Keep in mind that a protest isn't a conversation, right?" she first began. "That's a different kind of communication. The first thing is that our goal in conversations is not always a productive one. In other words, oftentimes, we go into these conversations hoping to change somebody's mind or convince them that they are wrong. You're just never going to accomplish that. There's no evidence. We haven't been able to -- through years and years of research we haven't been able to find evidence that over a conversation somebody said, 'You're right, I was completely wrong.' You've convinced me. So, we have to stop trying to do that. We have to find a new purpose for those conversations."

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