Chobani, the maker of Greek yogurt, is suing right-wing provocateur Alex Jones, claiming he published articles and videos that falsely linked the company to child rape and a tuberculosis outbreak near its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Idaho state court, says Jones’s Infowars website defamed Chobani and owner Hamdi Ulukaya in reports alleging the company’s practice of hiring refugees had brought crime and disease to the town of 45,000.
“Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists,” read an April 11 tweet from Infowars highlighted in the complaint. The tweet linked to a video containing what Chobani said were false statements about the company. The complaint also cited an August 2016 article that suggested Chobani was responsible for a “500% increase in tuberculosis in Twin Falls.”
Chobani said Jones had ignored requests to remove the reports, which as of early Tuesday were still accessible on the “Alex Jones Channel” on YouTube as well as the main Infowars site. As a result, the lawsuit said, some customers had called for a boycott of the company’s products.
“The Defendants’ defamatory statements have caused and continue to cause harm to Idaho residents, including Chobani employees, their families, and other members of the Twin Falls community associated with Chobani,” read the complaint.
In an audio statement posted on his YouTube channel Monday night, Jones said “sources” in the White House and Congress told him that billionaire George Soros, a frequent target of Jones’s attacks, was behind the lawsuit. Soros is not named in court documents, and there is nothing suggesting he is involved in any way.
Jones vowed to fight the case, saying it was without merit.
“I’m not backing down, I’m never giving up, I love this,” he said in the recording. “They have jumped the trillion-pound great white shark on this baby.”
Jones has made a name for himself peddling outrageous conspiracy fantasies over the years, including claims that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax and that the government orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Last month, he apologized for promoting “Pizzagate,” a fabricated story that accused Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman of running a child sex abuse ring out of a Washington pizza restaurant.
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.