Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was forced to publicly apologize to yogurt company Chobani on Wednesday after the right-wing radio host was sued for defamation.
Last month, the yogurt giant filed a suit against Jones and his website, Infowars, for posting a fake news story that linked the company and its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, to a 2014 sexual assault case involving refugees in Twin Falls, Idaho. According to Chobani’s lawyers, the falsified report accused his company of bringing “crime and tuberculosis to the community.” The story was given the headline “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists” when it was tweeted by Infowars to its hundreds of thousands of followers.
Chobani owns and operates the largest yogurt plant in the world in Twin Falls. Ulukaya has won praise for hiring immigrants and refugees to work at the company, recently telling the Financial Times, “If a refugee has a job, they are no longer a refugee.” But those business practices have also made him the target of xenophobic attacks from far-right entities like Infowars.
After settling the suit, Jones apologized and retracted the story Wednesday.
“During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong. The tweets and video have now been retracted and will not be re-posted,” Jones said on the air. “On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”
Jones, facing multiple lawsuits earlier this year over the fake “Pizzagate” pedophile story, previously apologized for his website’s involvement in spreading a falsified report that inspired an armed man to target a Washington, D.C., pizzeria in December.