Poor man. His empire of lies is falling down around his ears. He can’t even sell his hokey ‘supplements’ (he was making $20 million a year off that nonsense!) because he’s finally been banned from all the social media sites he needed to peddle snake oil. His lies have been killing people, though, so my sympathy is non-existent.
Jones, who tells his viewers that his wild claims are based on “deep research” and high-level government sources, admitted that he actually relies on anonymous internet message boards and random emailers. Unable to justify his past conduct, an uncharacteristically subdued Jones blamed “psychosis.”
The deposition, filmed March 14 and published online last Friday, was released as part of a lawsuit filed by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of a child murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre. Lewis, one of several parents currently suing Jones, says that she has been a target of harassment as the result of Jones’ repeated claim that Sandy Hook was a “hoax” and no children died.
Jones accused grieving parents of being paid actors complicit in a far-reaching government conspiracy — and many people believed him. Throughout the deposition, Jones expressed little remorse.
Last week another Sandy Hook parent who faced harassment, Jeremy Richman, died in an apparent suicide.
How can one lone crank like Jones have so much impact on people? The answer is…he had enablers and promoters. There were people who were happy to have a representative of the lunatic fringe to push to the forefront, to take all the blame, while they made sure their audiences were exposed to the toxic garbage. The article names names. These are the people behind Alex Jones, who profited from the conspiracy nut and used him to advance their agenda.
In December 2015, as Jones was smearing the Sandy Hook families, Trump appeared on Jones’ Infowars show. Already a leading candidate for the Republican nomination, Trump lavished Jones with praise.
“[Y]our reputation’s amazing – I will not let you down – you will be very very impressed. I hope and I think we’ll be speaking a lot,” Trump said.
The Drudge Report. I’d almost forgotten that slimy rag existed, but I guess it has a large audience among the wrong sorts of people.
Trump gave Alex Jones the patina of legitimacy. But Matt Drudge delivered Jones something even more critical: website traffic.
One thing you learn from reading Alex Jones’ deposition is that he claims nearly every major tragedy is a hoax or government conspiracy. At one point Jones admits in rapid succession that 9/11, Columbine, and Oklahoma City were all “false flags.”
Nevertheless, Matt Drudge repeatedly links to Infowars on his popular news aggregator, the Drudge Report. Drudge’s site, which is one of the most popular in the United States, features two permanent links to InfoWars. According to an analysis by the Washington Post, Drudge links to specific Infowars stories regularly.
Tucker Carlson remains one of Fox News’ most popular hosts, drawing millions of viewers each night. When PayPal recently severed its relationship with Alex Jones, Carlson came to his defense.
Carlson said in February that Jones’ ban was part of an effort to undermine the First Amendment by making “it impossible for people who say the wrong things to make a living in this country.” Carlson said that PayPal wanted “utter conformity, a world where only approved opinions are allowed.”
You know, if Alex Jones is to be held accountable for his destructive misinformation, those guys have to be up against the wall next.