"Totally coup, yo."

TWiC #8: Alex Jones is the King of All Crackpots

Feb

24

by

I first heard about Alex Jones during one of my first breaks home from college, catching up with a friend from high school. He went to college in Meadville, PA, at the same school which after one semester drove Trent Reznor into the happening nightlife of Cleveland and probably fueled his angst-based career for the next 20 years.

So there wasn’t much to do in Meadville. One thing to do was drive around delivering pizzas to townies while listening to the Alex Jones radio show. That’s what my friend did. This was in the days before iPods, so unless you wanted to drag around your CD collection and risk it getting stolen by Alex Jones fans for crystal meth money, radio was your only option.

So we would get stoned and laugh at the crazy man yelling about the global “elite” in his documentaries. It’d be fun to pick apart the fact from fiction and to try to identify the point where reasonable concerns about government waste turned into the fever-dream rants of a paranoid lunatic. So yeah, the drug war is bullshit, but it’s not part of a UN plot to end American sovereignty.

Then 9/11 happened. After the smoke cleared, Jones became one of the leading voices of the 9/11 “truth” movement and the joke wasn’t really funny anymore. The tsunami of psychological projection, hatred, and fear-mongering that regularly spewed from his mouth for hours on end was reaching more and more people. And now somehow we’ve gotten to the point where people who don’t even know who Jones is are getting more and more comfortable sharing his lack of self-awareness and pride in ignorance.

So I thought for this week’s column, I’d try to listen to as much of Alex Jones’ “news” podcast as I could stand and keep a running diary of what I learned. I don’t expect this experiment to last very long. For the sake of my own personal sanity, I’m going to have to limit myself to his main program and not his post-show audio-blog.

Also I’ll have to exclude the commercials he keeps in his podcasts. That is, if I’m even able to tell the difference between the commercials and the “news.” Most of the ads Jones runs are for scams like alternative medicine, seeds which are “not genetically modified” (even though all seeds are genetically modified – that’s pretty much the definition of agriculture), Bibles guaranteed to survive a direct false flag government ops chemtrail attack and other tools to prevent the dangers Jones warns his audience of in his regular program. Which is funny since one of the few legitimate grievances Jones has of the mainstream media is that they’re in the business of selling their audiences to advertisers at the expense of real reporting.

Sunday:

Jones will interview some guy from the reality TV show Horders I’ve never heard of who “of course had his guns confiscated” just because he started yelling about how doctors are out to get him when he went into a hospital for chest pains. He announced this in a way that implied that I should have  known about this guy. Immediately I’m embarassed that I don’t always spend hours on end keeping up on the latest developments of What They Are Really Up To. The New World Order is taking our guns one citizen at a time. If they take the guns of another citizen per day, they’ll have all of our guns in a mere 876,160 years. That is, as long as the population doesn’t grow in the meantime, which it won’t if the Global Depopulation Conspiracy has their way.

Later he had a professor called Jim Marrs on who started blathering about Building 7. He and Jones were still pretending nobody believes them because they haven’t heard about it yet and not because they’ve been publicly debunked. Later they were tossing off while admiring how many people “governments” killed in the 20th century and Marrs brought up the very real near extermination of the indigenous population of the United States. But since he’s an Alex Jones person, he can’t even make a valid point without being an asshole about it, saying (emphasis mine) “We killed more people than Hitler supposedly did.”  Jones let that “supposedly” part pass without comment. This is going to be a long week.

Monday:

Mike Adams, the dipshit “Health Ranger” behind Natural News is filling in for Jones today. He’s on the road to do a live show in Dallas and if he broadcasts from his car the Communist Gestapo Government  Global Enslavement Police will pull him over and crush his freedom and liberty by making him pay a $75 fine.

I don’t think I’d heard that Adams is friends with Jones, but it’s really no surprise. Some of the alt med woo peddlers try to distance themselves from the more overtly political conspiracy theorists in order to seem a little more reputable. But Adams and some other really unhinged ones like Kevin Trudeau and Lenny Horowitz just go whole hog into demonizing any government agency that enforces regulations on their woo products. Even Twitter and Wikipedia are out to get Mike Adams, according to him.

Anyway, I can’t listen to this asshole. Besides, this is supposed to be about Alex Jones. I might be a bit masochistic in assigning myself this project, but Jones at least has some kind of charm and redeeming qualities at times. Adams is just a mean, cold-hearted jerkface who’s as arrogant as he is ignorant.

Tuesday:

Half of this show is an interview with a guy whose books are conveniently available to purchase at the Alex Jones website because only sheeple use Amazon. And his books are about how to prepare for the coming global super-collapse. Coincidentally, most of the advertisements on the Alex Jones website sell products which will be highly recommended by the books Jones will be talking about on his radio show. It’s a nice racket he’s got going here. Sell books about how everything is a conspiracy with your “content” and sell products which solve all the the problems created by the conspiracies with your ads. It’s a self-powered perpetual schizophrenia machine.

On the other hand, it’s easy to develop mixed feelings about what he says sometimes. So for example he believes the Pentagon is developing race-specific bio-weapons. Apparently this would be useful to do simultaneous air and ground based attacks in war so the military can drop bombs in Afghanistan that won’t kill any American soldiers unless they happen to be from Afghanistan. So it’s nice that he thinks this is a bad idea, but it’s also revealing that he thinks such a thing is possible. Ethnic bioweapons only exist in science fiction and in the blind speculation of government officials as paranoid about their enemies as Jones is about them. So that he would even bring such a thing up gives us a glimpse inside what he thinks about the differences between races.

Wednesday:

I’m starting to experience some side effects. Just now I caught myself wondering where my mail delivery guy was keeping his “non-lethal” bio-weapons he would use to beat me into submission so he could forcibly inject me with brain-eating vaccines.

Today was a Ron Paul day.  An early guest named Gerald compared mainstream politics to a religion where dissenting views are forbidden. Fair enough, but this makes the world of Alex Jones politics an apparently more respectable thing: a cult. I guess this guy must have missed where Jones said he wants to hang his political opponents in a public square (After a fair trial, of course. Because we know a trial is fair when we know the outcome of it before it even takes place). Or when he talked about the “purity” of his bloodline. Nope, nothing exclusionary or quasi-religious about that stuff at all.

So anyway, there’s a lot of talk about how the mainstream media is shutting Ron Paul out of the discussion and the GOP is doing voter fraud to keep Paul from getting the nomination. For the most part Jones makes a case for this by presenting evidence of unrelated evil things the US government’s done. So he alludes to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments and then says something like, “Well if they do that, why wouldn’t you think they’d stop Paul from winning the GOP nomination?” It’s as if he believes anyone objecting to his conspiracy beliefs does so on emotional grounds born out of a belief in government moral infallibility. No other objections – like, say, a lack of evidence – fit with his model of How Things Work. So he has to ignore them.

Thursday:

It’s another show pretty much dedicated to Ron Paul and the question of the day is whether or not Paul will accept a VP position with President Romney. Most of the callers don’t like the idea and say they’ll stop supporting Paul because Romney’s so clearly a tool of Wall Street bankers like Goldman, Sachs. Like most Libertarians, Jones and his base is only right about the things even a 4 year old could figure out.

Another problem is that someone vaguely associated with every kook’s favorite gang of boogeymen, the Bilderberg Group, formed a PAC to support Ron Paul. Jones explains this is all part of yet another conspiracy where the elites in power are trying to co-opt this political movement. He doesn’t present any evidence to support this position. When you explain everything with a conspiracy, you never need evidence because the conspiracy covers it all up. So you’re left backing up these claims with gut feelings and religious experiences and other nonsense.

That’s really what I think is the problem with guys like Jones. It’s not so much the actual content of his claims. Usually that’s more amusing than anything else (public health issues like vaccinations being one big exception). But the real problem is in the methodology – or lack of it. He has a lot invested in his worldview: Hours and hours of documentary films, many times more hours of radio broadcasting, and several websites. It’s so much that he has an incredibly strong personal and financial interest in bending any new information that arises in such a way that reinforces that worldview, no matter how contradictory or crazy these mental contortions might seem to an outside observer. Did the media report on government malfeasance? That means they’re rubbing it in our faces! Did the media report on the government doing something right? That means they’re covering up the truth!

There’s no room for intellectual growth or nuance in that way of analyzing things. You just end up being a slave to this one conclusion. And then you project that servile position of mental slavery onto everyone else to avoid dealing with your own issues. Maybe the conclusion you like is that someone like Alex Jones is always right and maybe the conclusion you like is that he’s always wrong. But when you’re more interested in the facts favoring your ideology than what the facts actually are, you’re just as fucked as Alex Jones.

*

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  • http://thegldnrule.wordpress.com Corey

    This article is rife with ignorance. If this “article” proves anything, it proves how blissfully unaware you are of what actually is happening around you.

    • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

      Whoa, don’t overload me with examples of factual errors or anything, Corey.

  • Deskpoet

    When you do a hit piece, even on a legitimate target, you need to rise above your material and not wallow in the methods you seek to attack. And being funny helps.

    You miss the mark here. Try again.

    (I know, you’re like Ledger recovering from playing The Joker, and are delicate right now. Just remember that it was trust in “established” medicine that killed him….)

    • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

      Well it’s nice that a few nuts from r/conspiracy got to read this before the mods there crushed my freedom and liberty by removing the link someone posted there.

  • http://www.rabiatius.com/ Marius Thorsen

    I actually found this piece both eductional and very funny. Must be the barin eating vaccines I got as a child. My only problem with it is the thing about most libertarians being right only about things a four year old could figure out.We may have no sense of humor or social interaction whatsoever, but most of us are at least on the mental maturity level of a 10 year old..

  • Guy Fawkes

    True story: I first heard about Alex Jones from a psychiatric patient when I was a mental health professional.

    The worst part of it is that Jones actually gives legitimate grievances (such as against the Patriot Act and the Federal Reserve) a bad name because he talks about them right after discussing how the government is dumping mind control chemicals in the water supply.

  • Ozinator

    Yeah Guy,

    Jones is either a sophist selling paranoia or a disinformatzia plant who gets reasonable liberals like Josh Bunting to dismiss everything as conspiracy. Either way it has the same effect as getting reasonable people like Josh Bunting to dismiss everything as conspiracy.

    “” It’d be fun to pick apart the fact from fiction and to try to identify the point where reasonable concerns about government waste turned into the fever-dream rants of a paranoid lunatic”"”.

    yeah fun but too much work. let’s get an expert

    • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

      I suspect / hope Ozinator is joking, but there really are people who think Alex Jones is a disinformation agent planted by the “New World Order.” Maybe that’s a rabbit hole of meta-paranoia I’ll have to explore for one of these in the future.

  • Beast_Fan

    Wow, and all the crazies come out of the woodwork on this. I think “established” medicine might actually help end your delusions.

  • Ozinator

    Hey Josh,
    long time-no talk!

    Always joking but I do see some irony in the things you dismiss through ad hominem. There is such a ready supply of assholes ready to mix truth with water scare shower head sales, that an actual trained and paid agent seems silly. Who knows though?

    I enjoyed the loathsome list this year (no false equivalency mishaps this time around!)

    btw…if you want some good stuff on Murdoch’s roots, look at his involvement with the Gough Whitlam sacking….John Pilger lays it out nice in “A Secret Country” (conspiracy!)

  • Guy Fawkes

    Maybe Alex Jones is a COINTELPRO agent for the feds! There’s also conspiracy theory out there that Jones is actually Bill Hicks. But that can’t be right because Jones is as funny as the tumors that took Hicks’ life.

  • Jay

    Fucking brilliant, best article I’ve read for a while. For some bizarre reason some people actually take Jones seriously.

    My favorite is how the UN created global warming, classic stuff.

    Go on to youtube and checkout “Unsecured Coins 12″, the RFID chip prank.

  • Tony

    I get that you’re trying to be funny and creative, but those GIFs are horrible. They are extremely distracting.

  • Real Cats Eye

    Heh, I found the piece entertaining if nothing else. I listen to Jones from time to time when I get mental block and can’t write another line of code, or I’m out on the lake and nothing else is on XM.

    I find the trip into never never land can help distract me enough that I can finally get back to work after a bit. However, I’ve also caught myself falling into his trap. He’ll discuss something completely legit and when you’re not watching he starts sneaking in other topics which could be slightly related until you find yourself wrapped up in your blankey in a dark corner gripping an AK and shoving tissues in a pringles can to use as a makeshift gas-mask.

  • http://youtu.be/f5S5LpLhqpg Joe Dixon

    “Ethnic bioweapons only exist in science fiction and in the blind speculation of government officials as paranoid about their enemies as Jones is about them. So that he would even bring such a thing up gives us a glimpse inside what he thinks about the differences between races.”

    Reminds me of guys who said KFC, Kool Aid, and certain soft drinks had stuff in them to stop black people from having babies. And of course, their were the dudes who thought AIDS was a conspiracy against black folks because of the Tuskegee Experiment (I wonder how many people who bring up that medical outrage have ever bothered to read what actually happened in Tuskegee? I remember I had a back and forth awhile ago with a alt med white guy about it. Took me a bit of time to show him that, bad as what happened was, no one was actually INJECTED with syphilis. I mean the facts were awful enough on there own without having to believe in a fantasy.)

    Anyway, I bring this all up to say, I’m surprised Alex seems to limit his pitch to white guys of a certain age. There is whole raft of colored folks who would eat this shit up. I’m sure he’s already got plenty of black listeners but he could really go to town if any wanted to play to paranoid black people as much as he does white ones. His ratings would expand to what the average popular sporting event gets.

  • damn red

    Life sucks as a proper left winger, we not only have to contest with the established capitalist system but thank fucking lord everyone thinks that the hippy whole food conspiracy fuck heads belong on our side.
    Right wing assholes the hippy anti vaccination burn outs follow your crazy shit please update your world view.

    Keep marijuana illegal and jail a right wing hippy.

  • Jafkka

    The gold standard for Alex Jones craziness is the special episode he did in full Joker makeup. My favorite quote from the episode:

    “You know why they call him the Joker? Because it’s a big joke to them that they’re poisoning your water supply, and that your children are deformed and get cancer when they’re ten years old! Because it’s a big joke to the New World Order all the things they’re doing to you, and how childlike you are, and how fun it is, Ted Bundy talked about how much fun it was picking up teenage girls and torturing them to death, ripping their teeth out with pliers over days as they beg for their lives as he bit big bloody chunks out of their body!” [sic]

    • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

      @Jafkka Holy crap, I hadn’t seen that before. Fuck.

      And then he’ll turn around and say how much he wants to bite big bloody chunks out of his political enemies. He is psychological projection. The guy’s a hateful fascist but doesn’t want to admit it to himself, so he projects that onto everyone else.

  • Shooter

    @Cory Ah, the CT argument: YOU’;RE IGNORANT FOR EXPOSING MY CONSPIRACY !11111111111111111111″ ALEX JONES IS A MARTYR!

    Cory, grow up. If there’s anyone blind to the world around them, it is you.

    Alex takes legitimate issues and blows them so out of proportion it’s nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction. He’s so popular on YouTube in the way Jim Jones made everyone drink the Kool-Aid.

  • P

    Thanks Josh, for none of us ever wanted to do. Thanks for taking one for the team. :p

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