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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.