New York magazine's Joe Hagan has good piece on the "libertarian" talk show host and spittle-flecked lunatic Alex Jones, whose conspiracy radio program apparently reaches three million listeners a day. A sample:
Jones is an entertainer—he studied broadcasting at a community college—and hardly unambitious. At one point, he suggests we title this story "Duh—Winning!" He has a staff of 25 and recently built a TV studio for his webcast. He has big dreams of starting an online social network and even a newspaper distributed in major cities. His sense of the Internet, where he has a massive Google footprint of alarming news clips and full-length YouTube movies like The Obama Deception and Fall of the Republic, is that it's a virtual feeding pond for his ideas….
Jones is careful to give Roger Ailes, the Fox News chief, an out on the whole "globalist" agenda. "He actually knows all about this stuff," says Jones. "His bodyguards keep him safe from the New World Order. And that's a fact. Navy SEALS. Retired Navy SEALS."
Jones got a significant amount of press after he "culture jammed" (read: revealed himself to be a nut) an appearance on The View, while talking about his conspiracy chum Charlie Sheen. It was a bizarre performance, but one that Jones was rather proud of, having told the View demographic that Building 7 was blown up by…someone. As Hagan notes, Jones is irritated that his show exists outside of the mainstream, but that Fox News's Glenn Beck has cannibalized much of his schtick. Like Beck, Jones tells Hagan that while his theories might seem strange to the sheeple (his preferred word for us normal people) in the mainstream media, he is, after all, "just studying history." And it's all there, if one knows where to look for it.
I have a few quibbles with Hagan's take on why this brand of conspiracy is so popular—from Jones and Beck to Noam Chomsky and Amiri Baraka—I'll take issue with his claim that while Jones might be mad, he is nevertheless "informed by a deep knowledge of history."
"In the general scope of history and common sense, and studying how humans operate, we're Rome in 407," says Jones. "A few years before Alaric sacking it."
One can, of course, possess a "deep knowledge of history" and not have a clue who how to process all of that knowledge. After reading Hagan's piece, I watched two clips of Jones discussing the real roots of fascism and the Second World War, a subject, he tells listeners, on which he is something of an expert. Indeed, he has read, "no exaggeration, probably more than a hundred" books on the topic. So here is a sampling of what one would learn from listening to Jones babble about the recent past:
Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess, a "World War I fighter ace (sic)," "flew into England (sic) at the start (sic) of the Blitz" with a secret peace deal, only to be locked up in the Tower of London "for the rest of his life (sic)"; you can learn about the religious structure of the SS from historian "Heinz Hobel" (sic); the Germans were on, I presume, an erotic quest for something called "Lebensfrau"; Adolf Hitler—"Adolf Alois (sic) Hitler"—was given "Rockefeller awards" and rather popular in American "gardening" magazines; the Second World War "killed 20 million (sic) Germans"; Edward the 8th had to "advocate" the throne (sic…he "advocates" the throne in this clip too) not because of Wallace Simpson, but because he was a Hitler supporter; the 1940 German invasion of France was staged, the result of a deal with the "Vit-chee French"; curiously, the "Madge-inel Line" (sic) in France failed but the Poles held out, fighting the blitzkrieg with "horse-drawn carriages" (!); Time magazine's 1938 "Man of the Year" feature "praised" Hitler (it didn't). And if you prefer someone more expert in the field of modern German history, here he is interviewing the "highly respected" Holocaust denier and conspiracy crank Michael Hoffman.
If you are susceptible to this sort of nonsense, a red flag that one is entering conspiracy territory, one frequently waved by both Jones and Beck, is the contradictory claims that they possess unique information about a historical or political event and that the information is not conspiratorial. Because, as he repeatedly and defensively claims in the clips linked above, everything he is saying can be confirmed in "mainline" history books. It's an odd trick, considering that cranks like Jones spend an exceptional amount of time denouncing the information found in the "globalist" mainstream media.
Read the whole New York piece here.
Jones on the important issue of mind control: