Good morning Austin:
Alex Jones is expected to testify at the child custody trial he is engaged in with his ex-wife Kelly Jones at the Travis County Courthouse today. Meanwhile, Roger Stone – devoted friend and ally – will be filling in for him hosting Infowars.
But where Alex Jones really needs Roger Stone is as part of his legal strategy team.
As he prepares to testify, Jones’ lawyers have placed him in a bit of a bind by making the case that Jones is not really whom he appears to be on the air, that the raging, bellowing Jones of Infowars is a character, a role he is playing, performance art.
But, what they really need is a lighter, surer touch.
In other words, at some point, the call should have gone out, as it did when James Baker was commanding the Florida recount for George W. Bush in 2000: Get me Roger Stone.
Stone is in Austin all week, filling in off and on for Jones at Infowars and, while he is here, doing a series of events for his book, The Making of the President 2016, in which, he writes:
Alex Jones and his Infowars’ umbrella of radio shows, YouTube and Facebook broadcasts, Internet website and tweets turned out to be Trump’s secret weapon.
I caught up with Stone last night at Big Daddy’s Burgers and Bar in North Austin where he was speaking to Speaking of Liberty, the lively Republican/Libertarian Toastmasters group hosted the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of each month by Andy Hogue of the Travis County Republican Party.
Stone asked me how the trial was going and I quoted Stone back at him.
That’s one of my rules. Don’t mistake me with Roger Stone, the character I sometimes play.
I understand the point they were trying to make, but it could have been put so much more effectively.
`Of course I’m an entertainer. If you’re not entertaining, you don’t have any opportunity to get your point of view across. So, yes, I can use dramatization, satire and humor to make my point. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe what I’m saying.’
I said that I didn’t think that Jones’ attorneys really get him.
No they don’t.
If he were a true believer but he was boring in his presentation, he would have no following at all and we wouldn’t be talking about him because we wouldn’t even know who he was. If you can’t sell, if you’re not interesting, nobody will follow you, nobody will pay attention.
So of course he’s a showman. Ronald Reagan was a showman. Every great political figure was a showman. Franklin Roosevelt wore a cape and the glasses that were out of fashion for 40 years. It was part of his schtick.
I get what (they’re) doing. But to say he’s an actor. That implies he doesn’t believe in what he’s saying.
Jones himself has described what he does as performance art. He acknowledges that he can go over the top. But, unlike his attorneys, I don’t think he would liken what he does on Infowars to Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in Batman.
He pushed back on that on his drive to court on Monday (with 119,000 views, and counting).
He refers here to his recent diatribe on Infowars about U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which even Stone, who was on the air with Jones when he went off, blanched at. (Extreme language warning.)
Kelly Jones’ lawyers very much wanted to show this clip to the jury as evidence of his unhinged personality, but Judge Orlinda Naranjo said no.
As Jones said on the drive to court Monday:
It’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s how dare you say that, I will slap you in the face with my glove. It’s theatrical, but I meant I’m pissed off, but it’s not literal. And they go, `Oh, he says he’s fake. Alex says he’s fake because he didn’t mean that.’
Whatever, I’m about free markets, cutting taxes.
I 110 percent believe in what I stand for.
He pushed back against it in his Crucial Message to All Centipedes on Infowars Monday Night.
They’ve got articles out today that I say I’m a fake, all of this other crap. Total bull! People ask, `What about when you’re in a Joker outfit, is that what you really think?’ No, I’m being an actor there.
The media is deceiving everywhere. I, 110 percent, believe what I stand for. We’re changing the world with you. The globalists are panicking and trying to shut us down and calling us fake news, just like Communist China does because we’re kicking their ass.
But Jones also knows a couple of other of Stone’s Rules.
As I quoted Stone saying about Jones in a story in the Statesman back in October: Austin’s Alex Jones: The voice in Donald Trump’s head:
Let’s go back to Stone’s Rules. The only thing worse in politics than being wrong is being boring. The guy’s never boring.
Yes, the dirty little secret of Alex Jones – especially to those who know him only by reputation – is that he is fantastically entertaining, whether it’s the all-nighter he and his team pulled off waiting in vain for what was to have been the original release of the Hillary Clinton WikiLeaks (here is the First Reading on that), or his recent, neither-here-nor-here Louis C.K.-ish riff on looking in vain to buy some slacks with his kids at some deserted mall. (Don’t have a link for that.)
And, then of course, there is this Stone’s Rule.
And so, in that spirit, here, from Alex Jones is an excellent roundup of recent coverage, including everyone from Stephen Colbert to, wow, an instant of me.
We’ll see how it goes today when Alex Jones takes the witness stand.
It is going to take every bit of performance artist in him to strike just the right balance.
But I would never underestimate him.
After all, in my 40th year as a reporter, the greatest ripple I have produced in my career may have been this tweet from yesterday.
Thank you Alex Jones.