There’s no such things as bad publicity, like P.T. Barnum said. But I’m not P.T. Barnum. I stand for what I believe in. I’m not fake news.
Alex Jones on Infowars Monday.
Good day Austin:
Alex Jones had a eureka moment yesterday, an epiphany that led him to go on the air after his usual show, at 4:30 in the afternoon our time, and join Sandy Hook parents, and advertiser J.P. Morgan, to call on NBC to cancel airing his interview with Megyn Kelly on her new show Sunday night.
The Sandy Hook parents and J.P. Morgan have different reasons than Jones for wanting the airing of the interview canceled or, in Jones’ case, at least postponed.
The Sandy Hook parents and J.P. Morgan want the show canceled because they consider Jones a despicable man who suggested hose parents may have faked their children’s deaths and inspired some of his followers to take actions against them based on their believing what Jones told them.
No, the reason Jones wants the airing of the interview canceled, or at least postponed, is that epiphany yesterday, the moment he realized that Megyn Kelly had set him up by insistently, pleadingly pursuing an interview with him, relentlessly bringing up Sandy Hook in the interview, and, then editing his answers (he presumes – he hasn’t seen it) and lighting him in the most ghoulish Halloween fashion, all for a show that would air – and this is the big reveal – on Father’s Day.
It is all, Jones said he realized in a flash of insight, a plot against fatherhood, against him as a father, and against Father’s Day.
I kid you not.
Watch the video.
His Father’s Day moment comes at the 8-minute mark.
I clicked this morning and went, that’s Father’s Day.
They want to sit there with fathers and families together and they know how I’m a father, the whole piece is about how I’m a father, and it all clicked. They want to make fathers look bad. Remember the Super Bowl, two years ago and then again this year, they had all the controversy about all the ads that demonized fathers and said that fathers were bad and fathers weren’t good.
And it clicked. I went, oh my God, they want to drive a wedge with a guy that looks like a classic American father, but lit from the bottom, like a Halloween deal, with light under my face to look scary and sit there and edit, because she kept saying, over and over again, things I didn’t say, were out of context, and so I realized something was weird and how she was tying fatherhood and my being a father and my children and then bringing up Sandy Hook, and then it all clicked today.
It’s Father’s Day.
Of course, it’s all part of the global conspiracy against Father’s Day, against fatherhood, and against Father Jones, who, one might recall, was recently involved in a child custody trial in which his ex-wife was granted primary joint custody of their three children, though his lawyers are seeking to set aside the jury verdict, and in the meantime, he has a an infant child, born at the beginning of May, to his new wife.
As for those anti-father Super Bowl ads, the only evidence Jones offers is this reference to an Audi commercial.
Here is the ad.
I am as suspicious as anyone of the dubious link between progressive values and driving a German luxury car. There might even be something pernicious about it.
But the message of the ad hardly seems like a part of some sinister assault on fatherhood.
I have watched many scores of hours of Alex Jones over the last year or two.
But as I watched Jones monologue from yesterday, I was reminded how deeply, dangerously self-involved he can be, how effortlessly and fluently he can spin a fully-formed conspiracy out of thin air and how he is one of perhaps ten people in the country – maybe far fewer – most responsible for constructing the political reality and the “news” environment in which President Donald Trump lives and breathes and on which he depends.
The argument behind the outrage suggests that featuring Jones on a primetime network television interview show is an irresponsible use of a powerful news platform. To sit Jones across from one of America’s most recognizable (and highest-paid) news personalities is to legitimize a man with fringe views that many find abhorrent. Furthermore, they note, such exposure could theoretically extend Jones’ reach; what if malleable minds see something they like in Jones’ interview and become fans or regular viewers?
It’s a valid argument, but one that misunderstands the media’s role in the Trump era — not to mention Jones’ role inside the pro-Trump media ecosystem. Like it or not, Alex Jones is an architect of our current political moment, and as such, the mainstream media shouldn’t try to shield its audience from him or pretend he doesn’t exist — it should interrogate him.
Jones is a far-fringe personality, and a wildly popular one. While his more outlandish views suggest a man embraced only by the tinfoil hat community — he’s alleged that 9/11 is likely an inside job and that bombs engineered by the government to control the population have turned our frogs gay — Jones’ influence is real and widely felt. If you attended any Trump rally in the lead-up to the 2016 election, you likely saw his ubiquitous navy “Hillary for Prison” T-shirts, which Jones hawked through his Infowars store (until they sold out, that is). At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, Jones was greeted like royalty.
Since Jones backed the Trump campaign in 2015, his influence has grown significantly, especially among young males. “So many people watch him now, he’s almost the mainstream,” one of the broadcaster’s young supporters told the New Republic last summer. That piece, which interviewed a number of newly minted Jones fans, describes a similar pattern of conversion: young men intrigued by a viral Infowars video and subsequently won over by Jones’ charisma and message.
According to audience measurement outfit Quantcast, Infowars.com pulled in 476 million views during 2016; Alexa suggests that Infowars.com currently receives 340,625 daily unique visitors. And that doesn’t begin to account for the scores of listeners Jones brings in over terrestrial radio or the millions of video views amassed on YouTube.
If Donald Trump were not president, Alex Jones would be a bizarre and riveting odd fellow, a brilliant madman with a ballistic bullhorn.
But Donald Trump is president.
If Kelly’s justification for interviewing Jones is reasonable, that doesn’t mean it will be well executed and end well, and the oddly flirtatious run-up to the interview – or at least that’s how it appeared – gave reason for worry.
MEGYN KELLY: I’m here.
JONES: She’s there. So you just interviewed Putin, that was a big, big news maker and next it’s what — really? What’s airing this next Sunday?
KELLY: You’re in good company. This Sunday, Erin Andrews.
JONES: OK. Erin Andrews. And then when’s Trump?
KELLY: As soon as he says yes.
JONES: OK, well I heard–
KELLY: I’m going to use you as a lure to get him.
JONES: Are you going to be sweet to him?
KELLY: What do you mean? I am very sweet. He and I are all good.
JONES: Would you sit in his lap?
KELLY: Move on.
JONES: I know, I’m just having some fun. OK, Megyn Kelly. That’s actually a look-alike. That’s actually not Megyn Kelly. Thank you, Megyn. I got to say, she’s prettier in person.
KELLY: I never know whether that’s a compliment or not in my line of work.
JONES: No, no, no. I mean it, I mean it. You’re prettier in person. OK, well thank you, Megyn.
After watching Jones’ latest, my suggestion is not that Kelly cancel his appearance on her show Sunday, but that she scrap her interview and instead, after a brief introduction, run this tape, uncut, or just the first 11 minutes if that’s the time that that segment of her show allows.
I know this is counter-intuitive, that the idea is to submit him to an intense interrogation and bury him with context and consequences.
And yet, I think, watching him unedited and without interruption, tells you everything you need to know about just how truly wack Alex Jones is.
Will the show come off as scheduled?
Probably, but who knows.
Here is an overnight rundown on the story from Joe Pompeo, with Alex Weprin, at POLITICO Media:
TALK ABOUT STEPPING IN IT – By the time Megyn Kelly woke up yesterday morning, a teaser of her upcoming sit-down with Infowars boss Alex Jones had begun circulating online. By the time Kelly went to bed last night, she’d entered full-on media controversy mode, as she faced heavy criticism for her decision to interview the far-right radio host, conspiracy maven and Sandy Hook skeptic. There was fierce backlash on Twitter, including from family members of Sandy Hook victims . Calls for a boycott of Kelly’s new NBC News show, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” made headlines. At press time, at least one sponsor, J.P. Morgan, had reportedly pulled its ads. On the other end of the spectrum, Infowars was accusing Kelly of being a shill for the so-called “deep state,” and Jones himself was calling for her to pull the interview , scheduled for Sunday, on the basis of Kelly “misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook,” he claimed on Twitter.
The irony here is that Kelly, who made her NBC debut less than three weeks ago, had finally escaped the scandal-infested waters of Fox News — and in fact the seas over there were looking pretty calm yesterday by comparison, with little more to speak of than an announcement about six executive promotions (more on that below) — only to find herself enveloped in a different sort of sh-t storm. NBC reps weren’t responding to reporters, but one would expect they’ll have to say something beyond Kelly’s Sunday evening tweet explaining her news judgment on the matter: “POTUS’s been on & praises @RealAlexJones’ show. He’s giving Infowars a WH press credential. Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light.”
Late last night, CNN published some quotes from an interview with Kelly’s executive producer, Liz Cole: “As journalists it’s our job to interview newsmakers and people of influence no matter how abhorrent their views may be. … Giving him a platform would mean he goes unchallenged, and that’s not the case in any way. … Viewers will see Megyn do a strong interview where she challenges him appropriately … Until you see the full program, in the full context, I wouldn’t judge it too much.”
Here is Jones from yesterday afternoon.
Last week Megyn Kelly, who has launched her big NBC Show, came down here to Austin to interview me and they were from from 9:30 in the morning to almost 11 at night.
And Megyn Kelly lied to me.
Several weeks before she came here and she said that the interview was not going to be about Sandy Hook and the mass shooting there, and that it was not going to be about Pizzagate and these other issues that the media always obsesses on and misrepresents what I’ve said and what I’ve done.
She said, `Oh we might mention those but she said, “It’s really just a profile on you,” and I said, “No it’s not.” Because all MSM does is hammer on that continually. It doesn’t affect my listeners. They know you’re liars. But I’m not going to do it.
Just today I called The View and said I’m not going to do an interview with them in two weeks. They want me on as well. Been on the view. It’s boring. Zombies watch it. I don’t need MSM. I don’t need their, quote, validation, or their attacks, any of it.
They have zombies watching, so it would be like giving a speech to a graveyard. It has no effect.
But I decided to do the Megyn Kelly interview because I wanted to get the anatomy of a true PSYOP.
Of course I taped my conversation with her and I taped our interview, so I could show, just like we’ve done with other reporters, how they edit.
So I’m not going to say, “Watch out, you might have been taped.” You were taped.
That’s the anatomy of propaganda. I wanted to go inside and see what she would do.
She’s a lawyer. It was a total cross-examination.
She spent almost two hours on Sandy Hook and a few other issues, and when I said I believed children died there, as I’ve said for years, she kept coming back with answers saying, “You believed nobody died.” “You believe Anderson Cooper was involved. You believe Robbie Parker (he father of victim Emilie Parker) was involved.”
And on and on and on.
I said, “No. My listeners questioned it. I had debates with both sides. I played devil’s advocate and said maybe none of it happened, maybe it was all fake, just like they lied about WMD’s in Iraq, and had all those fake sanctions that killed over a half million Iraqi children.
This is a frequent Alex Jones trope.
Because George W. Bush misled us into war in Iraq, the parents of children who were murdered at an elementary school in Connecticut were fair game for the suspicion that they faked their children’s death.
And, Jones insisted, as he has, that when he ranted about how the murders were fake, he was merely playing “devil’s advocate,” voicing the suspicions of some of his listeners, though how those or any listeners were supposed to know when he was ranting his own true beliefs and when he was channeling some listener’s suspicions, is not at all clear.
And this is perhaps where Alex Jones is most disappointing, where he is simply not a stand up guy.
I mean, if you are going to be the nation’s preeminent conspiracy theorist, if you are going to spin a reality that is going to inform the president of the United States, at the very least, own your conspiracies, own that alternate reality.
This is the dossier from Media Matters for America, which tracks Jones and Infowars, on exactly what Alex Jones has said about the Sandy Hook massacre: “Staged,” “inside job,” “undoubtedly there’s a cover-up,” “giant hoax,” “the whole thing was fake,” “in my view, manufactured”
And here is PolitiFact Texas on Alex Jones and Sandy Hook from September.
And, indeed, it appears, even in his current, y’all got me wrong about this mode, he is still not really sure what he thinks about Sandy Hook, unready to completely commit and oblivious to why that is a problem.
Back to Jones:
Then the other side of me believes those parents I see on TV and real mass shootings do happen, so it probably did happen.
But why is Anderson Cooper on a green screen when he claims he’s there? Off air, she’s (referring to Megyn Kelly) like, “Oh yeah, we fake locations all the time.” That’s known. That’s not saying they’re involved in it. So what they do is they clip and they misrepresent.
Last year I shot a video and said my final statement on Sandy Hook.
And in there I break down the fact that the public doesn’t believe the media and what happened, because the media’s been caught lying so much and has a six percent approval rating, but that I tend to believe that people did die there, they were just using PR teams to go in an exacerbate it and hype it up to get the maximum effect and blame the American people and blame gun owners for what happened.
But they’ll never put out my full statement. They’ll never put out the full spectrum of it. Only take out of context because I have a wide form broadcast.
Full spectrum? Wide form broadcast?
What Jones is referring to is the fact that Infowars is on four hours a day, and that is a lot of time to fill, and that people don’t tune in to find out there isn’t a global conspiracy or that virtually everything isn’t a false flag or an inside job, and that’s what he’s really, really good at and what has made him very successful and, beyond his wildest dreams, very influential and now very rich.
And I told her (Kelly), “Listen, they use this (his statements on Sandy Hook), out of context, to be hurtful – I told her on the phone and in person – to people who have lost children in real tragedies. And I said, if you want to bring up Sandy Hook, I am going to bring up the half million dead Iraqis when the Clintons expanded the sanctions that (former Secretary of State) Madeleine Albright admitted killed a half million Iraqi kids.
She said, “Oh no, we’re not really going to go there, its’ a profile on you,” and I said, “Bull, every mainstream article’s the same thing.” I understand there’s a hit piece out on me to try to destroy independent media, and then sure enough, they came here at 9:30 … until almost 11, and it was cross-examination.
The one-minute-twenty-nine second promo piece that they put out last night that created this national firestorm and that did not have me in there saying I believe children didn’t die at Sandy Hook. They had it edited where it sounded like I was saying nobody died, and the headlines were that I doubled down, and that’s why I’m asking for the piece not to air on Father’s Day.
This is where he went into his Father’s Day epiphany, about how he “looks like a classic American father,” before the NBC crew throws the Halloween lighting on him.
So I agree with the victims, the families of Sandy Hook and I agree with the Big Banks who say they are going to boycott if it’s not being pulled.
I agree. I didn’t want to talk about Sandy Hook. They are going to edit it where I say Sandy Hook never happened, which they always do, and I don’t want to be part of MSM’s fake media and their hoax.
I do not want to be part of this, because I believe mass shooting happen. I believe they exacerbate it and blame it on the general public, when the general public has nothing to do with it.
Our same liberal media calls for bringing Islamics into the country that bomb and shoot and attack, and she asked me about the Orlando nightclub attack and she said, “You think gays did it.” And I said, “What the hell are you talking about. I said liberals who are open and bringing the Muslims are the target. I didn’t blame the gays.” And she said, “You just did.” And I said, “No I didn’t lawyer. Who the hell would do that?”
So you see they’ve got a problem, they’re bringing in the radical Muslims who are killing the gays. So what do they do when I’m exposing it. They say I’m blaming them and ask some Perry Mason question.
And she would just sit there out of the blue and say, “Oh, so you blame the children that got blown up in Manchester,” without even asking a question. It’s all just zingers, just to cut in, just like Hillary did in the campaign ads with me in 2016 when I was having a debate on air and I was saying the whole thing happened like they said it happened at Sandy Hook, and the whole shooting was real, but then another part of me thinks the whole thing’s fake and staged because of x, y and z.
I can see why the public doesn’t believe the media.
I have a four-hour show every day. It’s teleprompter free and they use that against me and they cut it altogether.
And by the way, I’m not saying all of this because they are hammering me on Sandy Hookor any of this is hurting us.
We have more affiliates, more sponsors, more listeners, we’re expanding, we’re hiring tons of people, we’re building a huge new studio, we’re getting affiliates in D.C., Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt. I mean it’s all being set up. We’re exploding. We’ve got $500 million in venture capital that wants to fund us. I’ve never even taken a loan.
We’re the zeitgeist. People really know we have 45 million listeners a week, exponentially growing.
But I really want to have integrity. I want to get up and explain why our listeners questioned Sandy Hook Day One. We looked at the anomalies and saw that they were doing some staged media stuff there, really pulling heart strings. The evidence points to real people being killed, and I’ve been criticized by the other side who thinks nobody got killed.
And I told Megyn all of that, but then, when she got in the interview with me, she didn’t go there, and she continued to hammer down over and over, to misrepresent where we stand and so I agree with the families of the victims of Sandy Hook, that Alex Jones profile/interview with Megyn Kelly does not need to air, it needs to be shelved, and it needs not to be aired on Father’s Day.
It’s not appropriate and it misrepresents what I said, And I told them I had a final statement last year and if they wanted to see what I said it was in there and they said over the phone, “We don’t want to go there,” and we might just briefly ask you about it, and then she asked me five, six, seven times and debated me and argued and said things I never said, looking at me to my face.
And so they are going to misrepresent and I don’t want to be part of that.
I wished they’d have had armed teachers at Sandy Hook to protect the children.
If you if cut off there, that’s about 11 minutes of screen time for Alex Jones, just about about what Kelly needs for Sunday’s show, on Father’s Day.
But Alex Jones is just getting started.