The political rhetoric of Donald Trump and Alex Jones: On fake news and weaponized communications

 

“Again you’re in trouble for saying the sky is blue.” Alex Jones to Donald Trump, December 2015.

Good day Austin:

I was at Revival, a nice cafe on East 7th Street, working on this First Reading late yesterday afternoon about a discussion I will be moderating at the Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday morning.

PARTNER PROGRAMMING

9:00am-9:30am
The Political Rhetoric of Donald Trump and Alex Jones: On Fake News and Weaponized Communications
Charlie Warzel, senior technology writer at BuzzFeed and Jennifer Mercieca, historian of American political discourse and author of the forthcoming book, “Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Brilliance of Donald Trump,” will speak with Austin American-Statesman chief political writer Jonathan Tilove about the limits of fake news in the age of Trump.

This event is part of Open Congress, a free, open-to-the-public street festival held on Austin’s historic Congress Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 29. RSVP to attend Open Congress here.

Presented by the Austin American-Statesman
Walmart Partner Tent, Open Congress

At some point, I paused to check Twitter and saw this.

What?

Huh?

So, while I’m sitting there trying to figure out the best way to describe weaponized communication and what Jennifer, Charlie and I will talk about Saturday morning, President Trump was strafing America, the world, with some freshly weaponized communication.

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

The best way to understand Donald Trump’s presidency and Donald Trump’s election as president, is to study his  rhetoric – his rhetorical brilliance – because it is that, and not his policy chops, his negotiating skills or anything else, that best explains how he gained power and maintains it, unless and until he is impeached by the House, convicted by the Senate and removed from office (either that or removed a la the Rod Rosenstein conspiracy – or not – via the 25th  Amendment) – which seems far less likely to happen than his being elected to a second term.

TRUMP: They’ll use anything they can! They’re not in love with me. They’re not going to beat me in the election. They know that. They’re not going to beat me. The people that I’m looking at are total light weights. I dream of running against those people. Maybe they’ll come up with somebody that’s not. They’re not going to beat me. I’m against what they want to I’m in favor of law enforcement. I’m in favor of safety and security and low taxes. I want low taxes. I want borders. We’re getting another $1.6 billion in borders. I want borders. We’ve spent 3.2, and we’re getting another 1.6. And then eventually we’re getting the whole thing and we’ll complete the wall.

They don’t want that. They don’t want that. They don’t want the things that I have. Now, I must say. I know many of the Democrats. They’ll say things and then wink at me. And, again, it’s the same old story. They’ll say things, they don’t mean it, it’s politics. The reason they don’t want me is because they want to run the show. They want it. It’s power, it’s whatever you want to call it.

But what they have done here is a disgrace. A total disgrace. And what they do — I know it’s interesting. In one case, they say, he’s a fascist, he’s taking over the government, he’s the most powerful president ever. He’s a horrible human being. He wants to take over the entire government and he’s going to do it. We can’t stop him. That didn’t work. The next week, he said, uh, he’s incompetent. I said, wait a minute, in one case I’m taking over the world. And in the other case, he’s they tried that for a week. That didn’t work. Look, these are very dishonest people. These are con artists. And the press knows it. But the press doesn’t write it. That’s a lot of hands. That’s a lot — Steve, go ahead. Here’s a very high-quality person, this man. But he’ll probably hit me with a bad one. Go ahead, give it to me, Steve.

From Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the New York Times:

President Trump complained on Wednesday that “evil people,” including women in search of fame and fortune, routinely fabricate sexual assault charges against powerful men, and argued that his own experience with such allegations makes him more skeptical of the accusations threatening to bring down Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, his nominee for the Supreme Court.

In a remarkable and rambling 83-minute news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Trump was by turns combative, humorous and boastful. He defended Judge Kavanaugh and railed against what he called the “big, fat con job” that he said Democrats were perpetrating to derail the nomination, even as he suggested he could still jettison his pick depending on the outcome of a high-profile hearing on Thursday

Or a genius.

From David Graham at the Atlantic:

At a rambling, often self-contradictory press conference Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump baselessly claimed a vast conspiracy to concoct sexual-misconduct charges against him and offered a surprisingly weak defense of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee who has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct.

 “I’ve had numerous accusations about me … They made false statements about me knowing they were false,” Trump said. When a reporter asked why the president always seemed to give the benefit of the doubt to men accused of sexual misconduct, he acknowledged that the allegations against him colored his response to the claims made against Kavanaugh. “It does impact my opinion … because I’ve had a lot of false charges made at me.”

More broadly, Trump offered a broad critique of the #MeToo movement and the growing calls for accountability in cases of sexual misconduct, implying they had gone too far.

“This is beyond Supreme Court. This has everything to do with our country,” Trump said. “When you are guilty until proven innocent, it is just not supposed to be that way … In this case you are guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country.”
 
Trump attacked Democrats and others for bringing forth the allegations.

“They’re actually con artists, because they know how quality this man is, and they’ve destroyed a man’s reputation,” the president said. “They know it’s a big, fat con job. And they go into a room and I guarantee you they laugh like hell at what they’ve pulled off on you and on the public.”

Yet Trump refused to rule out withdrawing Kavanaugh’s nomination, and speculated about nominating a woman in Kavanaugh’s stead, even as the White House and Kavanaugh himself have spent the past 48 hours staunchly insisting that they will forge forward.

 “I can’t tell you. I have to watch tomorrow,” he said. “I’m gonna see what happens tomorrow. I’m gonna be watching … I’m gonna see what’s said.”

REPORTER: Are you at all concerned at the message that is being sent to the women who are watching this when you use language like con job? Allegations —

TRUMP: That’s probably the nicest phrase I’ve ever used. Con job. It is. It’s a con job. You know, confidence. It’s a confidence job. But they — it’s a con job by the Democrats. They know it.

REPORTER: What about the message that’s being sent to women —

TRUMP: The same with the Russia investigation. They tried to convince people that I had something to do with Russia. There was no collusion. Think of it. I’m in Wisconsin. I’m in Michigan. I say, gee, we’re not doing well. I won both those states. I’m not doing well. Let me call the Russians to does anybody really believe that? It’s a con job. And I watch these guys, little Adam Schiff and all of the guys. He takes a call from a Russian who turned out to be a faker. You know, he was a comedian or something. This is so-and-so calling for — he took the call. Why is he taking a call from a Russian? Senator [Mark] Warner took a call from a Russian. He was a comedian or something. But he said, we have pictures of President Trump — where can I get them? If we ever did that, it would be a big deal. Yeah, it’s a con job, and it’s not a bad term. It’s not a bad term at all.

REPORTER: Are you worried —

TRUMP: I’ll tell you one thing I can say. I have had a lot of people talking about this to me with respect to what’s happening. Because it’s a horrible I’m going to have to get other judges and other supreme court judges, possibly. I could have a lot of supreme court judges, more than two. And when I called up Brett Kavanaugh, spoke to him and his family and told them that I chose them, they were so happy and so honored. It was as though — I mean, the about biggest thing that’s ever happened. And I understand that. US Supreme court. I don’t want to be in a position where people say “No, thanks. No, thanks. I don’t want to. You know, I spoke to somebody 38 years ago, and it may not be good.”

We have a country to run. We want the best talent in the world. But I’ll tell you this. The people that have complained to me about it the most, about what’s happening, are women. Women are very angry. You know, I got 52% with women. Everyone said this couldn’t happen. 52%.

Women are so angry. And I, frankly, think that — I think they like what the Republicans are doing. But I think they would have liked to have seen it go a lot faster. But give them their day in court. Let her have her day in court. Let somebody else have a day in court. But the ones that I find — I mean, I have men that don’t like it. But I have women that are incensed at what’s going on. I’ve always said, women are smarter than men. I’ve said that a lot. And I mean it. But women are incensed at what’s going on. Yes, go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead in the back. Who are you, where are you from?

REPORTER: Me?

TRUMP: No, you. That guy looks like he’s shocked. This is going to be not good.

REPORTER: It’s going to be good, sir.

TRUMP: The guy looks totally stunned. Have you ever been picked before for a question?

REPORTER: Yes, sir, but not from the president of the United States.

TRUMP: Go ahead. Give me your question.

REPORTER: Thank you very much. I I want to ask you, you always talk about —

TRUMP: Excuse me, you said from where?

REPORTER: Iraq. I’m a Kurd.

TRUMP: Great people. Are you a Kurd? Good. Great people. Great fighters. I like them a lot. Let’s go. I like this question so far.

And there was this:

TRUMP: I want to watch. I want to see. I hope I can watch. I’m meeting with a lot of countries tomorrow. But I will certainly in some form be able to watch. And I’ll also rely on some very fair and talented Republican senators who — look, if we brought George Washington here and we said, we have George Washington, the Democrats would vote against him. Just so you understand. And he may have had a bad past, who knows, you know? He may have had some — I think accusations made. Didn’t he have a couple of things in his past?

George Washington would be voted against 100 percent by Schumer and the con artists. 100 percent. So it really doesn’t matter from their standpoint. That’s why when John asked about the FBI, if the FBI did the most thorough investigation in the history of the FBI, and they found him to be 100 percent perfect, he would lose every single vote.

Anything you’d like to add here Jennifer?

And when did Jones and Trump have this conversation? In their one and only public dialogue, when, in a rendezvous arranged by Roger Stone, Trump, at Trump Tower, appeared remotely on InfoWars with Jones in December 2015, during which the two masters of their craft lavished praise upon one another.

Trump: My favorite president in the more or less modern era would be Ronald Reagan. I’ve always liked him. And by the way, he was a Democrat. Lot of people don’t know. A liberal Democrat Alex as you know. And he became a somewhat conservative, I wouldn’t say the most conservative, but a somewhat conservative Republican. But he wanted to make America great. And he really did.  He wanted to make it. He had actually, “Let’s make America great,” that was his, and mine is, “Make America great again.” So there’s a little bit of a difference.

Alex Jones: My son finally sold me on being a bigger supporter of yours. I mean I liked you, love America, you’re pure Americana. I’m still, you know, was, but my 13-year-old son is really smart, he has done a lot of research. He watches all the debates. He just really loves you. He is on cloud nine that you’re here –  Rex Jones – and it was his question, you know which president was your favorite. But all time, all time who is your favorite?

Trump: Well, all time I’d say Ronald Reagan, shorter term. I would say,well you know, you look at Lincoln, you look at Washington. You have to go with, they are the classics. Right Alex? You know you think in terms of the great classics, you have to go with the Lincolns and the Washingtons.

Alex Jones: I agree, he was a man’s man. George Washington was a badass.

Trump: Yeah that’s what they say. I mean that’s what they said. they say he never told a lie. Let’s hope that’s true, okay.

But George Washington was pretty good. Look we had some great presidents. So we had some good presidents on the other side too in all fairness. But we will hopefully be right at the top of that list.

Here was how the Alex Jones December 2015 interview with Trump starts out.

Alex Jones: Well we had Matt Drudge about a month ago in studio, only does interview every 3, 4 years, and I thought that got me excited. But I’m telling  you, Donald Trump is our guests ladies and gentlemen for the next 30 minutes or so. And obviously he is a maverick, he’s an original, he tells it like it is. He doesn’t read off a teleprompter, neither do I. He’s self-made. This whole media operation that reaches million people a week worldwide, conservatively, self-made.

That’s why I’m so excited. And he joins us from Trump Tower in New York City. He is the leading 2016 Republican presidential contender. Donald Trump again joins us. And I’ve got so many questions but first off, Donald thank you for joining us.

Donald Trump: Thank you Alex, great,  great to be with you.

Alex Jones: I’ve got so many questions but you are vindicated, this has got to be the 50th time the last six months, on the radical Muslims celebrating not just  in New Jersey, but New York, Palestine all over. What do you have to say?  They’re still attacking you, though we’ve got Dan Rather on video, we’ve got New York Post, we’ve got Washington Post, we’ve got, I mean what’s going on here?

Donald Trump: Well I took a lot of heat and I was very strong on it and I held my line and then all of a sudden, you know, hundreds of people were calling up my office. I was the other day in Sarasota, Florida, and people are in line and we had 12,000 people, which is fantastic. And the people were saying, many of the people from New Jersey, 4 or 5 people, said Mr. Trump I saw it myself, I was there

They talked about Patterson. But they said, “I saw it myself, Mr. Trump. I was there.” So many people have called in and on Twitter, @realdonaldtrump,they were all tweeting.

So I know what happened and I held my line and people wanted me to apologize, and we can’t do that. People like you and I can’t do that so easily. Now we can do it if we’re wrong Alex. You apologize. I’d apologize if I was wrong. But they were celebrating and they were celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center.

I think that’s disgraceful.

Disgraceful. And also not true.

From Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker:

The Pinocchio Test
This appears to be another case of Trump’s overactive imagination, much like his baseless claim that the George W. Bush White House tried to “silence” his Iraq war opposition in 2003. We looked and looked — and could find absolutely no evidence to support his claim.

But that was merely a matter of self-aggrandizement, whereas now Trump has defamed the Muslim communities of New Jersey. He cannot simply assert something so damning; he must provide some real evidence or else issue an apology.

Update: Despite Trump’s efforts to throw up a lot of smoke, such as snippets from news clips, he continues to fail to demonstrate that his claim that he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering on TV has any basis in reality. The Four Pinocchios continue to stand.

Four Pinocchio

Kessler: He must provide some evidence or else issue an apology.

Ha!

As Trump told Jones, “You apologize. I’d apologize if I was wrong.”

And, in fact, Jones, under threat of lawsuit, has apologized and backtracked on occasion and is receding from public view amid bans by social media platforms.

Alex Jones: I am the most banned person in the 21st Century. There is no doubt that I am the most demonized and attacked person in the world today.

While Trump, president of the United States, bigger and better than ever, said he would only apologize if he was wrong, which, so far, he never has been, so he never has apologized for anything and, as president of the United States, no one can make him.

He is, said Mercieca, the “uncontrollable leader” which, she said, “is another word for a demagogue.”

Forget Pinocchios. The better measure is Alex Jone’s blue sky test.

As he told Trump a couple of times during his December 2016 interview: Again, you are in trouble for saying the sky is blue.

Meanwhile, Trump nemesis Michael Avenatti will be at the TribFest on Friday.

And we’ll see what happens today.

(Which one is up for re-election?)

And maybe I’ll see some of you Saturday.

 

On Hawaiian family vacation, Alex Jones proves he is always Alex Jones

Good morning Austin:

The most frequent question I get about Alex Jones is, “Does he really mean what he says or is it an act?’

Ultimately, the answer to this question is unknowable.

The more pertinent question is whether there is any separation between the public Alex Jones and the private Alex Jones.

From April 16, 2017: In Travis County custody case, jury will search for real Alex Jones.

At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

But in emotional testimony at the hearing, Kelly Jones, who is seeking to gain sole or joint custody of her three children with Alex Jones, portrayed the volcanic public figure as the real Alex Jones.

“He’s not a stable person,” she said of the of the man with whom her 14-year-old son and 9- and 12-year-old daughters have lived since her 2015 divorce. “He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped.

“I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress,” she said, referring to his recent comments about California Democrat Adam Schiff. “He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast.”

Beginning Monday, a jury will be selected at the Travis County Courthouse that in the next two weeks will be asked to sort out whether there is a difference between the public and private Alex Jones, and whether, when it comes to his fitness as a parent, it matters.

For Naranjo, who has been the presiding judge of the 419th District Court since January 2006, it is about keeping her eyes, and the jury’s eyes, on the children.

“This case is not about Infowars, and I don’t want it to be about Infowars,” Naranjo told the top-shelf legal talent enlisted in Jones v. Jones at the last pretrial hearing Wednesday. “I am in control of this court, not your clients.”

Kelly Jones ostensibly won that case before a jury, becoming the primary parent in their continued joint conservatorship of the children, but, as it has played out, not so much.

Today, Alex and Kelly Jones were to be back in Naranjo’s courtroom because he is seeking a modification of the arrangement that would restore him as primary parent.

But before court began, Kelly Jones’ attorney, Brandi Stokes, filed a motion seeking Naranjo’s refusal from the case, and the hearing was canceled.

A living and beautiful thing to be sure, but I had rushed over to the courthouse the moment I hit send on First Reading and had paid for a full day of parking before I arrived to find out it was all over for the day.

Oh well.

Kelly Jones at Travis county Courthouse Monday.

As it happens, Jones, his three children from his marriage to Kelly, his new wife, and their baby, are just back from a family vacation in Hawaii that, based simply on watching Infowars, demonstrates rather conclusively that there is precious little separation between Infowars Alex Jones, and vacationing dad and husband Alex Jones.

The vacation begins with the Joneses running into Bernie Sanders during a layover at LAX.

 

AJ: Well if it isn’t old Bernie Sanders.

Sanders aide: Dude, no, come one, not right now.

Bernie Sanders (to his aide): Who’s this?

AJ: Why’d you say white people didn’t know what it was like to be poor?

The Infowars video now goes to a clip of Sanders at a debate with Hillary Clinton in which he says, “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to live in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor.”

AJ: Ladies and gentlemen, we just got off our plane at LAX and Bernie Sanders, the living embodiment of communist and socialist evil and failure was here.

A living museum piece of Mao Zedong or Josef Stalin or V.I. Lenin.

In fact with the death of Hugo Chavez, he passed on the mantle.

 But, of course, his little handlers wouldn’t let him to talk to some proletariat slave like me.

Yes, of course, why wouldn’t Bernie Sanders want to talk to Alex Jones?

Indeed, why wouldn’t any traveler not savor the opportunity to be harassed by an aggressive stranger (because Sanders really doesn’t seem to know who Alex Jones is) thrusting a camera in your face and asking hostile questions?

So naturally, Jones had to chase after Sanders.

AJ: You guys aren’t flying first class, are you? If you guys are flying first class you shouldn’t be. They don’t do that in Venezuela.

Why’s he running?

To be clear, Sanders is not running. He is walking very, very slowly, and is not reacting at all to Jones’ provocations.

AJ: Hey Bernie, why’re you running? Karl Rove didn’t run like this.

He said white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor. I thought that was a really racist thing to say.

You guys have fun. Got to be around the general public. Kind of a bad thing. You’re in the proletariat like that. You’re a ruling class commie.

AJ: The truth is the left is the most vicious, evil ideology the planet has ever seen. It’s an historical fact.

They always lecture us how we’re violent, we’re bad. They’re the ones that want to abort all the babies. They’re the ones who wanted to block Trump from being able to have all the experimental treatments and cures given to people that were terminal.

They’re the people who love the culture of death, just like Bernie supported Black Lives Matter. Just like he wouldn’t denounce cop-killers when they killed cops. That’s the kind of monster, cold-blooded person that Sanders is. He wants to overthrow this country via conquest

Bernie Sanders is a monster.

Monster. Conquest. Culture of Death.

But, if you think that bizarre tirade is the end of it, you would be wrong.

AJ: Why do you think socialism is better than capitalism and then why do you live in a capitalist country?

AJ: I don’t know why you’re running from me.

Sanders aide: Are you going to apologize to the Sandy Hook families, Alex?

AJ: Well, the media misrepresents that.

Well, Jones is being sued for by several Sandy Hook parents who think otherwise and, and six more Sandy Hook parents have joined the suit, which may ultimately leave to a Travis County jury, the questions of whether Jones is on the hook for damages.

AJ: You apologized for all the wars you guys launched, Democrats? All the millions you guys killed?

This is an odd line of attack on Sanders. I’m not sure which if any recent wars Sanders, an Independent in the Senate, supported, let alone launched.

OK, this next sequence is key, with Rex Jones, in the green shirt, getting into the vacation swing of things by joining dad in the chase and hectoring of Sanders.

 

REX JONES:  Do you enjoy living in your million-dollar vacation homes, Bernie, or do you want to give those to the poor?

AJ: Your $100,000 Audis?

What?

From Jason Torchinsky at Jalopnik, 4/1/16..

Over the past day or so, a picture that’s allegedly of Bernie Sanders driving a roughly $160,000 Audi R8 has been circulating online, along with the allegations that he purchased the car with donor money. Is any of this even remotely true?

Um, no. I know it’s astounding that something that shows up on 4Chan might not be 100 percent absolutely, verifiably true, but there’s roughly zero evidence that Sanders has used campaign contributions for anything like this, or even if that guy in the R8 is Bernie Sanders at all.

AJ: Anyways, anyways, anyways, anyways, you guys have fun.

Good luck when Google gets broken up.

Sanders aide: Apologize to the Sandy Hook families, Alex.

AJ: You guys need to. You made those places disarmament zones and then advertised it.

REX JONES: What do you think about the fact that 98 percent of shootings occur in gun-free zones, you want to get rid of those?

Then, a most remarkable thing happens.

A bystander seeing what is happening approaches Jones, gets in his face and, in a minute or two, owns Alex Jones.

And this guy appears to be having a great time.

BYSTANDER: Why don’t you stop being an idiot for a second?

AJ: It’s OK.

BYSTANDER:  I know it’s OK.

AJ: Are you mad that Hillary stole the election from you?

BYSTANDER:  I’m mad that you’re a Sandy Hook denier.

AJ: You’re that guy…

BYSTANDER:  What guy am I?

AJ: You like Hillary.

BYSTANDER: Did I bring up Hillary? You deny Sandy Hook and you’re giving him a hard time?

AJ: Hillary edited tapes of that.

BYSTANDER: Oh. Hillary edited tapes of Sandy Hook?

AJ: That’s right.

BYSTANDER: You’re an idiot. You win.

AJ: Why don’t you talk about all the wars that’ve killed millions of people. 

He launches into Benghazi, food shortages in Venezuela, Harvey Weinstein.

Confronted by some guy at the airport, the Alex Jones’ mumbo-jumbotron appears to be short-circuiting and Jones decides to beat a strategic retreat.

AJ: Anyway, you guys have a great day. I’ve got to catch my plane.

BYSTANDER: Please, one less idiot in LA is a good thing.

REX JONES: Well, LA’s kind of hit their idiot max, I’m not sure we’re one of them.

Alex Jones offers one last parting shot at Sanders, bringing his rhetorical harassment full circle.

AJ: Hey Bernie, why did you say white people didn’t know what it’s like to be poor? Why are you such a racist?

AJ: Why don’t you move to Venezuela Bernie, you’ll like it.

The video ends with Jones offering some concluding thoughts, summing up what we have just seen in a manner that anyone who has watched want went before knows is preposterous.

AJ: So over and over again, they want to change the subject from communism and socialism destroying hundreds of countries and killing 200 million people, they want to change the subject to myself and others asking questions about big public events that are used to blame the Second Amendment.

This is incredible. But as long as they can’t guilt you into their mind control they’ve failed. They are sociopath sand psychopaths. Leftists and globalists are there to manipulate those of us who have feelings.

So again ladies and gentlemen, Bernie Sanders, checked off the bucket list, chased like a cowardly rat into a sewer away from serious questions.

What is remarkable to me is that Jones had complete control over what happened here and how it was produced and presented to the world and I’ve got to think that to all but the most devoted Infowarriors he comes across as ridiculous, as a ludicrous parody of himself.

As for what is says about his parenting of Rex, well maybe next year he’ll take his son to the Running of the Jew in Kazakhstan.

Rex’s involvement in Infowars has grown in recent months.

From a  March 30 First ReadingAlex Jones turns to his 15-year-old son to defend him from `bullying’ by David Hogg

It has been almost a year since the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones  child custody trial in the Travis County courtroom of District Judge Orlinda Naranjo.

I, like other reporters, never identified the names of the Jones’ three children.

But that now seems a quaint precaution when it comes to their oldest child, their now 15-year-old son, who his father yesterday pushed into a very public place on InfoWars before his huge audience in a manner that appears to make a mockery of Naranjo’s insistence throughout the trial that Alex Jones’ day job had nothing to do with how he parents his children and was of no concern to the court.

Alex Jones seems determined to make his son a celebrity, to make Rex Jones the next Alex Jones.

It’s not hard to understand why Rex Jones, at 15, still in braces, wouldn’t want to go into the hugely lucrative and unfathomably ego-affirming family business. And, I suppose, why not blame David Hogg, who, of late, has become a more hated and demonized target of the American right than Hillary Clinton or George Soros.

I will admit that I find Hogg’s arrogance off-putting and unsettling.

But I don’t think Alex Jones thrusting his son into the spotlight is either helpful or model parenting. It is just more narcissism from a narcissist, intended to wring every drop of juice he can out of attacking Hogg while grooming his Mini-Me.

Here’s some other scenes from Alex Jones’ Hawaiian family vacation.

 

AJ: Alex Jones here form the Central Pacific Ocean reporting on a really exciting development…I have made the point that if we really want to take down the globalists, their Achilles’ heel is sex-trafficking …

AJ: Pizzagate was a distraction.

I”m not blaming folks. We halfway bought into it as well.

Right. Halfway.

Next.

AJ: Alex Jones, reporting live on historic events from the Central Pacific Ocean.

AJ: There is literally an ocean of people who are awake and know what’s happening. There are also an ocean of people who aren’t awake but they are becoming disillusioned as they realize they have been lied to and as they realize the economy is turning around.

Next up Anthony Bourdain, who, according to Jones, was about to go MAGA when he supposedly committed suicide.

Here, he literally talks into the sunset.

 

Then continues under a tiki torch.

AJ: You know what, I’m going to join the liberal team. I think it’s totally reasonable.

I’m going to identify as an eighth-grade girl and I am going to make them let me on the local eighth-grade girls team in Austin and I am going to wrestle eighth-grade little girls, and if they don’t let me, I’m going to sue them.

AJ: John was here with his children, I was here with my children, we’re here in the middle of Pacific Ocean, we’re here in the newest land on Earth, last touched by God, the real Garden of Eden, and I ran into this guy, he’s a very humble guy but very well-spoken, very charismatic, very passionate, and so I  wanted him, from another angle, to get into the current state right now, how we are witnessing prophecy right now, and what an amazing time we’re in ...

Then this dispatch while snorkeling.

Of course, there was lao report on the disruption by Infowars of Bill Clinton’s book tour appearance at Bass Concert Hall in Austin.

AJ: I’m here on a workcation with my family in Hawaii, but I tell you, I wish I was there in Austin with you.

And then, of course, there is a report on his decision to do what many men do, and grow a beard on vacation.

Apparently Alex Jones said he wouldn’t grow a beard until the “tide has turned against the globalists,” which, he said, it now has and that is why he started growing a beard while in Hawaii, and stole a few precious minutes away from his family time to tell us about it.

 

 

Alex Jones explains Las Vegas: It’s all about Alex Jones.

“They are planning a violent overthrow sometime in October or November.”

Good day, Austin:

The mass murder in Las Vegas is unspeakably tragic. And baffling.

Unless you listen to Alex Jones, in which case you knew last Friday that something like this was in the works, part of an Islamic-Communist plot to create a civil/race war and take over the U.S. government timed to the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution (of course!), set in motion by the dispute over kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games and now executed through a false flag massacre that will try to pin the rap on a listener to Alex Jones, as a precursor to the assassination of conservative Supreme Court justices and Judge Roy Moore in order to depose President Trump, enslave the people and silence Alex Jones.

Yes, friends, what happened in Las Vegas Sunday night was, when you can see past all the smoke and mirrors, all about Alex Jones.

It’s crystal clear, and only a sap – who doesn’t know that the Las Vegas police and the FBI and law enforcement and government generally, which I guess, for the time being includes President Trump himself, are Antifa tools – can’t see that.

Or didn’t realize – how damn obvious does it have to be – that O.J. Simpson was released Saturday night from a Nevada prison – and headed back to Las Vegas, the scene of his (last) crime (a botched Las Vegas hotel room heist! ) –  in order to get all the MSM sheep in place in Las Vegas ahead of the big show on Sunday.

Damn. O.J. But wait, he never took a knee, did he?

Like an Indian making use of every bit of the buffalo, Alex Jones makes use of every fact, factoid, fiction and flight of fancy to spin a seamless, all-encompassing, everything-is-explained narrative, employing every trope of post-JFK conspiracy mongering to full advantage.

The Las Vegas gunman couldn’t have acted alone.

There must have been other gunmen.

He must be an agent of ISIS, Antifa, Bolsheviks, globalists, anti-Trumpers.

He covered all his conspiracy bases.

I was up in Canada….  I went to a gun range, it was just women lined up in hijab firing full auto at a place that you can do that.

xxxxxxx

I mean this country, I don’t know what’s going on,  but it’s absolutely crazy. And the Democratic Party has just absolutely done this. They’ve got some giant, double-cross revolution, one hundred years, the Bolshevik Revolution planned in the next couple of months.

xxxx

I see preparation for revolution against America by Islamic and Communist forces everywhere. It’s crawling out of the woodwork here in Austin.

Right here in Austin.

Right here in Austin?

Woodwork? What woodwork?

From Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast.

Jones repeatedly fabricated factoids in his portrayal of Sunday night’s mass murder, erroneously claiming, for instance, that the Reuters wire service had independently confirmed that the shooter, 64-year-old retiree Stephen Paddock, had converted to Islam in recent months—an unverified claim made by the Islamic State (and debunked by the FBI) as the terrorist organization took credit for the killings after Paddock’s gun-inflicted suicide.

From Monday’s Infowars, via Media Matters.

ALEX JONES: About 20 minutes ago, ISIS took responsibility for the attacks, and the police have confirmed that he had — the reported shooter had recently personally threatened them and posted videos threatening them, saying that he had joined ISIS, joined Al Qaeda, and that he was basically a leftist, just like [alleged NSA leaker] Reality Winner, and just like so many others that had converted to Islam, that was so angry about Trump and everything that was happening that he went out and carried out this attack. Now, again, clearly it looks like he had help, but we saw the October 1st event of the 100 years of the Bolshevik Revolution coming up, and I had been predicting starting October 1st that we’d see terror attacks.

And this:

ALEX JONES (HOST): The literal grandchildren of the folks that financed the Bolshevik Revolution out of New York and London are now bragging saying Bolshevik 2 is launching. I told you over and over again that I believe their November 4th launch terror date was a smokescreen for them to begin launching terror attacks in October. They will get successively more intense until you basically come punch-drunk to them, then they’ll launch their main attack.

Here’s the other big news. On Saturday night, Monday morning — Sunday morning, they released O.J. [Simpson] just 20 hours before the attack took place so all the media would come and be in place to cover this event. The whole thing has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cut-outs. I’m Alex Jones.

For conspiracy theorists, Las Vegas was the most fertile soil possible because it was so hard to make sense of.

We need a grassy knoll. We need a man with an umbrella.

Now!

https://twitter.com/infowars/status/914920441529081856

From Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson, a British Alex Jones without the charm.

And who was the woman, described as Hispanic, who told concertgoers that they were about to die?

We can expect no less from Jones, the man who said that Sandy Hook was a hoax, although he will now tell you that he made that argument ad infinitum as a devil’s advocate.

From his ex-wife, Kelly.

This is the man who made his bones predicting 9/11, sort of, so he wants you to know he’s done it again.

From yesterday.

ALEX JONES PREDICTED VEGAS ATTACK ON FRIDAY

Jones predicted a mass terror attack to be pinned on a right wing patsy

Here are the critical minutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, my head is just spinning on this Friday edition.

xxxxxxxxx

It’s the 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

We’re here. It’s happening now. this is real. What are you going to do about it is the big question you’ve got to ask yourselves.

The camera at this point came in close. Only the truly strong-minded can look at this without falling into Jones’s hypnotic spell.

I suggest slapping yourself hard in the face, right now, before you read further.

Done?

Ok, do it again.

Now proceed.

Also, note the frequent use of the pronoun “they.” That is the royal, conspiratorial “they,” which includes just about everybody except for Donald Trump and Alex Jones.

Back to AJ:

Because they mean business. We have to hold our fire, but we have to be prepared and know they are coming over the line. And we’ve got to be on target and ready and everybody’s got to start packing (note: I think he is referring to heat not luggage), because when they strike it will be like fire ants, when they crawl all over your legs and they get in place and one of them that’s leading, and it’s all genetically engineered by mother nature that way, stings you, releases a pheromone, and all the others sting, once they get in place they communicate by pheromones.

And it’s the same thing, they get all over you, they get in place, it’s gonna be, boom, you wake up one morning and it’s going to be 300 cops are dead, and you wake up and talk show hosts and members of Congress are wiped out, Trump Towers from Chicago to New York are on fire, so the police don’t think they can respond.

But there will be something that will happen before that – a mass shooting at a school, maybe a bombing of a federal building, maybe more,  pinned on a right-wing patsy, who is a listener of this show.

That’s why they are putting us all over the news, putting us on Comedy Central with all their drooling viewers.

Here’s the bad guy, here’s the terrorist, get ready for this, when it all happens it’s his fault. He made his followers do it. So they’ll false flag. They’ll blame it on Alex Jones and Matt Drudge and Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh. And even a lot of conservative talk radio hosts will half go along with it because they’ll think, “Oh, my competition’s going to get shut down.” No, idiot, you’re about to get shut down, Bolshevik style.

That’s how it worked. The Bolsheviks say, “We’ve just seized Moscow, but if you turn your guns and work with us and some of the other political parties we’ll let you rule with us, and just help us get the White Russians, just help us get the Christian Russians, just help us get the pro-Czarists, just help us get that one group and then you’re  going to be fine.”  And then they killed each group of moron traitors that lowered the drawbridge.

So, we’re here, and I’m sure the whole NFL thing was the activation of this, and my sources concur with this. This has not gone well for them. Trump’s approval rating, even in skewed polls, is up five points, some polls even higher. The economy’s coming back on. So they’re really freaking out.

So our revolution is funds and money and success and freedom, and they’re stabbing people and bombing people and shooting cops in the back of the head.  And they think when this all happens it will be, “Oh this was our Commie revolution.”

So, if there’s a big terrorist attack that they blame on patriots or Christians or conservatives or independent media – that’s what they want to shut down – not if, when. You will have two or three days of getting people to a fever pitch, to make it look like it was organic, but by the second or third night, if you want to stop these folks, you’ve got to be all eyes and ears. (Note: if you’re not counting, that would tonight or tomorrow night.)

They’re going to hit at night. They’re going hit at around 10 o’clock at night, so you’ve got to be waiting on them. They may also do it in cities they control where the police chiefs will be involved in it and will order basically a stand down.

“They’re planning a civil war. They’re pushing at the NFL.”

They’re going to make their move, that’s why everybody’s on edge, and we’ve really tried to fix this as peacefully as we can and if the attorney general, who is completely surrounded I know, doesn’t move, the Antifa idiots are just going to be the cover for the squads and some of  other specialized groups that they are going to be using to decapitate and they think intimidate and confuse patriot government.

But you better believe they are going to try to kill conservative Supreme Court justices, you better believe they are going to try to kill Judge Roy Moore, people like that. I mean folks, they are coming for you.

They are coming for you, October is only a few days away. They’re saying their operation launches Nov. 4. That’s probably a diversion. I think the attacks coming in the middle of October. That’s just looking at all the pieces. I’d say look for the middle of October for a new Charlottesville, much bigger, or a group of Charlottesville. That’s going to be the cover for the detonation.

But what do you think?

Here are the results of  Infowars on-line poll as of sometime this morning.

Alex Jones’ 9/11 exclusive: President Trump is being drugged in his Diet Cokes.

Good day Austin:

Before we begin, let me address an urgent message directly to President Donald Trump.

Mr. President, if you’re reading this, if somehow, someone is smuggling First Reading to you past the InfoBlockade imposed by Chief of Staff John Kelly, then heed this warning. From now on, when Kelly or one of his minions brings you your Diet Coke, or iced tea, wait until they are looking the other way, and surreptitiously spill the contents into the Oval Office wastebasket, or, better yet, the potted Swedish Ivy over there on the Oval Office mantel (the soil will absorb the evidence). And then pretend to take a final satisfied slurp through the straw as if you’ve just consumed the contents of the MAGA tumbler.

Why?

Because, as your loyalist Alex Jones here in Austin revealed yesterday on InfoWars (info I’m sure Kelly has a whole team of plumbers assigned to keep from leaking into the Oval Office): “They are putting a slow sedative that they are building up, and it’s also addictive, in his Diet Cokes and also in his iced tea, and that the president, by six or seven at night, is basically slurring his words. He’s drugged.”

https://twitter.com/infowars/status/907310285488132096

OK, Mr. President. Sure, sometimes AJ gets carried away.

But Roger Stone, the guy who created you and lovingly crafted you as a political being lo these many decades, says it could just be true, that he has heard reports suggesting you sometimes appear medicated, that he wouldn’t put it past Kelly to pull something like this, and that with the imminent departure of Keith Schiller, your trusted body man, body-guard, confidante and chief of Oval Office operations, you will have no one right there with your best interests at heart looking out for you.

From Toby Harnden the Sunday Times of London: Donald Trump left isolated as his ‘security blanket’ Keith Schiller quits

The name Keith Schiller is barely known, even in Washington, where he occupies the nebulous-sounding role of director of Oval Office operations. But his imminent departure — another casualty of the tough new regime in the White House — has left Donald Trump uncharacteristically reflective and almost bereft.

While the president has weathered the departure of a number of key aides, including his chief strategist Steve Bannon, arguably none was as important as Schiller.

Stone believe that Schiller is being effectively forced out by Kelly, who is trying to strangle Schiller’s relationship with, and ability to protect, the president.

https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/904183069724352513

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/907417284326641665

Stone is now — along with Owen Shroyer and Mike Cernovich — manning the InfoWars’ War Room, a new daily show on InfoWars, that picks up where Jones’ 11 to 3 daily show ends, and extends from 4 to 7 every weekday.

The drugging-of-the-president scoop and story-line was dealt with on both the Alex Jones’ show — which also includes Stone, Shroyer and Cernovich as regulars — and on the War Room yesterday, which was a big day on the Alex Jones/InfoWars calendar.

It was Sept. 11.

Almost a year ago, in October 2016, I wrote a story for the StatesmanAustin’s Alex Jones: The voice in Donald Trump’s head, about the growing importance of Alex Jones in informing the world view of then presidential candidate Trump, the result of a relationship brokered by Stone, who saw the great mutual advantage in it for both Trump and Jones.

In that story, I wrote that:

It was 9/11 that defined Jones.

On July 25, 2001, Jones, who, at the time was still doing his cable TV show in Austin in addition to his syndicated radio show, claimed that the U.S. government was plotting a false flag terrorist attack in the United States that it would blame on the likes of Osama bin Laden as a pretext for domestic repression.

Less than two months later, (Angelo) Carusone {then executive vice president and now president of Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit progressive media watchdog group} said, “On 9/11, on that actual day, he started to attack the United States government.”

Some radio stations canceled Jones.

“He was just too hot,” Carusone said. “His ascent was totally blunted.”

But, Carusone said, “that set in motion the version of Alex Jones that Trump is heralding on the campaign trail.”

In the years since, Jones has built a web presence that could survive the loss of all his radio stations, and mostly bankrolls the operation with direct sales of his own products — from political paraphernalia to survivalist and health products, such as the one he swears by “that blocks the estrogen mimickers that feminize men.”

Unlike his rivals, Jones has no one to answer to.

“He was less accountable,” Carusone said. “It just makes all the difference in the world.”

In other words, it was 9/11 that vaulted the Alex Jones, who got his start ranting on Austin public access TV, from this guy to the one we know today.

Now, when Alex Jones says “Never Forget” 9/11, what he doesn’t want you to forget is that it was a false flag, an inside job, and that he’s the one who called it.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/907456499450093568

From Owen Shroyer on yesterday’s War Room.

Shroyer:

Still to this day no other skyscraper has fallen because of a structure fire. It has yet to happen to this day but they are still trying to tell you that the only three skyscrapers in the history of the world that have fallen from a structure fire all fell within the same day on the same block. 

Come on folks! Come on man!

To me, Shroyer is the weak link in the War Room triumvirate.

Stone is Stone.

Cernovich is, well, here, from way back in April, is a bit of the New York Times’ “Who is Mike Ceronvich: A Guide.”

Trump has frequently derided the news media as “fake news,” and on Tuesday his son, Donald Trump Jr., told the world there was one person he wants to see win the Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor in American journalism: Mike Cernovich.

xxxxxx

Mr. Cernovich is a blogger, author of books, YouTube personality and filmmaker with a far-right social media following. Much of his online persona is driven by two mottos: “conflict is attention” and “attention is influence.”

He told The New Yorker, “I use trolling tactics to build my brand.”

Before this week, he was perhaps best known for promoting false claims that Hillary Clinton was part of a pedophile ring located in the basement of a pizzeria. He describes himself as an “American nationalist” and has been involved in shaping alt-right messages on social media, according to The New Yorker. But he has denied being part of the alt-right movement, calling it “too obsessed with gossip and drama for my tastes” in a blog post.

Like Stone, Cernovich is well-sourced in Trumpland and able to produce good scoops.

But unlike Stone and Cernovich, who, in Sopranos’ parlance, are “good earners,” Shroyer seems like he’s one of those over-eager young guys trying to get on the crew who’s only going to get himself in trouble.

He did make Roger Stone’s 2016 Best Dressed List. (Stone has assumed the responsibilities of the list once borne by Mr. Blackwell.)

Owen Shroyer: Dogged truth seeker/reporter on the rise. Shroyer is one of the rising talents at Alex Jones’ InfoWars alternative news network. Bombastic during his “man on the street” style reports, Shroyer is amazingly put together no matter the climate or setting. The cut/fit of his suits and shirts are form fitting, but not busting at the seams (Daniel Craig’s Bond wardrobe). Our true admiration though is for his favoritism of a spread collar to accompany the thick knots of his ties.

OK, spread collar, fine. But last last year Shroyer made a hash of trying to create local Pizzagate in Austin, which was a total embarrassment that he took down (here is Matt Odam’s story and my  First Reading) and backed away from..

Altogether, Shroyer seems to me to be sidekick and not super hero material – Arthur, the moth, to Alex Jones’ The Tick.

Anyway, 16 years since 9/11/01, Alex Jones is still campaigning against the Deep State, what is different now is that, somehow, Jones is allied with the man in the Oval Office, and trying to protect him from the machinations of the said Deep State.

Back in May, Stone and Jones shot an urgent video on the streets of Austin, warning of what they feared could be an attempt to remove Trump from office claiming he has Alzheimer’s. (Here’s the First Reading on that.)

For the last couple of months, Jones and Stone have been further warning Trump that he has essentially been inadvertently executing a Seven Days in May style coup agent himself by surrounding himself with Generals Kelly (as chief of staff), Mad Dog Mattis at Defense, and, most nefarious of all in their view, H. R. McMaster at the National Security Council, creating his own in-house junta without a drop of blood being spilled, or, maybe even, any awareness that it is happening.

InfoWars’ 9/11 shows bring that plot up to date.

Here is Alex Jones yesterday

And here is a clipped version from Media Matters

Here is a transcript from Media Matters:

ALEX JONES (HOST): Ladies and gentlemen, I was told this by high level sources and it was evident and especially after [Ronald] Reagan was shot in his first year in office when he was acting like Trump, and doing the right things, that he never really recovered. They gave him cold blood, and his transfusion that causes brain damage. They slowly gave him small amounts of sedatives. It’s known that most presidents end up getting drugged. Small dosages of sedatives till they build it up, Trump’s such a bull he hasn’t fully understood it yet.

But I’ve talked to people, multiple ones, and they believe that they are putting a slow sedative that they’re building up that’s also addictive in his Diet Cokes and in his iced tea and that the president by 6 or 7 at night is basically slurring his words and is drugged. Now first they had to isolate him to do that. But yes, ladies and gentleman, I’ve talked to people that talk to the president now at 9 at night, he is slurring his words. And I’m going to leave it at that. I’ve talked to folks that have talked to him directly.

So notice, “Oh, he’s mentally ill. Oh, he’s got Alzheimer’s.” They isolate him then you start slowly building up the dose, but instead of titrating it like poison, like venom of a cobra, or a rattlesnake, or a water moccasin where you build it up slowly so that you get a immunity to it, you’re building it slowly so the person doesn’t notice it. First it’s almost zero, just a tiny bit and then a little more and then your brain subconsciously becomes addicted to it and wants it and so as the dose gets bigger and bigger you get more comfortable in it. The president’s about two months into being covertly drugged. Now I’m risking my life, by the way, tell you all this. I was physically sick before I went on air. Because I’m smart. And I don’t mean that in a braggadocious way. I mean I’m not dumb. The information you’re going to get today is super dangerous. In fact, I’m tempted just to let it out now so they don’t cut the show off or something before this goes out. I mean this is the kind of thing that gets you killed.

[…]

JONES: They drug presidents because the power structure wants a puppet. The president needs his blood tested by an outside physician he trusts.

Here is a Media Matters clip of Stone yesterday on the drugging of the president

.

From Media Matters:

ALEX JONES (HOST): By what time — when people are talking to him, at what times is [Trump] slurring his words?

ROGER STONE: He is slurring his words on various times, and that’s what’s concerning. Let’s be very clear: I have a source at The New York Times, a reporter who expressed to me a concern that in a conversation they had on the phone with the president that he was slurring his words. The president does not drink. The president certainly does not do drugs. The president is sharp as a tack. Now, let’s give some credibility to —

JONES: Let me stop you. Let me stop you. When I’ve had conversations with him it’s like he’s speaking like an actor. It’s so precise and so smooth, exactly, then you hear he’s slurring his words. It’s like, “Woah.”

STONE: Now, in the president’s defense, could he be exhausted? Yeah, he works very hard for the country. He is passionate about his desire for an economic revival, for a boom. He said it to me, “Wait and see. You’ll see. When I get my 15 percent tax rate this economy is going to cook like nothing you’ve ever seen, it will be the greatest advance in job creation this country’s ever seen.” He is deeply committed and passionate about this. But I have now heard not from one, but two different sources, that he seemed disoriented and was slurring his speech in conversations. To me this is a tip off that he may be being medicated. Is General [John] Kelly above this? No.

Here’s a far fuller Stone with Jones on the whole affair, beginning almost six minutes in.

And here is Stone yesterday with Owen Shroyer. Notice, if you will, in these several clips, the wardrobe changes by the ever-natty Stone.

So, you may ask, is President Trump being isolated and sedated to make him more manageable or, ultimately, removable?

I don’t know.

Sounds unlikely.

But what doesn’t?

Is there any reason to believe that Alex Jones and Roger Stone (and Mike Cernovich) have an inside line on what’s up with Trump?

Well, maybe so.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio certainly thinks so.

From Nina Burleigh at Newsweek: Trump Will Pardon Joe Arpaio Because of Alex Jones’s Infowars and Matt Drudge

From Media Matters:

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show to thank Jones, his staff, and Roger Stone for influencing President Donald Trump into potentially issuing Arpaio a pardon following his recent criminal conviction.

A U.S. District Court judge convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt of court in July. He faces up to six months in jail for his refusal to comply with a court order that said he could no longer direct the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to engage in racially discriminatory practices against Latinos. Arpaio was defeated in his re-election bid for a seventh term in November.

CNN.com reported today that “the White House has prepared the paperwork for President Trump to pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio when he makes the final decision to do so.” During an August 22 rally in Arpaio’s home state of Arizona, Trump suggested a pardon was imminent, telling the crowd, “I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine. Okay? But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy. Is that okay? All right? But Sheriff Joe can feel good.”

During his August 23 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones said that he had been told Trump would pardon Arpaio.

Jones teased an “exclusive” interview with Arpaio and described how his case reached Trump’s desk, claiming it started with Infowars Washington bureau chief Jerome Corsi. According to Jones, “It’s Dr. Corsi writing the articles, and it’s Matt Drudge picked him up, and the president saw it in Matt Drudge’s Twitter feed, and then said, ‘Is this true? I haven’t even heard of this on Fox.’ And he called [Sean] Hannity up, and said, ‘Why aren’t you covering this?’”

Since at least April, Corsi has been publishing articles advancing Arpaio’s interests. Corsi wrote an Infowars.com piece in June headlined “Why Trump White House and Sessions DOJ must help Sheriff Arpaio.” On August 18, Corsi published an article that said “Infowars.com has learned the White House counsel has prepared, at the request of President Trump, a pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that is ready for Trump to sign.”

Arpaio opened his comments on Jones’ show by saying, “I want to thank you, Alex, and your staff, Jerry Corsi, Roger Stone, for bringing this story out and reaching the president. I supported him from, what, two years ago at the same forum that he did yesterday and I’m with him and I’m with him to the end.”

Jones floated the prospect of Arpaio joining the Trump administration during the interview, and Arpaio replied that he wasn’t wasn’t looking to join the administration but said, “If he called me, it would be very difficult for me to turn him down because I will do anything to help him out.

Here’s the full interview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The greatest story ever trolled: On Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones and Donald Trump

Good Friday Austin:

President Trump is a good story.

As presidential copy, probably the best ever, with the possible exception of, as he would have it, the late, great Abraham “Civil War” Lincoln.

As an above-the-fold headliner, Trump is a truly Promethean figure, who somehow has his liver eaten daily by the twin eagles of The New York Times and the Washington Post and assorted other journalistic vultures, only to somehow regenerate it in time to tweet new bile by dawn’s early light – day after day after day after day.

And it’s not just ephemeral newspaper headlines.

Take a look at the New York Times bestseller list.

1 – A book about Trump and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

2 – A book about the making of the Trump electorate.

3 – Astrophysics for Dummies.

4 – A book about a stalwart Democratic comedian-turned-senator in the Age of Trump.

(Don’t be fooled. This book is number 4 because of its collection of the author’s caustic anecdotes explaining why he so loathes Ted Cruz.)

And 5:

From the Amazon description:

The liberal media machine did everything they could to keep this book out of your hands. Now, finally, Dangerous, the most controversial book of the decade, is tearing down safe spaces everywhere.

The New York Times Bestseller List thumbnail reads: The alt-right provocateur criticizes political correctness.

According to Milo, the “alt-right” part no longer applies.

It is true that in March 2016, Milo (in the interests of time and character husbandry and because, that is how he refers to himself, not least on his book cover, I will refer to him simply as Milo), wrote an influential taxonomy An Establishment Conservative’s  Guide to the Alt-Right – with Allum Bokhari, a Breitbart colleague at the time, that mapped that political terrain and, in the process, helped put it on the political map.

At the time, Milo was identified as a senior editor for Breitbart, who “can be followed at @Nero.”

That’s not longer the case.

He can no longer by followed at @Nero.

 

 

 

And in February, Milo quit Breitbart.

But if Milo is no longer with Breitbart, neither is his mentor, Bannon, who along with the Almighty, merits last mention in his book, just before the end notes.

In the book, Milo proclaims the alt-right dead, killed, he says, by the media and by Richard Spencer, who Statesman readers may recall from his tumultuous appearance last December at Texas A&M.

And, Milo writes, what is left of the alt-right hates him.

 

So Milo prefers to think of himself as dangerous like Lenny Bruce or Zsa Zsa, or Anna Nicole Smith.

Or Madonna.

And Milo’s evident talent, as he writes, is as a troll.

And, it seems, President Trump is never not trolling.

The man trolled the Boy Scout Jamboree.

Milo only mentions Alex Jones by name once in his book.

Which brings us to Milo’s visit to Austin yesterday and his appearance on Infowars, in which he and Alex Jones for 90 minutes played off one another in some tandem trolling to their mutual delight, and in the midst of which, Milo said that, in fact, researchers had confirmed Jones was right about the frogs.

(Note: I was scheduled to meet Milo for an interview yesterday evening, but it didn’t come off as scheduled.)

Milo began with some obligatory MSM bashing:

… the American media, which has always been the dumbest media, it has always been the stupidest media of anywhere in the world. I mean you go to Britain, you’ve got sharp, smart, brilliant, incredibly gifted, waspish gadflies, whether it’s the tabloid media or whatever.

You come to America and they are, by some margin, the dumbest people, they are the dumbest press, anywhere in the Western world. And we’ve gone from pitying them to be in open warfare against them. Anybody who believes in freedom, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, any of those things that make this country such a fantastic place to live, if you care about any of that stuff, have no choice but to be in open warfare.

 

 

 

 

They talked about John Oliver’s recent show devoted to Jones and the stuff he sells (which now includes Milo’s book).

Milo:

 

I watched that John Oliver segment. He’s supposed to be a comedian and not a single one of his punch lines landed. I was trying to think of something to ask you about it but it was so boring and so rubbish. I mean, neither of us is difficult people to satirize, because we like to have fun with ourselves, because we enjoy laughing at ourselves, we’re not difficult people to satirize, yet they can’t do it because they’re such bad comedians.

It’s not just that their last resort is comedy, it’s that their last resort is to unfunny comedy. It’s awful.

They trolled their mutual antagonist, Glenn Beck and his network, The Blaze.

AJ:

Dangerous, available at Infowars.com. Dangerous, which is the most manly name you could have. Not The Blaze, the blazing fag of Glenn Beck. I’m sorry. It’s fun to say that. We’re not being anti-gay. We love the fact that Glenn is gay

I’m a latent person. I want you Glenn Beck.

Marry me. I’m not going to lie anymore. I want Glenn Beck.

You know what this is called? Mac Trolls. This will be all over the newspapers.

Milo:  He dresses like an elderly gay antique dealer.

Milo and Alex had great fun going page by page through the Madam President Newsweek commemorative edition, with Jones matching Milo’s British accent with the one he regularly uses when he wants to sound snooty.

AJ:

The most unintentional comedy in the galaxy.

 

 

A caller told Milo, “I love your outspoken honesty, especially on the subject of Jewish control in America.” He cited Milo’s appearance on the Rubin Report.

Milo:

Well, we were talking about antisemitism, and I said I think that one thing that’s not antisemitic is merely pointing out that we, as Jews, are vastly over-represented in industries that are perceived as powerful, like the media and like banking, and that’s perfectly true and not an antisemitic statement.

AJ:

My deal is, a lot of the anti-Jew crowd, that they attribute magical powers, they’re saying that everything I have is Jewish and Jews tell me what to do, and it’s just an excuse for people not to be successful … It just gets old, and personally I’ve experienced it. If somebody slips on a banana peel a Jew did it. It gets old, but I let the caller get on and talk about it.

They concluded their 90 minutes by toasting one another with pink Cosmos with complementary rose-pink and lime green umbrellas.

AJ: What a delicious Jewish-made drink.

AJ: You know I think this could be chilled a bit more.

Milo: Maybe two or three degrees. It’s good though.

AJ: Cheers to Madame President.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case closed? Judge Naranjo issues final orders in Alex/Kelly Jones child custody case

 

Kelly Jones and attorney Robert Hoffman after Wednesday’s court hearing.

Good day Austin:

I am not quite prepared to credit state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo with the wisdom of Solomon.

But she did manage yesterday to orally render a permanent order in the child custody case of Alex Jones, his ex-wife Kelly Jones and their three children – a 14-year-old son and 9- and 12-year-old daughters – that it appears neither side is likely to challenge or appeal.

That’s quite an accomplishment, that even in the intensely hostile final hours yesterday of this high-conflict divorce, she seemed unlikely to be able to pull off.

The order in important ways falls short of what Kelly Jones and her attorneys thought she won with a favorable jury verdict after their two-week trial in April..

But it was more favorable than Jones and Robert Hoffman, the Houston attorney who was by her side in court yesterday, feared they were going to get from Naranjo – who Kelly Jones has long thought was in Alex Jones’ corner and who Kelly Jones has been very publicly criticizing in the months since the trial ended.

 

Kelly Jones had joint conservatorship – that is joint custody –  even before the trial but, for all practical purposes, had only very limited visitation with her children, who had been living with Alex Jones since their divorce in 2015. With Naranjo’s order, she will, come this fall, share custody of their daughters 50-50 with her ex-husband, but will have to earn greater visitation rights with her son, who she can only now see in intermittent eight-hour increments.

Texas is the only state in the nation that allows jury trials in child custody cases and Kelly Jones and her lawyers had chosen a jury trial because they didn’t want to leave the decision to Naranjo.

But, as Naranjo reminded Kelly Jones and Hoffman yesterday, she has wide discretion in implementing the jury’s verdict in her order establishing the possession and access rules and schedule – that is determining exactly how much time each child spends with each parent.

Yesterday, Naranjo orally issued her determinations, with a final written order to follow.

Leading up to yesterday’s hearing – the second since the verdict – Kelly Jones and her lawyers worried that Naranjo was determined to simply ignore the jury verdict, and they were prepared, if necessary, to appeal her final order to the Court of Appeals, claiming that Kelly had been denied her right as a Texan to that jury verdict.

But Naranjo’s decision to grant her 50-50 access to her daughters in short order was better than they had feared, and Hoffman said afterward that there was no longer reason to appeal.

Kelly also said in court yesterday that the case had already cost her – from soup to nuts – between $500,00 and 800,000, and she was broke and in debt to her lawyers.

Meanwhile, it seemed that Alex Jones’ lawyers had less incentive to seek a new trial, though Randall Wilhite said today they are reserving a final decision on that.

But, he said, Alex Jones has indicated that he would like to see if they can make Naranjo’s order work.

Alex Jones has a new wife and a new baby and he has said in the past – their hammer-and-tong legal battle aside – that he would like to have his wife more evenly share custody of their children – as she was able.

But, there were other elements of Naranjo’s order that will be a particularly bitter pill for Kelly Jones to swallow.

Kelly Jones built her case against Alex on the argument she was a victim of parental alienation – that is  that Alex Jones had  effectively brainwashed their three child to hate her. Wilhite says that parental alienation is a self-exculpatory “fantasy” intended to excuse her from the consequences of her own actions.

I think most people observing the two-week trial thought Kelly Jones was on her way to losing the case until the end of the trail when Hoffman – “the closer” – systematically and quite effectively trashed all the expert testimony about the psychology of the relationship between the Joneses and their children, and presented a the case that what was really going on here was parental alienation, a phenomenon that Hoffman argued most all the court-appointed experts had been willfully blind to or ignorant of.

It appeared that Hoffman turned the jury because, if one bought Hoffman’s arguments about parental alienation, all the seemingly compelling evidence of the children’s devotion to their father and fear and loathing of their mother was really evidence of its opposite, evidence that, as Hoffman described it, Alex Jones was a kind of cult leader and his children were members of his cult.

From my story at the time:

In his closing argument Thursday, Kelly Jones’ attorney Robert Hoffman argued that she was the victim of parental alienation with Alex Jones brainwashing their children to align with him and turn against her.

“Mr. Jones is like a cult leader; the children appear to be cult followers, doing what Daddy wants them to do,” said Hoffman.

“Nobody knows how to stop this man,” Hoffman told the jury, and that, he said, included Judge Orlinda Naranjo, who throughout the trial repeatedly told Alex Jones to stop making faces and nodding and shaking his head in reaction to testimony.

“Nobody can stop this man except the 12 of you,” Hoffman said. “You have an unbelievable amount of power.”

When the jury returned its verdict it appeared that Hoffman’s argument had carried the day.

While both parents would retain joint conservatorship of the children, the jury designated Kelly – who had scarcely any visitation time going into the trial – as the primary parent, meaning she got to decide where their primary residence would be.

From my story on the verdict:

Alex Jones will share joint custody, which means that he will have visitation rights. But Kelly Jones and her lawyers want to begin the new arrangement with a period of time in which the children will live exclusively with her while they adjust to the new situation, followed by increased visitation with their father.

She also wants the family involved in a program for undoing parental alienation, the phenomenon in which one parent turns the children against another parent, which she and her lawyers argued was what happened to her when the children began living with Alex Jones. She said during the trial she is thinking of writing a book about it.

“I am so grateful to God that he has kept me and my family strong through this,” Kelly Jones said after the verdict. “I just pray that from what’s happend with my family, people can really understand what parental alienation syndrome is and get an awareness of it and we can stop this from happening in the future.”

But, while to Kelly Jones and her attorneys and to observers like myself, it appeared the parental alienation argument had made the difference, the jury doesn’t explain its reasoning in reaching its judgment.

After the trial, Alex Jones’ lawyers sought to reach all 12 jurors, and succeeded in talking with seven of them. All seven, Wilhite said, told them that jury had thoroughly reviewed the signs of parental alienation described by an expert witness called by Kelly Jones’ lawyers, and determined that in this case, “there was no parental alienation.”

Wilhite got unsworn declarations from the seven jurors to that effect, and informed Naranjo, but she said she did not want to see them.

Yeterday, Wilhite asked Naranjo to include in her order explicit language saying that there was no finding of parental alienation on his client’s part.

Naranjo did not respond to that request, but it was evident yesterday if it wasn’t before, that Naranjo simply did not buy parental alienation as a theory.

In the meantime, though, Kelly Jones has made parental alienation her life’s cause and built a web site  – SplitCity.com – dedicated to using her story as an inspiration for other divorced mothers suffering from the phenomenon.

But Naranjo said that in her final order, she would enjoin Kelly Jones from pressing her claims of parental alienation with her children or on social media. She can, the judge said, no longer refer to Alex Jones as an “alienator,” and she said her order will also include some other words and phrases that Kelly Jones must now eschew. Naranjo also said that Kelly Jones can’t tell the children that “Judge Naranjo had undone the jury verdict,” something Kelly Jones denied having told them.

Naranjo said she looked into Family Bridges,which provides the deprogramming from parental alienation that Kelly Jones wanted her and her kids to take advantage of.

It describes itself as “an innovative educational and experiential program that helps unreasonably alienated children and adolescents adjust to living with a parent they claim to hate or fear.”

“I attempted to read up on it, and found “different perceptions about if it’s good or bad,” Naranjo said,

Ultimately she wasn’t sold on it.

Naranjo yesterday also expressed her anger and disappointment with Kelly Jones for, in her estimation, sabotaging the judge’s post-trial order that she engage in reconciliation therapy with her son and a therapist who had worked with her son and who the judge said she had pleaded to stay on the case to help bring mother and son together, even though Kelly Jones during the trial had said that, along with most of the other     court-appointed counselors and therapists involved in the case, she did not trust him.

Kelly Jones said she had showed up for the reconciliation therapy as required, but Naranjo said she arrived with such a bad and confrontational attitude that the therapist recused himself.

On Wednesday, Naranjo gave Kelly Jones a week to come up with a short list of other reconciliation therapists in the Austin area that the judge could choose from. And the judge’s order will require that Kelly Jones successfully complete three months of reconciliation therapy with her son and that chosen therapist, or risk not getting any more than eight-hour visits with him until he turns 18.

More broadly, Naranjo said that the Joneses can no longer disparage one another to their children or in a media, social media or public setting that could get back to their children.

They both, Naranjo said, had to put aside their selfish anger with one another for the children’s sake.

I get it. Of course. But still.

My wife and I have long agreed we would never get divorced.

First, I don’t see how anyone can afford to get divorced. It’s a rich man and woman’s game.

But second, what’s the point of going through the most embittering experience one can contemplate and not vent to your children and play the blame game? If you want to pretend not to hate each other, why not just stay married?

But, I digress.

The Jones child custody saga – or this chapter of it – drew to a close with first Kelly Jones and then Alex Jones taking the stand yesterday afternoon at the Travis County Courthouse.

Most of the examination of Kelly Jones by Alex Jones’ lawyers was intended to show the judge all the terrible things Kelly Jones has said very publicly about Alex Jones – and not incidentally about Judge Naranjo – on Twitter and on videos posted to her website.

Like, most recently, this, which they played for the judge.

Kelly Jones was asked if she had called Alex Jones a “moron” on Inside Edition.

“No,” she said. “I might have said he looks like a moron. Looks moronic. Like a liar. I might have said that.”

 

His lawyers flashed some of Kelly Jones’ tweets on a screen had her read some of them aloud.

And, indeed, her post-trial Twitter feed is all about parental alienation and Alex Jones as unhinged nut job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This is called sandbagging,” complained Hoffman, who said that it was utterly unfair for Naranjo to have precluded him and his co-counsel from playing choice excerpts from Alex Jones on Infowars to the jury during the trial while now making all of Kelly Jones’ public utterances fair game.

“What’s good for the goose has got to be good for the gander,” he said.

Indeed, just about the only Infowars tidbit that made it before the jury was, as I wrote at  First Reading: In midst of custody battle, Alex Jones reveals that at 16, ‘I’d already had over 150 women.’

There was also Alex Jones’ wild press conference on the courthouse steps the day after the verdict

For a blow-by-blow of this press conference see First Reading: Alex Jones ungagged: Post-trial, the Infowarrior tells the `little vampires’ of the MSM how much they suck.

But, Hoffman complained, the court did not express the same concern about Alex Jones’ very public behavior as it did about his ex-wife’s.

Indeed, throughout the proceeding there was, as I wrote First Reading, a Role reversal: In custody trial, Kelly Jones is the Infowarrior and Alex Jones the status quo

Here again yesterday was America’s greatest purveyor of conspiracy theories, on the stand proclaiming, “I trust the judiciary and especially this judge. She’s very judicious.”

During his testimony yesterday, Jones psychoanalyzed his ex-wife.

“It’s all about her personal struggle … the kids become pawns … I’m the alienator so she’s the hero, the movie star.”

“This is Infowars,” Hoffman objected. “This is Infowars.”

Naranjo refused to reconsider her ruling not to require Alex Jones to pay attorney’s fees for the case, even though Hoffman said it would have been customary to do so in a case with this outcome.

Naranjo has yet to decide what child support to include in the final order, though has agreed to pay some $100,000 for school tuition, tutoring, extra-curricular activities and medical expense

Hoffman made a dogged and almost comical stab at finding out how much Alex Jones is worth to establish the context for child support.

Jones said he really didn’t know how much he makes each year.

Couldn’t even make a guess at it.

“I’m kind of like JFK, not heavy on the accounting side,” he said, or at least those are the words I heard and wrote down though I have no idea what they mean.

“More than $10 million?” Hoffman asked.

“I don’t believe so,” Jones said.

How about an “annual income of $250 million a year,” Hoffman said.

“I wish I did,” Jones said.

David Minton, the Austin attorney who worked with Wilhite on the case, said this financial information was part of the court record for the trial – which like everything else in this case is and continues to be sealed – though Hoffman said he had no idea what Minton was talking about.

During their respective  time on the witness stand during the trail, Kelly Jones managed to come across as more poised and balanced than her ex-husband.

 

From my story on Alex Jones’ time on the stand during the trial:

Kelly Jones’ legal team is attempting to show that Jones has been responsible for the children’s alienation from their mother. Jones has insisted that he bent over backwards to make the children visit and get along with their mother, to no avail.

“I should not have pushed as hard as I did,” he said.

But when Newman asked Alex Jones to describe Kelly Jones’ good qualities as a mother, Jones, staring at his ex-wife, said, “I cannot perjure myself. She doesn’t have any good qualities.”

Later, he qualified that, saying she has some good qualities, but “any good is sandwiched with bad.”

“There’s a term, `no good,’” he said. “It doesn’t mean there’s no good in it. It means no good comes out of it.”

When Kelly Jones was asked the same question, she allowed that Alex Jones had some good qualities – that he was funny and that he could be great taking the kids on outdoor adventures.

The months since the giddy moments after the jury verdict have taken their toll on Kelly Jones, on the composure she mustered during the trial.

Hoffman assured her afterward that they had made great progress in restoring her relationship with her children.

But ordering her to stop talking about parental alienation is like ordering Alex Jones to quit talking about  globalism, false flags, the deep state conspiracy to take out Donald Trump, or, well, on and on.

Or worse, if you believe that what she is talking about is real and what he is talking about is not.

But yesterday, it seemed, despite the jury verdict, Kelly Jones was still the one on trial, and the Jones who had to curb her tongue.

Megyn Kelly: ‘Reckless accusation, followed by equivocation and excuses is classic Alex Jones’

 

Good Monday Austin:

Alex Jones and his comrades on Infowars  popped the cork on some champagne last night to celebrate his victory over Megyn Kelly on her new show, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.

Jones, Mike Cernovich, who the New Yorker last fall dubbed the “meme mastermind of the alt-right,” and who has emerged as an integral part of Infowars, well-sourced in the Trump administration, and Andrew Torba, the founder and CEO of the newish free speech social network Gab.ai, who was new to me, joined in the toast on an Infowars broadcast simultaneous with the airing of Kelly’s report on Jones based on her recent interview of him here in Austin.

Did Jones and company have reason to celebrate?

Maybe.

If you are a citizen in good standing of Jonestown and enjoy the Alex Jones Kool-Aid, there is probably nothing in last night’s report that will cause you to stop imbibing from that Dixie Cup of flavored water.

And, if, perhaps, you knew nothing about Jones but have been desperately looking for a madcap messiah who you can listen to four hours a day, six days a week, who will reveal to you, hour by hour, day after day, the way the world really works, then maybe last night was Kismet.

But, if you are not prone to conspiracy thinking, and you did not come to last night’s show with a strong sense of who Alex Jones is, my guess is that you were left with the impression that he is a dangerous crackpot with no regard for the truth or the damage his on-air theorizing can cause and the pain it can inflict.

And you may wonder, and even worry, about what is it about President Donald Trump and Alex Jones that has made the latter a trusted news source for the former.

Alex Jones is an interesting character. The fact that he has such a vast audience says something about something, and is worth trying to figure out.

But what really makes Alex Jones newsworthy and consequential is his influence on the president of the United States, who has all or our lives in his hands.

Megyn Kelly doesn’t, on her NBC show,  have the confidence and mojo she had when she was the Queen of Fox, back when she was confronting Donald Trump at the first Republican presidential.

But, as tentative and scripted as she sounded last night, ultimately, she had Alex Jones’ number.

From Hank Stuever at the Washington Post:

Megyn Kelly’s interview Sunday night with the bellicose conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was certainly dreaded, but, in execution, it was far from dreadful. Kelly, who has many miles to go before she finds her footing as a big-time newsmagazine anchor, can and has done worse.

To the slightest relief of decent people everywhere — some who may have been watching NBC’s “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” against their better nature — the host was tougher on Jones that she was with Russian President Vladimir Putin a couple of weeks ago. She challenged Jones, whose Infowars radio show and multimedia platform draw millions of followers, on some of his wildest and most dangerous assertions, including his statements that the 2012 massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., was an elaborate hoax.

xxxxxxxx

Unsettling as it may be to have to aired it at all, Kelly’s 20-minute segment on Jones and his influence (his fans include President Trump) seemed to have benefited greatly from the pre-criticism and brouhaha that swirled around it last week (one NBC-owned station declined to air it; an advertiser backed out), assuring that Kelly and her producers delivered a tightly edited, firmly reported, no-nonsense story about someone who tells dangerous lies. Kelly’s instincts here aren’t wrong: Viewers who don’t want to hear a single word from Jones need to know more about him and the people who believe him.

Rather than let Jones run away with it, “Sunday Night” let him show himself to be an impertinent, ill-informed, foulmouthed, possibly deranged egomaniac with a forehead constantly beaded in sweat. It showed viewers how Infowars grew and sustains itself by peddling right-wing merchandise and Jones-endorsed dietary supplements. It looked briefly back at Jones’s early days as just another cable-access kook in Austin, and revealed the flimsy, almost nonexistent definition of “research” (articles he and his staff find online) that sets the Infowars agenda.

xxxxxxxx

The segment didn’t rise to the vaunted effectiveness of the 1954 “See It Now” showdown between CBS’s Edward R. Murrow and Sen. Joseph McCarthy, but, in the often selective memory bank of American culture, nothing ever will.

So yes, even as he was being exposed to a larger audience as a creepy and unseemly figure, Alex Jones and Infowars may also benefit from last night’s show and have reason to celebrate.

https://twitter.com/StoneSovryn/status/876688636825219072

Here’s how Megyn Kelly’s 17-minute report on Jones opened last night. (Transcript courtesy NBC via RealClear Politics.)

MEGYN KELLY: First tonight, our report on the incendiary radio host, Alex Jones. For years, Jones has been spreading conspiracy theories, claiming, for instance, that elements of the U.S. government allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen and that the horrific Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Some thought we shouldn’t broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren’t just offensive, they’re dangerous. But here’s the thing: Alex Jones isn’t going away. Over the years, his YouTube channel has racked up 1.3 billion views. He has millions of listeners and the ear of our current president. We begin our report with his reaction to the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, England.

KELLY: ALEX JONES WAS NEARLY 5,000 MILES AWAY FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLAND WHEN A SUICIDE BOMBER KILLED 22 PEOPLE AT A CONCERT LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS AGO. DESPITE THE DISTANCE, AND WITH FEW FACTS KNOWN, JONES DID WHAT HE OFTEN DOES: JUMPED MOUTH-FIRST INTO CONTROVERSY.

ALEX JONES (May 22, 2017 YouTube video): A big bomb goes off at a pop star’s rock concert bombing a bunch of liberal trendies.

MEGYN KELLY: You said, “It was a bunch of liberal trendies who were killed, the same people who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in.

ALEX JONES: Yes.

MEGYN KELLY: In response to which, many people looked at the victims, many of whom were 15, 14. There was a little eight …

ALEX JONES: No. I’m sorry I didn’t blow ’em up. I know. But I did something bad, though?

MEGYN KELLY: No, that – that you …

ALEX JONES: Oh, no, no, no, no …

MEGYN KELLY: … would suggest that …

ALEX JONES: ‘cause …

MEGYN KELLY: … that an eight – that an eight-year-old, right? There was Saffie Rose Roussos, eight years old, that she was a liberal trendy, right? ‘Cause that’s what you said about the victims is what has people upset …

ALEX JONES: No, that’s – yeah, no, no. The media misrepresenting and clipping that the way you did. I got home at, like, 6:00, heard about it. The ages of the victims weren’t even known. But they were saying it was jihadi. And I said, “How crazy is it that liberal trendies are now the victims?” And then I start going and looking. Of course, if there’s kids being killed by Muslims, I’m not saying that it’s their fault.

MEGYN KELLY: THAT PATTERN: RECKLESS ACCUSATION, FOLLOWED BY EQUIVOCATIONS AND EXCUSES IS CLASSIC ALEX JONES.

That pretty much nails it.

Like President Trump, the narcissist in Alex Jones makes it impossible for him to ever truly admit he is or was ever wrong, or to genuinely apologize for anything he’s ever done.

From Jack Shafer at Politico: Megyn Kelly Pantses Alex JonesFor all the pre-interview fuss, NBC’s new star exposed the InfoWars host for what he is. But the controversy was never really about him.

When Kelly’s show finally aired, she took the mendacious Jones apart in such a textbook manner you had to wonder what all the shouting had been about. The Jones pattern, she said at the segment’s top, is making “reckless accusations followed by equivocations and excuses” when questioned. The two best examples of this are his promotion of the “Pizzagate“ lies about a satanic child porn ring and his wild allegation that Chobani was “importing Migrant Rapists,” as InfoWars hyped its report on Twitter. In both cases, lawsuits have forced Jones to retract and apologized for airing these dishonest stories, and yet in conversation with Kelly he still hedges and quibbles like a con artist in an effort to have his conspiracy pizza and keep his yogurt, too. Likewise with the pathetic claims about the Sandy Hook killings. He’s still throwing the see-through drapery of devil’s advocacy to blur the fact that on most subjects he’s talking out of his tinfoil hat.

Short of waterboarding him, I don’t know what more Kelly could have done to expose Jones’ dark methods. She was needlessly defensive in her presentation, acknowledging that some people thought the segment shouldn’t have been broadcast because it would increase Jones’ profile. But as she pointed out, Jones isn’t going away, and his audience is growing. What’s more, Jones “has the ear of our president,” and spurious things InfoWars says have a way of getting repeated by his phone-pal President Donald Trump, who has saluted the InfoWars host in the past. She didn’t take Jones down, but really, who could have in a newsmagazine segment? But she did do a credible job of exposing his lies. Give her a B+.

Megyn Kelly kept her eye on the ball – the ball being Jones’ connection to Trump.

MEGYN KELLY: HE AND HIS COMPANY, INFOWARS, HAVE BEEN STEADILY GAINING FOLLOWERS FOR YEARS, PRODUCING RADIO SHOWS AND WEBCASTS, WHICH REACH MILLIONS A MONTH. BUT JONES’ INFLUENCE HIT NEW HEIGHTS WHEN HE ATTRACTED A VERY FAMOUS FAN: THEN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP.

DONALD TRUMP (On Alex Jones’ show December 2, 2015): I just want to finish by saying your reputation is amazing.

MEGYN KELLY: IN DECEMBER, 2015, MR. TRUMP APPEARED ON JONES’ RADIO PROGRAM, OFFERING PRAISE AND PROMISES.

DONALD TRUMP (On Alex Jones’ show December 2, 2015): I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed I hope and I think we’ll be speaking a lot.

MEGYN KELLY: SEPARATELY, BOTH MEN HAD SUPPORTED THE FALSE STATEMENT THAT BARACK OBAMA WAS NOT A NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN. AND THEY’VE HAD MORE IN COMMON SINCE.

ALEX JONES (February 24, 2017): I agree with Trump on that. He agrees with me. And then we got articles, “he’s following Alex on coal.” “He’s following Alex on guns.” “He’s following Alex on borders.”

MEGYN KELLY: THE 2016 CAMPAIGN WAS GOOD FOR INFOWARS. ITS YOU TUBE MONTHLY VIEWS REACHED 83 MILLION IN NOVEMBER 2016, MORE THAN FIVE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS NOVEMBER. AND WHEN MR. TRUMP WON, ALEX JONES FOUND HIMSELF WITH ACCESS TO THE SEAT OF POWER. INFOWARS GOT A TEMPORARY WHITE HOUSE PRESS PASS FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND JONES SAYS MR. TRUMP CALLED HIM AFTER THE ELECTION TO THANK HIM FOR HIS HELP.

MEGYN KELLY: You have said that it’s surreal to say something on Infowars and then hear it come out of the President of the United States’ mouth a couple days later.

ALEX JONES: I mean, that has happened. But, I mean …

MEGYN KELLY: Do you think he’s watching?

ALEX JONES: I mean, I know Trump watches and sees the clips and things.

MEGYN KELLY: WE DID FIND INDICATIONS OF THAT. ON JULY 22, 2015, INFOWARS PUT UP THIS VIDEO, CLAIMING IT SHOWED DRUG TRAFFICKING ALONG THE US-MEXICO BORDER. ALTHOUGH WE DON’T KNOW WHAT IT ACTUALLY SHOWS.

INFOWARS REPORTER: We actually witnessed a drug smuggling operation from Mexico into the U.S. …

MEGYN KELLY: THREE DAYS LATER, MR. TRUMP GAVE THIS SPEECH IN IOWA.

DONALD TRUMP: Big story, it’s all over the place now – guys swimming across, and big bags of stuff, it’s drugs, swimming across the river.

MEGYN KELLY: THIS WAS INFOWARS PREVIEWING THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE BETWEEN DONALD TRUMP AND HILLARY CLINTON.

ALEX JONES (September 25, 2016): I think she’s going to show up – on drugs though – she’s going to be whacked out.

MEGYN KELLY: AND MR. TRUMP’S TAKE NOT LONG AFTER:

DONALD TRUMP (October 15, 2016): We should take a drug test prior, because I don’t know what’s going on with her.

MEGYN KELLY: DONALD TRUMP ALLY AND FREQUENT INFOWARS GUEST ROGER STONE UNDERSCORED THE CONNECTION BETWEEN JONES AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN IN A TWEET LAST SPRING. IT READ: “MSM ELITES DON’T SEE THAT @REALALEXJONES AND @INFOWARS REACH MILLIONS OF @REALDONALDTRUMP SUPPORTERS AND HELPED MAKE THE TRUMP REVOLUTION.”

ALEX JONES (February 22, 2017): Donald Trump calls me. The secretary says, “Donald Trump would like to talk to you, Mr. Jones, would you like to talk to him? Yes, boom.”

MEGYN KELLY: WHILE JONES HAS BOASTED OF HIS CONTACT WITH THE PRESIDENT ON HIS RADIO SHOW, HE DOWNPLAYED IT IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH US, CLAIMING THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA, OR MSM, HAS EXAGGERATED THEIR CONNECTION.

ALEX JONES: I think my influence on Trump is way, way lower than what MSM has said.

MEGYN KELLY: Well, what kind of access do you have?

ALEX JONES: He’s just called sometimes and, you know, talked about politics or thanked me, stuff like that. That’s it.

MEGYN KELLY: Would you describe yourself as friends?

ALEX JONES: No.

MEGYN KELLY: Friendly?

ALEX JONES: Sure.

MEGYN KELLY: And how many times has he called you?

ALEX JONES: I don’t want to get into all that.

MEGYN KELLY: What is it, do you think, about Alex Jones that President Trump finds so amazing?

CHARLIE SYKES: That’s a scary question.

MEGYN KELLY: CHARLIE SYKES IS A CONSERVATIVE WRITER AND CONTRIBUTOR TO NBC NEWS. HE’S BEEN CRITICAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP.

CHARLIE SYKES: Obviously, there’s a conspiratorial turn in the president’s thinking and in his imagination. And those darker impulses are fed into by Alex Jones.

Jones greatest vulnerability with the broader public – the easiest way for his detractors to identify the careless, callous poison of his words – is his assertion that the  Sandy Hook shootings were a hoax.

He now offers mealy-mouthed explanations that he was merely playing the devil’s advocate by expressing the conspiracy theorizing of his listeners, that he was “war-gaming” the situation, that, yes, it was not a hoax, that children really died – probably, maybe, I don’t know – because he can never completely overcome his conspiratorial gut instinct, let alone genuinely express regret about the pain and anguish he caused.

Which is why his video message to Sandy Hook parents yesterday is truly breathtaking in its smarminess.

Watch this.

Alex Jones:

I woke up this morning, on Father’s Day, I was holding my young infant daughter in my arms, looking into her eyes, sitting out on the back porch, hearing the birds sing and it just brought tears to my eyes, thinking about all the parents who have lost children on Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, who have to then think about that. Parents should never have to bury their own children.

And that’s why on Father’s Day I want to reach out to the parents of the slain children of that horrible tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, and give you my sincere condolences.

I’d also like to reach out to any of the parents who lost a child at Newtown to invite them to contact me to open a dialogue because I think it’s really essential that we do that instead of letting the MSM (mainstream media) misrepresent things and really try to drive this nation apart.

Right now is a time for unity and peace in our country, I think now more than ever.

 

I can’t really think of anything in my experience quite as shameless as this.

I don’t think even President Trump could pull this off.

I can’t imagine a Sandy Hook parent watching this without becoming physically ill.

From last night’s show.

MEGYN KELLY: ALEX JONES REPEATEDLY CLAIMED THAT THE SHOOTING NEVER HAPPENED. HERE HE IS ON INFOWARS IN DECEMBER 2014.

ALEX JONES (on his show): It took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake.

MEGYN KELLY: You said, “The whole thing is a giant hoax. How do you deal with a total hoax? It took me about a year, with Sandy Hook, to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake. I did deep research. And my gosh, it just pretty much didn’t happen.”

ALEX JONES: At that point, and I do think there’s some cover-up and some manipulation, that is pretty much what I believed. But then I was also going into devil’s advocate. But then we know there’s mass shootings, and these things happen. So again …

MEGYN KELLY: But you’re trying to have it all ways, right?

ALEX JONES: No, I’m not.

MEGYN KELLY: If you wrongly went out there and said it was a hoax, that’s wrong.

ALEX JONES: But what I already answered your question was, listeners and other people are covering this. I didn’t create that story.

MEGYN KELLY: But Alex, the parents, one after the other, devastated. The dead bodies that the coroner autopsied …

ALEX JONES: And they blocked all that. And they won’t release any of it. That’s unprecedented. Even …

MEGYN KELLY: All of the parents …

ALEX JONES: … even the reports.

MEGYN KELLY: … decided to come out and lie about their dead children?

ALEX JONES: I didn’t say that …

MEGYN KELLY: What happened to the children?

ALEX JONES: I will sit there on the air and look at every position and play devil’s advocate.

MEGYN KELLY: Was that devil’s advocate? “The whole thing is a giant hoax. The whole thing was fake.”

ALEX JONES: Yes. Because I remember, even that day, to go back from memory, then saying, “But then, some of it looks like it’s real.” But then what do you do, when they’ve got the kids going in circles, in and out of the building with their hands up? I’ve watched the footage. And it looks like a drill.

MEGYN KELLY: When you say, “parents faked their children’s death,” people get very angry.

ALEX JONES: Yeah, well, that’s – oh, I know. But they don’t get angry about the half million dead Iraqis from the sanctions. Or they don’t get angry about all the illegals pouring in …

MEGYN KELLY: That’s a dodge.

ALEX JONES: No, no. It’s not a dodge. The media never covers all the evil wars it’s promoted and all the big things …

MEGYN KELLY: That doesn’t excuse what you did and said about Newtown, and you know it …

ALEX JONES: Oh, but I – here’s the difference. Here’s the difference. I looked at all the angles of Newtown. And I made my statements long before the media even picked up on it.

MEGYN KELLY: IN OUR INTERVIEW, WE ASKED JONES NUMEROUS TIMES WHAT HE NOW BELIEVES. AND HE NEVER COMPLETELY DISAVOWED HIS PREVIOUS STATEMENTS.

ALEX JONES: I tend to believe that children probably did die there. But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side. I can see how other people believe that nobody died there.

MEGYN KELLY: OF COURSE, THERE IS NO “EVIDENCE ON THE OTHER SIDE.”

AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE, THE NEWTOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION WROTE TO HIM, IMPLORING THE PRESIDENT TO TRY TO STOP JONES AND OTHER HOAXERS LIKE HIM, SAYING JONES CONTINUES TO SPREAD HATE AND LIES TOWARDS OUR TOWN.

ALMOST FOUR MONTHS LATER, ACCORDING TO THE BOARD CHAIRMAN, THE PRESIDENT HAS YET TO RESPOND. THE LIES ABOUT SANDY HOOK HAVE HAD REAL WORLD CONSEQUENCES.

JUST THIS MONTH, A FLORIDA WOMAN WAS SENTENCED TO FIVE MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SENDING DEATH THREATS TO A SANDY HOOK PARENT. HER DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS SHE WAS PRIMARILY MOTIVATED BY INFOWARS.

OTHER VICTIMS’ FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE BEEN HARASSED OR THREATENED, TOO. THE FAMILIES SAY THAT JONES’ WORDS HAVE CAUSED LASTING PAIN, AND THEY FEAR THE HARASSMENT WILL CONTINUE.

MEGYN KELLY: THE CONSEQUENCES OF JONES’ ACTIONS ARE NOT LIMITED TO SANDY HOOK. IN 2016, JONES PROMOTED A CONSPIRACY THEORY KNOWN AS “PIZZAGATE.” INFOWARS CLAIMED A CHILD SEX RING WAS BEING RUN BY DEMOCRATS OUT OF A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES, AND SPECIFICALLY POINTED TO A WASHINGTON D.C. PIZZERIA.

ALEX JONES (on his radio show): You got to go to Infowars.com and actually see the photos and videos inside these places.

###

MEGYN KELLY: JONES ENCOURAGED HIS LISTENERS TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE THEMSELVES, AND ONE DID, BRINGING A SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE TO THE SHOP AND FIRING SEVERAL ROUNDS. NO ONE WAS HURT AND THE SHOOTER WAS ARRESTED. THE PIZZA SHOP OWNER WROTE A LETTER ASKING JONES TO APOLOGIZE. FACING THE POSSIBILITY OF A LAWSUIT, HE DID. ANOTHER APOLOGY CAME JUST THIS SPRING. CHOBANI YOGURT SUED JONES AFTER INFOWARS FANNED THE LIE THAT CHOBANI EMPLOYEES COMMITTED A SEXUAL ASSAULT IN IDAHO.

ALES JONES (May 17, 2017): On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani.

MEGYN KELLY: You misstated facts about Chobani and its owner, which you could’ve found out, if you just had a reporter do a little shoe-leather reporting, pick up the phone, call, check out the facts. You never would’ve had to retract that or apologize.

ALEX JONES: This is my statement on that. We know that that was, basically, a PR event. And what happens is you’ve got a year of reporting on the reported sexual assault.

MEGYN KELLY: All of which has nothing to do with Chobani.

ALEX JONES: Yeah. I know you’re not going to let me get it out, are you?

MEGYN KELLY: I’m going to let you get it out. I just want to make sure the record’s straight. ‘Cause I don’t want to smear the man. You are the one who said that you were wrong about Chobani. You said that.

ALEX JONES: Well, that’s because they chose to go after me. And so I simply pointed out that we were reporting on other people’s reports that were not entirely accurate. And for that, we were sorry. ‘Cause it was true.

MEGYN KELLY: You don’t sound very sorry.

ALEX JONES: I’m – well, the media said stuff about the settlement that wasn’t true.

MEGYN KELLY: But you said things about Chobani and its owner that were not true. Are you sorry?

ALEX JONES: I’m going to tell you again. There – the media really was upset that they said that it was a hoax …

MEGYN KELLY: It’s not the media …

ALEX JONES: And so what they did …

MEGYN KELLY: You …

ALEX JONES: And so what they did …

MEGYN KELLY: Are you sorry …

ALEX JONES: And so what they did – so what the media did, and we know it was the media, and we have the PIs and the law firms. And we’re working on it right now. Let’s just say Chobani was real happy to get out of that lawsuit.

MEGYN KELLY: BUT THE LAWSUIT MAKES CLEAR INFOWARS WAS THE ONLY MEDIA OUTLET TO REPORT THE LIE THAT FORCED JONES TO APOLOGIZE. AND WITH THAT APOLOGY CHOBANI CONSIDERS THE MATTER CLOSED.

But don’t let any of this confuse you.

Alex Jones is ever and always the victim.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/876489419812777984

https://twitter.com/seanhannity/status/876607354451763200

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megyn Kelly told Alex Jones that during child custody trial, `You just became very fascinating to me.’

Good Friday Austin:

Ahead of Sunday’s airing of his interview with Megyn Kelly for her NBC show, Alex Jones last night released some audiotape of his telephone conversation with Kelly, days before the interview, in which she assured him she would be fair to him, that she means him no harm, and that she became fascinated with him while following the coverage of his child custody trial here in Austin back in April.

Oh Megyn.

Oh my.

Here she is:

Megyn Kelly:

The reason you are interesting to me is I followed your custody case and I think you had a very good point about how the media was covering it and for some reason treated you and your family and what was going on as fair game when they never would have done that, if you will, to a mainstream media figure, and I saw a different side of you in that whole thing.

You just became very fascinating to me.

I wonder what the precise moment was that Kelly fell for Alex Jones.

Oh, wait, I know.

Or maybe it was this moment, from his time on the witness stand.

When (attorney Bobby) Newman asked Alex Jones to describe Kelly Jones’ good qualities as a mother, Jones, staring at his ex-wife, said, “I cannot perjure myself. She doesn’t have any good qualities.”

Or the testimony, by his ex-wife and others, which apparently carried the day with the jury, that Jones had – in what is known as parental alienation – turned his children against their mother.

Megyn Kelly:

I just thought maybe you were this one-dimensional guy, like this is your thing, and the comments I heard from you during the course of that trial and your plea to the media to be respectful of you and your kids, just reminded me you’re just like anybody, you’re a dad, you go through the same things we go through. Now that would be an interesting story to tell.

You’re a dad, you go through the same things we go through.

Yeah sure.

Like this.

Jones’ retrospective analysis of  Kelly’s pre-interview massaging of his ego, and what followed, is truly classic:

Now I don’t know why I accepted this challenge. It’s like some subconscious algorithm that leads me with the with the assurance of a sleepwalker.

But I knew if I entered the labyrinth of the Gorgon, of this modern-day Medusa, that through the process others would understand the larger deception.

And here is what Kelly Jones, at her post-trial site, SplitCity.com, has to say about Megyn Kelly’s interview with her ex.

I’m so disappointed that Megyn Kelly has decided to do this show, and worse, to air it on Father’s Day.

Alex has made fun of deceased children as recently as the Manchester Attacks and has fomented ongoing hate and lies about the Sandy Hook tragedy.  It is appalling and continues to be a nightmare for these families, years later.

If Megyn wants to shine a spotlight on who the real Alex Jones is, she should talk to me.  I was with him and married to him for 15 years. Alex is hypocrite who lies and reverses track repeatedly.  He cannot be trusted to tell the truth and will do anything for hype and to control.

Shame on Alex Jones and Megyn Kelly for using the Sandy Hook Tragedy to get ratings at the cost of the innocent lives lost at Sandy Hook and the poor Sandy Hook parents.

I have reached out to Megyn and available to talk to her anytime to help set the record straight about who Alex is, what he believes, and what he has done to his own children.

I hope NBC will pull the show and make it right by interviewing the Sandy Hook parents and me.  If they just cancel the show, Alex will once again have profited from the hype of national media attention.  It’s time for him to be held accountable and for people to hear the real story of who Alex Jones is.

Backing up, here is more from Jones reveal of the audiotape last night:

Alex Jones:

Megyn Kelly waltzed in here and said she wasn’t going to talk about Sandy Hook. She wasn’t going to talk about Pizzagate. She wasn’t going to talk about Chobani Yogurt. That she wasn’t going to talk about Islamic terrorism. That she wanted to do a softball profile of Alex Jones. And when she got here with her crew of intelligence operatives, she did the opposite of what she said and so I was recording the whole time.

From her pre-interviews, right through the interview, we have a record of it, so you can decide for yourself what I really said and what I stood for. These tyrants haven’t figured it out yet that information warfare is a two-street. And we’re going to give as good as we get.

You alone will be the judge. You alone will be the jury of who’s fake news and who stands for America and who stands against it.

Megyn Kelly:

Well I’ve started my new job. You may have heard … It’s a news magazine show across from 60 Minutes. It’s sort of a good opportunity for long-form story-telling. It’s not like the 3-minute interview of people. It’s like the in-depth profiles of people. And at the top of my list was you.

Alex Jones:

So it’s like an investigative report of fake news.

Megyn Kelly:

Nnnooo. No. What we’re doing? No.

Alex Jones:

Yeah. Come on.

Megyn Kelly:

No, no, no.

The reason you are interesting to me is I followed your custody case and I think you had a very good point about how the media was covering it and for some reason treated you and your family and what was going on as fair game when they never would have done that, if you will, to a mainstream media figure, and I saw a different side of you in that whole thing, You just became very fascinating to me.

I just thought maybe you were this one-dimensional guy, like this is your thing, and the comments I heard from you during the course of that trial and your plea to the media to be respectful of you and your kids, just reminded me you’re just like anybody, you’re a dad, you go through the same things we go through. Now that would be an interesting story to tell.

Alex Jones:

Now I don’t know why I accepted this challenge. It’s like some subconscious algorithm that leads me with the with the assurance of a sleepwalker.

But I knew if I entered the labyrinth of the Gorgon, of this modern-day Medusa, that through the process others would understand the larger deception.

If I didn’t take the challenge then good, or at least an open heart, would be hiding from evil. And so that’s why I let Megan Kelly set up this conflict on her own terms, on her own battlefield, because despite the fact that she was delusional and believed that she would deceive me and my viewers, at the end of the day she failed.

Alex Jones:

 Sure, but wouldn’t the argument be in the show – I see it as a standard Democratic talking point – I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing, well, he asked for privacy for his family but he didn’t do that in Sandy Hook, and he didn’t do that for the pizzeria.

Megyn Kelly:

No, I can ask you about that. It’s not going to be a contentious sort of gotcha exchange. That’s not what this show is and that’s not what I really want to do. I want to do in-depth profiles of people. Just interesting people. So I can ask you that. This is what the critics say, but this is not going to be an ah-ha, play a clip.

I’m sort of, for lack of a better term, trying to create a different kind of program. And it’s fine.

I’ll ask you about some of the controversies, of course, and you’ll say whatever you want to say, but it’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that.

It doesn’t serve me. It doesn’t do me any good. If I do that you go out and say, “She did a hit piece on me. this is what she said and this is what she did,” and then the next time she wants to get somebody, they are going to say, “Look at what you did to Alex Jones, so screw you.”

So I promise you, that’s not what this is going to be. It’ll be, it really will be, who is this guy?

And we’ll talk about some of the controversy and I’ll ask you and you can respond and we’ll get into what have you been through the last year.

My goal is for your listeners, and the left, which will be watching some on NBC, to say, “Wow, that was really interesting.”

I can just give you my word. If there is one thing about me, I do what I say I am going to do and I don’t double cross, and I promise you, when it’s over you’ll say, “Absolutely, she did what she said she was going to do,” and you’ll be fine with it.

I’m not looking at portraying you as some boogeyman, or do any sort of a gotcha moment. I just want to talk about you. I want people to get to know you. And the craziest thing of all would be if some of those people who have this insane version of you in their heads walk away saying, you know what, I see the dad in him, I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than I had been led to believe.

I have not enjoyed being on the pointy end of the political spear. It was not something I ever wanted to do

I would say I’m a combination of Mike Wallace, Oprah Winfrey and Larry the Cable guy

Alex Jones:

Ha ha. Larry the Cable Guy’s a good guy.

Megyn Kelly:

I love him. That’s what you’ll get in the interview – a little bit of all three of them, and everybody will walk away feeling like they had a good dinner, nutritious, some red meat, with some dessert at the end.

Alex Jones:

But separately, you guys won’t show where my office is or anything like that?

Megyn Kelly:

No.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what all the controversies surrounding you are./I know you make waves and people have this reaction like  “Oh, Alex Jones, oh my God.”

So I’ll look at some of that and I’ll ask you about it. You’re going to be far more versed in all of this stuff than i will be. And you’ll have the chance  to say whatever you want to say. If I ask you have about any controversy, you’ll have the chance to say whatever you want to say.

If I ask you have about any controversy, you’ll have a chance to answer it and I’m not going to cut you in a way that will take down the heart of your explanation, the real substance of it. I won’t do that to you.

I’m grateful. Thank you for saying yes.

Alex Jones:

Can’t wait to meet you.

 

Alex Jones:

Megyn Kelly is a puppet. She is a beautiful woman who the corporate structure uses to push its agenda.

From Hadas Gold at Politco Morning Media this morning.

THE MEGYN KELLY/ALEX JONES SHOW — The Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones drama heated up considerably on Thursday night. The show is still set to air on Sunday night and whether or not you agree or disagree that Kelly should have interviewed Jones in the first place, the entire drama surrounding it is turning into a full blown issue for NBC. Not only are there grieving families of innocent young children on one side of Kelly and the network, there’s a conniving conspiracy-theorist adept at manipulating the media on the other.

Case in point: Overnight, Jones released some audio of a pre-interview Kelly conducted with him (interspersed with Jones’ commentary).

“It’s not going to be a contentious, sort of gotcha exchange,” she says explaining further that the show is not about such moments, just profiles on interesting people, but that she will be asking him about his more controversial views.

Immediately after playing that clip of Kelly, Jones, sitting in his studio, talks about his conspiracy theories that Sandy Hook was not real but that in “hindsight, it probably did happen.” Jones says that once Kelly arrived for the interview, she “attacked me” about his conspiracy theories.

“It really will be about ‘who is this guy?’ … I’m not looking to portray you as some boogeyman or just any sort of gotcha moment. I just want to talk about you,” Kelly says in further clips. “The craziest thing of all would be if some of the people who just have this insane version of you in their head walk away saying, ‘you know what, I see the dad in him.”

On the other side are the families. POLITICO has obtained a letter sent by a law firm representing several of the families who lost loved ones in the 2012, suggesting that NBC faces ramifications should the interview air. The letter is addressed to NBC President Andy Lack, Megyn Kelly’s executive producer David Corvo and NBC’s General Counsel Kimberly Harris. In the letter, the families say that while “NBC is not responsible for the harassment and abuse Alex Jones has cruelly visited on our clients,” by choosing to air the interview (on Father’s Day no less), NBC has helped legitimize Jones’ view. By airing the interview, NBC “implicitly endorses” the notion that Jones’ conspiracy theories and lies are “worthy of serious debate.”

“We urge you to consider the ethical and legal ramifications of broadcasting this interview to millions of Americans. By now, it should be clear to NBC that airing the interview will cause serious emotional distress to dozens of Sandy Hook families. NBC – and NBC alone – has the power to prevent that harm.”

— An NBC spokesperson had no comment Thursday night on either the Jones’ recordings or the letter from the families.

MEANWHILE, NBC REPORTEDLY ‘OVERHAULED’ SUNDAY’S SHOW Page Six reported, as Kelly and NBC are now said to be including families of the Sandy Hook children, and are “editing her interview with Jones to be tougher on him.” That being said – NBC and many in television news would say pieces are often edited and changed up until the last minute.

https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/875521218530615296

https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/875508167215468544

 

Alex Jones calls Megyn Kelly interview with him a plot against fatherhood and Father’s Day

 

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.

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/874395072539897856

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.

Alex Jones:

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.

From Warzel:

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.

Alex Jones:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

`In Austin, Texas, Austin, Texas, owns your trees.’ On the poetry of Gov. Greg Abbott

(TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Good morning Austin:

First Reading has in the past taken note of the found poetry of American politics.

When Donald Trump announced for president on June 16, 2015, the next day’s First Reading  was headlined, `It’s not great again.’ The poetry of Donald Trump

For example, his poetic takes on the flawed announcement events of two rivals.

On Rick Perry

And, I can tell

Some of the candidates,

They went in.

They didn’t know the air-conditioner didn’t work.

They sweated like dogs.

And:

Lincoln Chafee’s Metric of Failure

They didn’t know the room was too big,

because they didn’t have anybody there.

How are they going to beat ISIS?

I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

Hey, look, it’s Ben Jacobs, who was recently in the news himself for getting body-slammed by Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, who has since been elected to Congress, apologized to Jacobs and agreed to plead guilty to assault.

Even  before writing about the poetry of Trump, inspired by a visit to BookPeople in Austin by Mike Huckabee to sign copies of his  book – God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy – in preparation for a second run for the White House, I devoted a February 2015 First Reading to Gravy on a bagel: An anthology of Republican verse from Abe to Huck.

From Huckabee:

Gravy on a Bagel (On first visiting Zabar’s)

Gravy on a bagel

Just doesn’t work for me.

If I want to chew that hard,

I’ll take up chewing tobacco,

Which I won’t.

I’m not even that rural.

Enter Gov. Greg Abbott.

Unlike Trump or Huck, Abbott’s poetics were not so obvious.

That was until last Monday, when I heard him speak at the Bell Country Republican Party Dinner in Belton, where he made his memorable and quite lyrical remarks about Austin, which I have entitled:

The Smell of Freedom (Austin stinks)

As I was coming up here from Austin, Texas, tonight,

I got to tell you.

It’s great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin.

As you leave Austin and start heading north,

You start feeling different.

 Once you cross the Travis County line,

It starts smelling different.

And you know what that fragrance is?

Freedom.

It’s the smell of freedom

That does not exist

In Austin, Texas.

It turns out, this was not a one-off.

As I listened last week to Abbott on a series of drive-time and conservative talk radio shows – the favored forum of the Republican slam poet – I heard a recognizable style.

In Austin, Texas, Austin, Texas, owns your trees.

We have a problem here in Austin, Texas

I don’t know if you guys have up there.

In Austin, if you buy your own land,

to where you own a house, a ranch, or whatever,

you may think you own the trees on your land.

That’s not the case.

In Austin, Texas,

Austin, Texas, owns your trees.

That is insanity.

And that’s a violation of private property rights

in the state of Texas.

And we want things like that repealed.

Greek Chorus: How did that happen? What kind of law is that?

It’s socialistic,

is what it is.

I had a house.

Because I’m governor of the state of Texas

I live in the Governor’s mansion now.

But, before that,

I had a house.

I wanted to cut down a very common pecan tree in my yard.

And the city of Austin told me,

“No.”

I could not cut it down.

And I had to pay money to the city of Austin

to add more trees to my yard

Because I wanted to cut down

one

very

common

tree

that was in a bad location.

Pretty good, right?

I mean compare that to what is probably the most famous poem of all about trees  – Trees by Joyce Kilmer – a treacly, soft-minded confection compared to Abbott’s muscular verse.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

And for this Joyce Kilmer gets a rest area named for him on the New Jersey Turnpike?

Credit: AA Roads.

I prefer the Ogden Nash knockoff: Song of the Open Road.

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I’ll never see a tree at all.

As is evident in the two Abbott poems, Austin is his muse, if animus be inspiration.

But, I suspect the relationship is more complicated than it at first appears.

From my Sunday story on the governor calling the special session.

Gov. Greg Abbott began his Tuesday announcement in a scolding tone.

“We should not be where we are today. A special session was entirely avoidable,” Abbott said before summoning lawmakers to return to Austin to tackle an expansive conservative agenda. “There was plenty of time for the House and the Senate to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session. Because of their inability or refusal to pass a simple law that would prevent the medical profession from shutting down I am going to call a special session to complete that unfinished business. But if I am going to ask the taxpayers to foot the bill for a special session, I intend to make it count.”

The next 17 minutes, as Abbott unveiled the packed agenda for a 30-day special session to get underway July 18, were probably the best, and for him, the most satisfying, of his 2½ years as governor.

xxxxxxxx

On a Wednesday appearance with Hal Jay on WBAP radio in the Metroplex, Abbott sounded delighted with what he had wrought and how thoroughly he had blown up under-the-dome assumptions.

“One of the fun things I have is I get to see all the speculation that people have, whether it could be about the special session or other things and, as usual, it turns out all the speculators are wrong,” Abbott said. “No one saw this coming. But I knew if we were going to have a special session, by God, it was going to be on issues that I consider to be important.”

The concern about cost is mostly rhetorical.

The main expense of a special session is the $190 per diem that each of the 182 members of the House and Senate collects for each day they work. That’s $34,580 a day. If the governor had called a special session just to pass a measure keeping the Texas Medical Board and four other agencies operating, he could have had a discount special session for only about a $100,000. If all 182 legislators work all 30 days, the price tag will be a little over a million dollars.

From the Statesman’s Elizabeth Findell: How could Abbott’s ‘war against cities’ special session affect Austin?

A special session of the Legislature that Mayor Steve Adler called a “war against cities” will be fought on at least nine fronts for the city of Austin.

Gov. Greg Abbott called the monthlong session, beginning July 18, after a regular session heavily focused on overturning local measures that Republican lawmakers consider governmental overreach.

Nine of 20 Abbott-proposed bills for the special session specifically target local authority. Some, like a lower property tax increase cap and municipal annexation reform, echo bills heavily debated during the recent session. Others, like calls to speed up local permitting and bar ordinances from affecting already-begun construction projects appear new — and mystifying to city leaders.

And local tree ordinances are on Abbott’s list.

Overturn rules protecting trees

Abbott said he would like a bill preventing cities from regulating what property owners can do with trees on private land. If that bill resembles Senate Bill 782, which never made it out of committee this session, it would specify that a landowner owns the trees on his property and can do as he wishes with them, and it would limit the tree removal fees that cities charge.

About 50 Texas cities have tree protection ordinances, including Round Rock, Pflugerville, Sunset Valley, Lockhart and West Lake Hills. Austin’s ordinance requires landowners to get city permission to cut down any trees with diameters of more than 19 inches and prohibits removing “heritage trees” — certain species with diameters of at least 24 inches — unless the tree is a safety risk or is preventing reasonable land use. From 2014 to 2016, the city preserved 43,000 trees, approved removing 23,000 and required the planting of 24,000 replacement trees.

Well, one of the 43,000 trees Austin saved – that pecan tree that was in a bad location on Abbott’s lawn – may ultimately prove costly to the city.

Or not.

I mean, follow the money, and the anti-Austin special session is revealed for what it really is – an Austin boondoggle, in which Texans from Amarillo to Corpus Christi are taxed $1 million, money that is entirely – and then some – directly injected into the Austin economy.

Where else do you think that $190 per diem is going?

For food and drink in Austin. For new sublets, hotel rooms and Airbnb’s for lawmakers whose regular session living arrangements in Austin have lapsed.

Have an extra room in your house? Put it on Craig’s List. And, whatever you think is a fair price, double it.

And, in the opening shot in his war on Austin, Abbott on Sine Die, in what he called a “celebration of freedom and free enterprise,” signed legislation bringing Uber and Lyft back to Austin just in time to cash in on the special session.

Gov. Greg Abbott used four pens to affix his signature to House Bill 100, taking ride-hailing regulation statewide in Texas, rendering moot the Austin ordinance that Lyft and Uber disliked, and simultaneously removing their reason for declining to arrange rides in Austin, Texas. TRICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Indeed, the positive economic impact on Austin of a special session will undoubtedly far exceed the $1 million in collective per diems.

While I couldn’t find any figures on the Visit Austin website over the weekend, I did find this from a January 2001 story by future Houston Chronicle Pulitzer Prize winner, then AP writer, Lisa Falkenberg.

AUSTIN {AP} — When the great legislative cattle call rings through the Capitol chambers Tuesday, its effects will echo through every sector of Austin, stimulating liquor sales, stocking hotels and restaurants and further-frustrating the city’s trudging traffic.

The Capitol hummed with activity Monday as freshmen found their offices, aides unpacked boxes and workers delivered the last loads of lamps and endtables to offices.

Cynthia Maddox of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau (now Visit Austin) said the Legislature’s impact on Austin will be substantial.

“It’s a huge monster,” she said.

But a generous one.

Entertainment expenditures such as alcohol, food and hotel and housing revenue racked up over 140 days by lawmakers and lobbyists will boost the local economy by at least $50 million, Maddox estimated. That amount will soar higher if tedious debate on issues such as redistricting drags on into special sessions.

“With all the attention on the political scene in Texas with the new governor and redistricting, it could be as high as $60 to $65 million,” she said.

From another AP story in 2005:

When the Legislature is in session, an estimated $26.3 million flows into the local economy, according to a report sanctioned by the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The excitement created around the Legislature being in town keeps us in the spotlight for 140 days,” said Robert Lander, president and chief executive of the visitors bureau.

According to the report, lodging, food, transportation and retail sales stand to gain the most from the biennial lawmaking frenzy.

An estimated $8.9 million will be spent on lodging and $17.3 million on retail sales.

Goodnight said business increases, on average, 25 to 35 percent during years when the Legislature convenes. This year looks to be no different.

From Drew Scheberle, senior vice president for federal/state advocacy with the Austin Chamber:

We certainly welcome the Legislature back to spend their money in our great watering holes and restaurants to figure out how to reduce their reliance on 1.1 billion in Austin property taxes over the next two years to fund the education system.

As Matthew Odam wrote in the preface to his session dining guide earlier this year – Legislative eats: 85 restaurants within one mile of the Texas State Capitol – When the Texas Legislature is in session, the northern parts of downtown are swamped with lawmakers, staff, lobbyists, news crews and concerned citizens.

It is time for all these restaurants to devise some summer special session specials.

And why not some special theme events.

How about a Byron Cook’s Tour of Culinary Austin?

A Four Price Prix Fixe at Dai Due?

A Freedom Caucus Steiner Ranch Steakhouse Sunset Dinner?

What fun!

Or a Dan Patrick inspection tour of outstanding Austin restaurant bathrooms.

The men’s room door at the Russian House in Austin.

If you can name four or more of the men pictured here, the U.S. House and Senate Intelligence Committees would like to speak with you.

And the Texas Chili Parlor really ought to cash in on the notoriety it got from Alex Jones’ suggestion in his testimony at his recent child custody trial at the nearby Travis County Courthouse that it was a place of laughter and forgetting.

But no, that wouldn’t be good. That wouldn’t be in the spirit of Gov. Abbott’s call.

From Abbott’s slam Wednesday on Chad Hasty’s radio show in Lubbock.

Put your work hats on

We don’t need to have them waste time by coming in at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

And then adjourn at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

They need to come to ‘Austin with their work hat on.

Go to work at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Work all day.

And pass things out.

They’ve got plenty of time to get it done,

If they don’t get it done

It’s because they’re lazy.

It’s because they lacked the will.

They lack the desire

To get this done.

And the taxpayers of the state of Texas

are not going to tolerate it.

Meanwhile: