See to the end for my recent update to this posting.
Part of my quest to get different perspectives on what is going on in the world right now, and in particular the Trump phenomenon, in order to reach an informed, balanced view, is to check out a variety of news sources, especially those that are away from the mainstream (as discussed in my previous blog). One of my recent discoveries is Alex Jones and Info Wars. He broadcasts most days and these last for a little over three hours, and are made available on YouTube. I understand his enterprise is largely funded by stuff (often health related) Jones and his associates promote via its broadcast and website. In the light of its growing popularity, especially in the light of Trumps ascendancy to the US Presidency, and the mission Jones is on, this is set to expand considerably in the near future.
Much has been written about Jones, who comes across as a loud, opinionated, energetic, angry, charismatic figure, who has managed to attract many critics and has been made an object of ridicule because of his outlandish claims, as well as having accumulated a large number of fans after humble beginnings, especially among those disaffected with society’s status quo and who share Jones’ concerns, e.g. over globalism. He strikes me as very much the alpha male type, who promotes guns and manly pursuits like hunting and sees his role as the protector and yet there is also a kindly streak. I do not doubt his Christian beliefs although some of his vented anger and colorful language won’t go down well in some circles.
According to Wikipedia: “Alexander Emerick “Alex” Jones (born February 11, 1974) is an American right-wing radio show host, filmmaker, writer, and conspiracy theorist. He hosts The Alex Jones Show from Austin, Texas, which airs on the Genesis Communications Network and shortwave radio station WWCR across the United States and online. His website, InfoWars.com, has been labelled as a fake news website. Jones has been the center of many controversies, including his statements about gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He has accused the U.S. government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks and the filming of fake Moon landings to hide NASA’s secret technology. He says that government and big business have colluded to create a New World Order through “manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech and—above all—inside-job terror attacks that fuel exploitable hysteria”. Jones has described himself as a libertarian and paleoconservative, and has been described by others as conservative, right-wing, alt-right, and a pro-Russia propagandist. New York magazine described Jones as “America’s leading conspiracy theorist”, and the Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as “the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America”. When asked about these labels, Jones said he is “proud to be listed a thought criminal against Big Brother””.
As I ponder on the above, it is hardly complementary, although putting opinion and spin to one side it is likely an accurate description. I suspect it won’t do my street credibility good to admit to being a fan of the Alex Jones show, but I am and often find myself delving into parts of it on “catch up”. A good part of it is him ranting about something or other, in particular the globalists and the new world order and its masters and puppets, but he does cover certain news items pretty extensively, pertinent as a lot of this is about President Trump, and he brings in a lot of guests to provide opinions and since a lot of that is about one of my pet subjects – the culture wars, I am naturally interested. I do value the coverage and perspectives on offer and see this as being helpful in formulating a view. He also has a number of associates that take parts of the program, who I find impressive. All of which makes for compelling viewing to an extent I have had to check myself from becoming an addict. From what I can make out it does have a large audience, including many who are disillusioned with what is offered by mainstream media. If Jones is to be believed this is a huge figure, including among the good and the great. If any were to read reviews about Jones or listen to his interviews with those unsympathetic, such as the UK’s own Andrew Neil and Piers Morgan, with his views, where he appears to have “lost it” in the light of what he deems as hostile questioning, one might conclude the man is “off his rocker”. But to give him his due, he is passionate about what he believes and naturally takes exception with those who belittle what he believes. I have long thought of all the Brit chat show host types, Neil and Morgan are perhaps the most obnoxious due to their sanctimonious smugness – so any who might rattle their cages can’t be all bad!
There is much by way of news that is relevant and many important perspectives that I don’t see covered in the way it should be in mainstream media, and it is why I will not discount what Jones does, while maintaining a health skepticism. As for being fake news, that is a moot point and one where strong opinions either way have been offered, but as far as Jones is concerned that is how he see large elements of the mainstream media. He makes serious points and inevitable bias aside makes these in the main well. Much of the news presented I reckon is accurate, and probably more accurate than the media that is so hostile to President Trump. Of course he offers a perspective and emphasis that many share but most don’t but then that is likely true of all news reporting, and sadly most news reporting fails to adequately or fairly cover the important news Jones covers. Until such time that changes, he is one I will refer to from time to time, believing he offers an important service.
Update 28/09/17: I have to confess listening to Alex Jones is part of my daily news acquisition diet, and I try to include more liberal outlets. I am mindful he offers a perspective that mainstream outlets tend not to offer, and even Fox News is a lot more circumspect in its reporting. I suppose Jones is if nothing else a captivating speaker and good entertainment value, although he is far from perfect. The open letter I wrote him recently says as much, and my recent posting on where he fits in with mainstream media describes my own position. I do feel Jones is often treated unfairly and he clearly has become a focus of mockery and vilification, even though some of it he brings on himself. But overall, I find much of what comes out on his shows helpful and surprisingly by bringing in a variety of guests he does invite dissenting opinion – a good thing. I wish there was someone who reports on the things Jones does, offering that alternative perspective, without the histrionics and in a more measured way, but there isn’t unless you count Sean Hannity and as for the BBC and British broadsheets I have almost given up. Sadly, the term “fake news” is banded about these days almost willy nilly, and imo Jones is less Fake than CNN, MSNBC etc. The truth is none of us know half of what there is to be known that matters, and it is a daunting undertaking to find truth in amidst so much deception, when it is so much easier to listen to that which feeds our prejudices. We need Alex Jones and co. to help us to reach a balanced view.