After several postponements, CNN finally showed the much hyped report on Alex Jones and INFOWARS.
For the ordinary viewer, the piece appears well-crafted; you get to see many excerpts from interviews with former employees, his ex-wife, or with relatives of the Sandy Hook victims who sued Jones for calling them actors in the service of the left world-conspiracy. In between there are clips of Jones himself, in which he expresses his detailed fantasies of violence in a hyperactive state or simply lets his emotions run free. We get up-to-date information on his relationship with groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, whose members received the most serious charges of “seditious conspiracy” after the storming of the Capitol.
And yet, one cannot really understand the Jones phenomenon and conspiracy media from the CNN report.
The roles seem reversed, because CNN’s report gives the impression that there is a kind of right-wing world conspiracy that needs to be uncovered. For decades, circles influenced by Marxism have wanted to monopolize the field of investigative media and kept drifting into irrational territory because of Marxist milieu theory or “critical theory”. All that matters to them is the “correct” influence from an early age on. Any behavior, any quality that you don’t like is considered an aberration that has to be corrected with “pedagogy”. The current report is one such piece of pedagogy designed to influence viewers to engage in more Marxist activities.
There should be a broad landscape of investigative media that does a worlds better job than CNN or INFOWARS and doesn’t follow an outdated, misleading ideology. Someone else should do a better investigative report on INFOWARS than CNN. Just as Alex Jones has caused more damage to his audience than he provided use, the socialist minded citizens in America have been struggling unsuccessfully for decades and have been unable to change anything about the supremacy of corporations and elites. CNN doesn’t come up with a single new idea, just more and more of the old stuff that doesn’t work.
For the left-wing audience, all thar Marxist pedagogy resulted in an ever-widening definition of the “enemy” and enemy activities. Not only basic rights such as the right to own a firearm or certain restrictions on abortions are considered proto-fascist, but also every pickup truck, every form of masculinity, traditional family structures and the accumulation of significant property. With their fanatical approach, Marxists meet the criteria of communist subversion, which in turn alarms the right-wing camp and leads to more support for right-wing extremists. Ironically, leftist investigative writers and reporters have always depended on big corporations, huge newspapers and wealthy patrons. Koch Industries and similar ultra-wealthy right-wing circles funded the Cold War activities of the John Birch Society, which sold millions of copies of conspiracy books, laid the foundation for Alex Jones’ worldview, and even influenced parts of Trump’s circle.
Even the DuPont clan, which had controlled Joe Biden’s career from the start and ruled Delaware like princes, used to pay various radical organizations across the right spectrum.
CNN shows a quick edit of clips showing just how rich and powerful Jones has become. The audience does not get an explanation how for the biggest part of 25 years he just didn’t yell around most of the time, but used a moderate John Birch course. You can’t yell al of the time because the audience would tune out.
He had quoted and commented on mountains of mass media reports; also a lot from left-wing media like the NY Times, big stories by Seymour Hersh, etc. Instead of producing his own elaborate investigative reports, he shifted to commenting, which was both cheaper and legally safer. Even if someone sued the NY Times for a report, INFOWARS was safe because they were just giving their opinion on something someone else had written.
What CNN also doesn’t really explain is that he got his breakthrough because he wasn’t artificially limited like mainstream media on issues like 9/11. Many leftists were extremely suspicious of the attacks, the Bush administration and the unimaginable corruption in military spending. But films like Fahrenheit 9/11, which was brought to the cinemas by a large corporation, were too lame and too cowardly. Jones’ reports were much bolder. That’s why people supported him and thought he was more than he was. He got lucky to be able to fill this vacuum without delivering an amateurish presentation or sinking into radicalism like other conspiracy influencers at the time. Even leftists in the audience respected him. He had leftist guests on like Cindy Sheehan or Cynthia McKinney. some leftists droped socialism because of Jones’ program.
It was the weak conformism of media such as Michael Moore or CNN that made Jones’ success possible.
CNN portrays to its audience that conspiracy media influencers only holler and act radically in order to succeed. But the mass following came about mainly because the two-party cartel was so crazy. Without the exploitation by government and scandals, few would have listened to Alex Jones. Without the inflation, high taxes, minimum wage jobs, mountains of new laws, illegal wars, torture, surveillance and legislation like the Patriot Act.
Until 2008, Jones was far from a Republican cheerleader. It was only in 2016 that he clearly swung to Trump and the party.
CNN uses Sandy Hook as a “hook” for the implicit call for new media laws and guidelines. However, many things were legally regulated to begin with. Deliberate lying or reckless disregard for the truth equals slandering someone and this is where you can sue. Jones lost the case over his Sandy Hook reports and even fell out with several of his own attorneys.
The lengthy video testimonies under oath showed how amateurish Jones and his employees were. It was about viral content to attract followers’ money and promote a GOP agenda. The art that CNN has mastered and that Jones has not mastered is not to lie outright or adopt bad third-party content without examining it thoroughly.
CNN shows clips of Jones ranting about a threat by megacorporations, as well as networks like Bilderberg or the CFR. But that is exactly the kind of enemy leftists rant about. It is an unacceptable double standard and typical of Marxists to work with vague and contradictory definitions and standards. If you were to put together enough select clips of Jones from the 2000-2008 Bush era phase, he would sound like he was more leftist than CNN.
Next are clips by Alex Jones of graphic descriptions of violence he wishes on people, then clips about Jones’ perceived influence on violent criminals such as with the Pizzagate fiasco and the storming of the Capitol. We see the connections to the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who have now been criminally charged. CNN suspects an orchestrated right-wing conspiracy to take over the country. In reality, since the days of the Revolution, the American upper class has been a tight-knit cluster of clans, dividing all important civil service posts and industries among themselves. And they pay for both major political groups to keep the taxpayers busy and divided.
The storming of the Capitol was no small thing, but ultimately there was never the slightest hint of a real danger that state officials and the military would actually prevent Joe Biden from taking power. Regardless of whether Trump, Giuliani or Alex Jones actually believed these fantasies or not.
Then CNN shows witnesses from Jones’ childhood without delivering the breadth of Jon Ronson audio report. Jones was out of control as a teen and constantly involved in fights that even caused permanent harm. He was badly beaten up himself and his family moved out of town.
CNN fails to properly explain Jones’ fake hero myth: Over the years, he has repeatedly claimed that as a teenager at a school event he publicly branded the local police officers as drug dealers. This was supposedly his first major investigative report, his first piece of activism, and because of the massive threats from the officials, he and his family had to flee. There is no evidence that he made such public allegations at the time in that way. Nobody from the school at that time can even remotely remember such an incident. That’s the point. He tells a story he wants to profit from without being able to provide the necessary evidence. In retrospect, some police corruption at the time has been confirmed, but not Jones’ heroic public appearance at school. One can assume that Jones, like other local citizens, heard or even saw something at the time. Nothing more. In response to the CNN report, Jones tried to score points by pointing at the corruption of police officers at the time. As usual, he shifts to aspects that are useful to him and ignores what does not fit his narrative.
His ex-wife Kelly is shown calling him an extremely “strange” person. The whole saga surrounding the court battle and surrounding his second wife, which Jones handed over to the police last Christmas, is far more interesting than the short synopsis on CNN.
Jone’s audience was, according to CNN, so stupid around the year 2000 that it would have believed anything that he said. In reality, Jones used the sandwich method: He quoted mountains of interesting things from mainstream media and mixed that with his interpretations according to these old conspiracy books from the Birch Society that he used to read.
There was an automatism to dub every dramatic event that would have a negative impact on the conservative sphere as a fake or as a “false flag” staging of the left-wing world conspiracy of international bankers. Countless online activists quickly copied Jones’ methods over the years and threatened his market share. So he had to keep up with every topic and constantly claim “false flags” to satisfy the audience.
CNN shows clips of Jones’ former employee Joe Biggs, who later got into serious trouble with the Proud Boys group over the Capitol storm. And of course we get to hear about the spectacular sales of the Infowars online shop during the Trump years. Caolan Robertson, who once worked with Jones and burned all bridges in those rightwing circles because of his own alledged behaviour, speaks of a kind of right-wing extremist teleshopping channel. A multi-hour daily infomercial.
Is Jones’ ploy so different from the hype campaigns by left-wing media and activists over incidents like George Floyd’s deadly police confrontation? A multiple-convicted (violent) criminal repeatedly disobeyed standard police instructions, fought with officers and may have suffered a heart attack in the process. The police officers were responsible for his safety but waited instead for the ambulance while he lost his pulse. The case was blown up as if the fate of the country was at stake, and Black Lives Matter activists stuffed their pockets without really changing the state of the country. When the Floyd campaign died down and the money stopped flowing, some activists probably wished for the next dramatic incident that could be manipulated and exploited.
For Jones, the Trump trend wave was lucrative at times, but a Hillary Clinton presidency might have made him a lot more money by spreading panic every day. In video footage by Caolan Robertson, Jones can be seen speaking about how Trump basically wanted to steal his audience with populist statements about Hillary and alleged conspiracies. The President copied Jones’s ploy to siphon off donations and votes. Jones faced two risky courses of action: maintain a critical distance from Trump and potentially lose a ton of revenue, or embark on the Trump hype when it was clear there would be major disappointments down the line that also threatened his finances.
CNN shows a clip from Alex’s show just before the Capitol storm, where a guest host tells the audience to occupy Washington DC and go into the Capitol if necessary. We see guest appearances by the now indicted leader of the Oath Keepers group. Jones initially wanted to completely avoid the subpoena by the investigative committee to testify. Then he met with investigators and refused almost any statement under the 5th amendment. He then offered to testify in exchange for criminal immunity. So far there have been no charges against him.
Of course, Jones would like to reinterpret the CNN report, the SandyHook lawsuits and the Capitol investigation as a New World Order conspiracy against him; as proof that he is the great hero. But bottom line, he has done far more harm than good to his audience. He has absorbed countless hours of audience attention and hundreds of millions of dollars from his audience and let it go to waste. Actually, CNN and the left could give him a medal for it. INFOWARS, just like the elite-funded John Birch Society before, is a dumping ground for the disaffected that never achieves anything. In 25 years, Jones failed to establish a single significant political candidate through his media and his money. He could go on for decades, and still the Democrats and Republicans would control the country.