American radio broadcaster and prominent conspiracy theorist Alexander Emerick Jones (born February 11, 1974) identifies as a conservative, alt-right, and far-right. The Genesis Communications Network syndicates The Alex Jones Show from Austin, Texas, which Alex Jones hosts. Jones’ InfoWars website, as well as NewsWars and PrisonPlanet, both promote conspiracy theories and fake news.
White supremacist Nick Fuentes has been given a forum by Jones on his website Banned, which he founded after attending the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. To get into their beliefs, the video serves as an “entry point.” Having to testify that her 6-year-old son, who was murdered while he sat in school, had truly existed and that she was the woman who had given birth to him and reared him for the too-few years he was alive is an unfathomable statement to have to make as a grieving parent.
Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist and media figure, and Scarlett Lewis testified this week about the damages she’s owed to him. (In a default decision earlier this year, Jones was found liable for defamation.) Lurid conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre began to emerge after 20 children and six adults were killed in 2012. Conspirators have harassed the grieving parents for years, and they’ve had to employ bodyguards to keep them safe.
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In response to the defamation lawsuits brought against him, Jones has apologized and said he was suffering from a “kind of psychosis.” Jones became the talk-radio equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church, which held ugly anti-gay rallies at soldiers’ funerals following the Sandy Hook massacre. Since then Jones has been an integral part of the right-wing power structure, from his interviews with Donald Trump to claims that he was an organizer of the January 6 uprising.
Many Republicans and conservatives sound increasingly like Jones these days, with references to false flags, crisis actors, and pedophile rings becoming commonplace in right-wing discourse. But even while Jones’ mainstreaming was made possible by Trump’s administration, the GOP was already primed for Alex Jonesification even before Trump took office.
Conservatism as we know it now was founded on conspiracy theories dating back to the 1940s and 1950s. When it comes to conspiracy theories, the John Birch Society’s anti-fluoridation conspiracies, and McCarthy-era witch hunts, conspiracy theories have become a major part of conservatism in America.
Conspiracy-minded right-wingers stayed apart from the Republican Party, apart from McCarthyism, Even right-wing politicians, especially those vying for the presidency, avoid the conspiracy-mongers who are popular with their conservative constituencies.
When politics, entertainment, and conspiracies grew more linked in the 1990s, that altered. ‘The New World Order was written by Pat Robertson, a televangelist who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1988. When it comes to “one-world government,” conspiracy theorists have been sifting through decades worth of conspiracy theories to come up with a slew of organizations that are working together to bring about single global governance and the end of the world. It was a best-seller in the New York Times.
Not only Pat Robertson, but a slew of other Republican presidential hopefuls have expressed concern about the coming global order. With three presidential bids from 1992 to 2000, Pat Buchanan’s speeches were replete with this recurring theme. Amid growing concerns about the world’s geopolitics following the end of the Cold War, the phrase referred to a variety of conspiracy theories that were gaining popularity among conservatives and Republican elected officials alike.
There was a slew of conspiracy theories surrounding Bill and Hillary Clinton during the Clinton administration, including one involving black helicopters (a common motif in 1990s conspiracies). Outside of Congress, right-wing radio’s newfound clout in the 1990s and 2000s cleared the ground for Jones’ embrace.
There were numerous conspiracy theories on Glenn Beck’s radio program, from Common Core to George Soros to the United Nations-based Agenda 21 conspiracy idea. It wasn’t just in his material that he incorporated politics and conspiracy theories. Beck urged his listeners to stockpile gold, food, and “survival seeds” in anticipation of the impending collapse of society.
He warned that the End Times were nigh and that disaster waited around every corner. It’s been a few years since Beck has acknowledged his part in the country being torn apart. When Glenn Beck rose to prominence in the Tea Party movement during Obama’s tenure, and conspiracy theories were rife on the right, these strands began to come together.
For someone like Jones, it was a real opportunity to build a name for themselves in US politics. Republican circles did not accept his bizarre Sandy Hook conspiracies, but they did accept his more recent Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory from 2015. Jones invented a new conspiracy theory based on a routine military exercise in Texas, warning his audience that the government was preparing for martial law in a hidden manner.
Right-wing talk radio and Republican politicians immediately adopted this conspiracy idea from InfoWars. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has ordered the state militia to keep an eye on the drills taking place. “I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying,” Texas Sen.
Ted Cruz, who is preparing for a presidential bid, said. Because of Cruz’s shift, the gap between Jones and the Republican Party has narrowed in recent years. Republicans have long argued that government is corrupt or even illegitimate, and they have grown increasingly dependent on right-wing media for their rhetoric. With the election of Trump, Republicans recognized
that they would not have to pay a price for engaging in outlandish conspiracy theories, making it easy for them to do so. Trump lost the president and the Congress, Jones lost his defamation trial, and other right-wing media outlets are facing substantial defamation cases for their election conspiracies in the last few years, suggesting that the bill is due. Conspiracy theories still abound inside the party, however.
He may never speak at a Republican convention or join the primetime roster of Fox News. However, he is not required to. The Republican Party is now well-integrated with Trump’s conspiratorial thinking, attitude, and style, a legacy not only of Trump’s presidency but of decades of conspiratorial politics.