Insane or Opportunist? Alex Jones

WC’s neighbors had their sewer line replaced. There was considerable noise, and an even more considerable stench. Which reminded WC he had been meaning to do a blog post on Alex Jones.

"Infowars" host Alex Jones arrives at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, on April 17. Tamir Kalifa / American-Statesman via AP

“Infowars” host Alex Jones arrives at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, on April 17. Tamir Kalifa / American-Statesman via AP

Alex Jones hosts the mis-named InfoWars, which doesn’t involve information or wars. Mostly, it involves Alex Jones screaming at a webcam, arguing that the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Sandy Hook, the Apollo moon landings and the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords in Tucson were all conspiracies, or didn’t happen, or both. He brags about having a two million followers, but WC reminds readers the 17 million people think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. So a million fools is nothing.

It was Alex Jones who helped launch the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, claiming that Comet Ping Pong Pizza in Washington, D.C. was a center for pedophilia involving presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He was forced to formally apologize and retract that claim, but not before one of his deluded followers shot the place up.

It was Alex Jones who made the claim that Chobani Yoghurt Company’s factory in Twin Falls, Idaho, which employs refugees, was connected to a 2016 child sexual assault and a rise in tuberculosis cases. After Chobani filed a lawsuit, Jones issued an apology and retraction of his allegations in May 2017. 

Is he charlatan, knowing that he lies, lies and lies, all in the name of making money and the sensation of power? Or is he actually insane enough to believe the crazy frothing that he screams? There is no middle ground. No sane person can believe that cow manure he shouts about.

His child custody dispute gave us mixed insights. On the one hand, his ex-wife, fighting for exclusive custody of the couple’s three children, claimed he is dangerously insane. Crazy enough that he shouldn’t have unsupervised contact with the kids.

Jones’ lawyer, by contrast, claims it’s art. According to an Austin newspaper, his attorney, Randall Wilhite, said at a pretrial custody hearing that Jones is “playing a character” on his show and actually “is a performance artist.” To the extent Jones’ followers actually believe the bullshit Jones is peddling, the new Jones doesn’t believe it himself but is instead performing art must come as a shock.

Jones reportedly disavowed his lawyer’s argument. Jones filmed a video on his way to court April 19, in which he said this: “They’ve got articles out today that I say I’m a fake, all of this other crap. Total bull! … I 110 percent believe what I stand for. We’re changing the world with you.”

And yet there was testimony at the trial that Jones has been diagnosed as having narcissistic personality disorder, supporting the insanity thesis. Apparently, that narcissistic need for admiration is intense enough for him to undermine his own legal strategy.

Jones lost the custody case, despite his denials. His ex-wife now decides when and where the kids visit their dad. Which implies the trial jude may have bought the insanity theory, not the con artist theory. But unlike Jones’ innumerable conspiracy theories, there is evidence that could argue either way.

But in the end, it’s just so much sewer gas, made seemingly bigger and more important than it is by the distorting effect of the internet.

And either way, a pretty pathetic excuse of a human being.