As a resident of Central Texas, I’ve been familiar with Alex Jones for more than a decade. When I first heard him, he w as on KLBJ-AM radio in Austin on weekends, as well as a daily Internet broadcast. Jones has always been easily convinced of conspiracies, and while he bumps into a number of real ones, he never seems to have the self-restraint to realize that not everything is a conspiracy, and not everything bad that happens is strictly the result of some conspiratorial actions of some shadowy elites. I knew I could never listen to him again once he proposed that the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition. All of the video from that day shows the real cause of the collapse, and it wasn’t a thermite plasma device, or a series of smaller explosives, but the structural failure of steel load-bearing members weakened by heat and bearing much greater and more asymmetric burdens then they had ever been designed to bear.
It was from that moment on that I dismissed Alex Jones as an overblown crackpot. The sad part is that he does more damage to his own credibility than his adversaries ever could, and it’s too bad because Jones is right about a number of things on the issue of freedom, and the never-ending growth of government. On Monday night, he appeared on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN and scored some excellent point before melting down and making a complete ass of himself. The freak-show may have been entertaining in some respects, but ladies and gentlemen, he is a loose cannon, and conservatives shouldn’t rely on him to carry the banner of liberty. I get as angry as the next conservative when I see what the left is doing to our country, but most of us realize you can’t win an argument if you appear to be off your nut. Jones never saw that memo.
The first thing Jones should have known was that he was being set up like a carnival side-show freak. If Piers Morgan had wanted a serious debate about guns, there are much more authoritative sources he might have interviewed. John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime would have demolished Morgan without challenging him to a boxing match. As soon as Morgan began pummeling Jones over his beliefs about 9/11, it was clear that his entire aim was to discredit gun-owners by association with the likes of Jones. Of course, by then, Jones was quite angry because he knew he had been set up, but the problem with Jones is that he never knows when to shut up, and his own kooky pet theories know no bounds. One would think that with his conspiratorially-tuned mind, he’d have been looking for a big ambush after his run-in with TSA on his way to this interview.
It’s not to say that Jones doesn’t air real issues of consequence, like the extensive coverage he gave to UN Agenda 21 long before it got any mainstream media coverage. Jones is a constant critic of TSA, and the Department of Homeland Security, but one needn’t be a conspiracy nut to see that those agencies are fatally flawed and reprehensibly managed. Jones seemed determined to point out Morgan’s hypocrisy, and yet with his inability to maintain his composure, a lacking he’s suffered for all the years during which I’ve been acquainted with his work, he comes off sounding like a ranting loon, and if there was a conspiracy this day, Jones was too incensed to see how he is being used as a propaganda score against the very cause he went to CNN to defend.
I think Alex Jones firmly believes he is doing as he should, and that he believes he is advancing the fight for liberty in America, but each time he gets drawn into one of these battles, he looks the part of the fool he had been selected to play, and he never quite seems to recognize that in the mainstream of America, he’s not going to score points with average viewers by screaming at the interviewer. Instead, he looks like a raving maniac to most viewers. Rather than ranting, he should have mentioned the stories in support of his thesis that big multi-national corporations are helping government to disarm Americans, like Bank of Americaca that seems to be hostile to gun manufacturers banking with them, or how the Obama Administration is on record as seeking the assistance of big business in getting rid of guns. Instead, he sat there flipping verbal channels like the ultimate expression of ADD/ADHD, and in so doing, squandered an opportunity to speak to the issue at hand in a cogent, sensible manner.
Jones went to the interview armed with crime statistics, but as he rightly complained, Morgan was prepared to pepper him with factoids on the subject of mass shootings. The problem is that sensing the snare, like a trapped animal, he exploded in rage, and rather than making his best arguments, he came off as a clown or a nut. It’s not to say he didn’t say anything correct or worthwhile, but that the way he said it in combination with all of his extensive conspiracy theories made him look like a raving maniac. It’s too bad, because he made some great points until Morgan got him off-kilter, and from there on, Jones was in purely ballistic trajectory. He spews tenuously-linked tidbits of stories, strung together like a flow of lava from an erupting volcano, and it makes Jones seem unbound and disorganized like a library shelf full of books suddenly deprived of their bindings, but that is also the nature of many of his conspiracy theories.
Here are parts 1 and 2 of the interview, as aired on CNN, H/T
Again, I think that Jones is probably sincere in his efforts, but sincerity is not a substitute for reason. I think he’s right when he asserts that a gun ban will result in greater violence, and I also know he’s got an important story to tell about such things as the seeming correlation between some psychiatric medications and mass shootings, as WND reported on Monday. As you can see by that article, WND was careful not to assert that the linkage is certain, but they relied on a variety of cases that are well documented and sourced, rather than innuendo and supposition.
In stark contrast, Jones frequently relies on a trail of bread-crumbs that he spots on a bakery floor, making more of them than might be reasonable. Again, it’s not to say that Jones and his website don’t present important information, as they were among the first to run the story on the unbelievable amount of small-arms ammunition being purchased by the Federal Government, numbering nearly two billion rounds, for the Department of Homeland Security and other civilian agencies. In Jones-speak, that’s enough to kill every man, woman and child in America nearly seven times over. As I said, it’s not that he covers all nonsense, or that all of them are made-up, fanciful conspiracies about globalists, but it is to say that it’s hard to pick your way through it all to separate the wheat from the chaff, and all too often, there’s a good deal more chaff than hard news.
I rather like Alex Jones, in the same way I liked the entertainment value of other loudmouths in media from time to time, not as a steady diet, but as a diversion. I know that with Alex Jones, what you see is what you get, and most of the time, it’s not smoke indicating fire but steam warning that the pot is boiling. Watch and listen to Jones at your own risk. At times, he says some very sensible things, things I have said myself, for instance indicating today in his interview that no entity has committed more murder than statist governments over the last century or so. It’s undeniably true, and it’s likewise true that in each of the countries in which that occurred, the people had been more or less disarmed without significant struggle. You see, Jones will say that with the passion it deserves, but when he then follows-up with one of his more outlandish theories, it wastes it all. One might be tempted to take him seriously if he didn’t follow up every good point with two bad ones, an absurd one, and a challenge to a boxing match.
The most disconcerting thing about Jones is that he doesn’t understand the power of propaganda when he is made into its instrument for the other side. CNN will make the most of Monday’s freak-show, and haul it out every time something bad happens and they want to discredit patriots, Tea Party folk, libertarians, Republicans, and conservatives. They will hold Jones forth as exemplar of the nuttiness of the so-called “right,” but naturally, he’s not representative of any of those groups. He’s one man, with a very loud mouth, and a microphone, and he appeals to some people, particularly young men, under thirty, because he’s angry and he’s loud and he’s obnoxious, but he is not the voice of reason. Most of his audience outgrows him like a pair of high-water pants, wanting more depth and substance than the yelling man from Texas can provide. If only he would stick to what he could prove, ditch the bizarre theories, and tone down the yelling a bit, he might just find himself with a larger audience, but after nearly twenty years of his yelling, conspiratorial rants, there’s not much chance of that.