WASHINGTON, D.C. — Growling and surrounded by a crew of cameramen and bodyguards, Alex Jones trudged up to the National Press Club on Tuesday morning to begin his invasion of the swamp.
The Infowars host, who’s become America’s most famous conspiracy theorist, was ostensibly on hand to deliver a speech on the First Amendment and talk about the number of defamation lawsuits currently being leveled against Infowars. But, perhaps unsurprisingly for longtime fans of Jones’ Great Works, the event rapidly morphed into a paranoia free-for-all, with Jones raving at length about degenerate universities, gay frogs, meth-snorting SJWs and, of course, the ever-looming bogeyman that is George Soros.
For devotees of the more conspiracy-friendly sections of the right-wing media, this event was an all-star affair. Along with Jones, Infowars correspondent Jerome Corsi, who has been permanently banned from YouTube, was also present, as was Pizzagate-proponent Jack Posobiec, Lucian Wintrich of the fake-news promoting Gateway Pundit, and Roger Stone. Perhaps it was no coincidence that, with this chorus of colorful characters, no signs or decorations from the National Press Club were present in the room where Jones gave his remarks.
Alex Jones has said "God bless you brother" in the hallway outside his presser at least 5 times
— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) April 10, 2018
The latest lawsuit driving Jones into his trademarked apoplexy was filed this March by Brennan Gilmore, a Foreign Service Officer, with the help of attorneys at the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic. Gilmore alleges that, after he posted a video of James Alex Fields ramming his car into a crowd during the Charlottesville protest last August, Jones inspired death threats and harassment against him by claiming Gilmore was a “deep state” operative trying to undermine the Trump administration.
Infowars, naturally, disagrees. “Rather than exercise his right to address the speech he challenges in the marketplace of ideas, Gilmore has chosen to go to court to silence Jones and others,” Infowars’ 30-page motion to dismiss reads, “[Gilmore’s] launch[ed] a media blitz to publicize the lawsuit and smear Jones, and to harass and burden the defendants with frivolous litigation.”
Jones didn’t elaborate on just how Gilmore can be fairly said to be successfully competing in the “marketplace of ideas” against a media outlet which regularly pulls in tens of millions of views and has previously had the ear of the President. Instead, he used the lawsuit as a jumping-off point to talk about two of his favorite subjects; how everything/everyone that disagrees with Infowars is funded by George Soros, and how much the mainstream media sucks.
“The whole [Georgetown Law Clinic] board is Soros-funded, it’s just incredible,” Jones said in a voice that sounded like grinding gravel. “They will defame you and call you a Nazi and say you deserve to die, that’s the universities, they’re now Maoist centers.”
“What we have here is mainly alternative new media, you don’t see mainstream corporate media here,” Jones continued. “They have decided to unify behind a project and an operation that the CEO of Newscorp openly talked about two months ago to end the First Amendment.”
I’ve always wondered how many of Jones’ endless rants the man actually believes, or whether he, as his lawyer claimed in family court last April, is actually a “performance artist” who’s latched on to an incredibly popular, and salable, type of paranoia. On screen and in person, Jones seems to move at a hundred miles an hour, each lie quickly covered up by an even bigger one, with changes in topic coming so furiously often that you’ll be left doubting your own sanity. Taken as a whole, against a backdrop that pits “real America” against a faceless, globalist conspiracy, it’s easy to see why people get ensnared.
At his National Press Club appearance, Jones’ well-worn shtick was all capably backed up by his supporting cast, most notably by swamp-dwelling dandy Roger Stone. “The real story here is that the American left is no longer interested in dialogue or debate,” he declared, in a smooth style that played well off Jones’ hit-you-over-the-head-until-you-believe-the-globalists-are-coming-for-you routine. “They can’t win a debate, they don’t want a discussion of issues. The answer when we raise facts and issues is ‘silence them, censor them, close them down!’”
Stone remains a continued person of interest in the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Just last week, an August 2016 email surfaced in which Stone mentioned having “dine[d] with my new pal Julian Assange last nite” – which would seem to imply he had foreknowledge of WikiLeaks’ upcoming release of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Stone later claimed that the email was “in jest”, a point he doubled-down on during the event on Tuesday
“I had no advanced knowledge of the contents, source, or exact timing of Wikileaks disclosures,” Stone said. “I have never received anything from WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, or the Russians, or anyone else.”
But while Jones and Stone may cast themselves as put-upon political martyrs, the reality is that their speech and theories have had a disturbing impact.
In December 2016, a man brought an AR-15 to a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C. with the intention of investigating the fake Pizzagate conspiracy, which Jones had helped propagate. Last June, a Florida woman was sentenced to five months in prison for threatening the father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim. Alex Jones has repeatedly claimed that Sandy Hook was a hoax. In March, Jones was almost kicked off YouTube for popularizing the idea that the Parkland school survivors were in fact ‘crisis actors’.
I asked Jones whether he thought his rhetoric could, potentially, make someone do something stupid. “I’m particularly worried that they’re gonna have a leftist go do some kind of kamikaze attack to false flag me,” Jones responded. “I know that’s being worked on behind the scene.”
When I asked Jones how it was that he knew it was being “worked on,” he rambled for a few seconds before directing me towards an unnamed public document that claimed George Soros’ son was trying to create martial law in Maryland with the help of a race war, and that the public would be manipulated into burning the “city” — presumably Baltimore — down to the ground.
Tragically at this point my fleeting encounter with Jones headed south. “You guys think you’re intellectuals, you don’t know shit,” he declaimed. Aiming his barbs at Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt and myself, Jones declared himself to be aghast that we did not know that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was, in fact, one of the two active shadow governments in the United States. “You guys all intellectually with your plastic haircuts ohhh uhhh ohhh Soros what did he do ohhh uhhh ohhh.”
It was at this point that Jones began dancing around in front of us.
“You guys just want to pretend you talked to me,” Jones then told us later in the lobby. “It’s just a prop. Make up whatever you’re going to make up.”
As Jones exited the building, he was accosted by a camera crew, at which he quickly started shouting.