During the 2008 Republican primaries, Ron Paul was semi-regularly appearing on the Alex Jones show. Setting aside any other disagreements I had with Ron Paul, I really didn’t appreciate the fact that he was helping to legitimize a kook by appearing on his show.
Well, since the election, Alex Jones has apparently mainstreamed his website a bit, started hammering the Democrats much more than he has done over the last few years, and seems to be slowly but surely starting to creep away from the fringes and towards the mainstream on the Right.
I’ve seen more and more conservative websites linking to Jones and now Fox’s Andrew Napolitano is doing his show.
This disturbs me. Let me tell you why.
Conspiracy theories are not harmless. They make the people who buy into them look foolish. They create paranoia, distrust, and cynicism and they distract people from the real issues. A perfect example of that is the North American Conspiracy Theory. I told people, time and time again, that the idea George Bush was going to merge Canada and Mexico with the United States was absurd. Of course, it never happened and the people and magazines who were promoting one of the most ridiculous things I’d ever heard just sheepishly moved on from the subject without ever explaining how they got it so wrong. Now how many people lost faith in mainstream conservatives because they didn’t buy into that silly theory? How many became falsely convinced they were being lied to about the NAU?
Meanwhile, here’s a little secret: a lot of the people promoting the North American Union undoubtedly knew that it wasn’t really happening. They just wanted the traffic that came with promoting a weird story of seemingly great importance that no one else was talking about.
…..Which brings us back to Alex Jones. Jones is a self-promoting conspiracy nut. During the Bush Administration, he attacked Republicans and promoted oddball conspiracy theories about them (Bush was behind 9/11! They’re going to put us all in camps!). But, now that a Democrat is in power, he’s attacking Democrats and promoting oddball conspiracy theories about them — and if the GOP gets back in control he’ll switch right back to attacking us. In other words, this is not a man of principle or a guy who’s on our side. Moreover, before people lend Alex Jones credibility by linking his material or going on his show, they should consider some of the material he’s putting out there.
For example, on his website right now is an article that seems to be suggesting that swine flu may have been concocted by the Bush Administration as part of a plan to implement martial law in the Obama Admin (I’m not totally following the logic either, but here’s an excerpt from “Swine Flu and Martial Law”),
If the outbreak indeed turns into a global pandemic, as WHO seems to think, we can expect not only quarantines, but the imposition of martial law in the United States. In fact, the government has planned for just such a scenario for some time now.
…Prior to this, in May of 2007, the U.S. military had the foresight to “plan for a possible avian flu pandemic that could kill as many as three million people in the United States in as little as six weeks,” according to Yahoo News. Guidelines and “planning assumptions for US military services and combatant commands” were published in a document entitled “Implementation Plan for Pandemic Influenza.”
…As Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2005, the “hidden agenda consists in using the threat of a pandemic and/or the plight of a natural disaster as a pretext to establish military rule” and “suspend Constitutional government and allow the Military to intervene in civilian affairs in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.”
…Our best intelligence estimate is that pandemic Avian Flu has already been created through genetic engineering in the United States, fusing the deadly genome of the 1918 Pandemic, misnamed the ‘Spanish Flu’, with the DNA of the innocuous H5N1 virus in a growth medium of human kidney cells, according to the National Institutes of Health and the vaccine’s manufacturer. Some virologists believe that this would insure that the man-made mutant virus recognizes human cells and knows how to invade them,” writes Rima E. Laibow, MD, head of the Natural Solutions Foundation, a citizen watchdog group monitoring the pharmaceutical industry.
Laibow underscores what we stress above: “Given the shockingly obvious lack of any threat from an un-weaponized H5N1 virus, how can we explain the Bush Administration spending billions of dollars preparing each of the 50 States, for what it calls the ‘inevitable Bird Flu pandemic,’ which they say could kill half or more of all Americans and similar numbers of people around the globe?”
Before people legitimize this fruit loops by treating him like a credible source or appearing on his radio show, they should think hard about what sort of stories their stamps of approval are going to be used to promote.