If the American people, collectively speaking, had enough sense to come in out of the rain, the climate “debate”—long settled almost everywhere else on earth—would be over. No, it’s not possible to assert with mathematical certainty that hurricanes Harvey and Irma were caused by global warming. It’s also not possible to stipulate exactly which carton […]
In his first ultra-long-but-incredibly-well-worth-it segment after returning from hiatus on Sunday, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver examined Alex Jones “in his full context.” For the none of you unfamiliar with Jones, he founded conspiracy-based media outlet InfoWars.com and then ate a “big bowl of chili” and lost custody of his kids. Of course, there’s […]
As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly’s televised confrontation with Internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud. Not because Kelly didn’t give it her best. And maybe not even because the former Fox news-blonde’s best falls considerably short of legendary TV inquisitors such as Mike Wallace or even Barbara Walters. […]
Alex Jones, conspiratorial eminence of radio and Internet fame, already may regret calling out Stephen Colbert at his child custody trial in Texas — because of course the Late Show host had to respond with what might be considered overkill in any other circumstances. Describing Jones with pinpoint metaphorical accuracy as a “furious hardboiled egg,” […]
However fake his act, fans think the Alex Jones performance art is real. They may even act out in response, like the nutcase who showed up at Comet Pizza to search for pedophiles with a loaded gun that he proceeded to fire in the Washington restaurant.
Far-right radio host Alex Jones “is in a custody battle right now, so he’s trying to prove that he’s stable enough to care for children,” notes Stephen Colbert. “Unfortunately he works in front of a camera.” Following a clip of the Infowars host ranting, Colbert notes that the screaming, demented Jones sounds “like a coked-out football coach in a police stand-off.” It’s not a good look for an aspiring parent, but Jones’ attorney offers a creative explanation, saying his client is “a performance artist…playing a character” on his multi-media platforms.
Many right-wing media figures have accused anti-Trump protesters of being “paid” on a widespread basis to demonstrate against President Donald Trump. Not only do these allegations lack any evidence of a systematic effort, they also ignore the fact that the conservative tea party protests of the early 2010s were “astroturfed” — heavily supported and organized by large, outside groups like the Koch brothers.
Trump’s ascent would not have been possible without the years of vitriol that the right-wing media directed at his predecessor. After years of listening to anti-Obama vitriol from right-wing talk radio and television hosts, conservatives wanted someone who could match that hate. They found him. And today, he’s the president.
The verified Facebook page for American News (also known as The Patriot Review), with its more than 4.7 million followers, is perhaps the largest page regularly pushing fake news on the social media platform and is emblematic of the problem Facebook must address immediately.
President-elect Donald Trump is coalescing a network of supportive right-wing media outlets to help push his agenda and attack political opponents, including an online publication owned by his son-in-law, a supermarket tabloid, and a new 24-hour news outlet that has been described as “Trump TV.”
There’s never been such a challenging time to be an informed citizen. The fake news ecosystem is feeding into the worst instincts of humanity while punishing anyone who dares stand up against them — and soon there will be a president who will validate those feelings.
Partisan activists who pose as “citizen journalists” have no stake in getting it right. They are not beholden to editors or to upholding any publication’s reputation. With minimal name recognition and a clearly political agenda, these operatives do have an incentive to get media and public attention by any means.
Most major Russian disinformation campaigns in the United States and Europe have started at Russian-government funded media outlets, such as RT television or Sputnik News, before being amplified on Twitter by others.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been repeatedly warning Trump that “rogue elements” within the CIA are trying to “assassinate” him before he takes office. Trump reportedly speaks to Jones on the phone and watches his videos, and he has previously echoed Jones’ other conspiracy theories and rhetoric.
Just last summer, Alex Jones provoked a panic in rural Texas with fevered allegations that the real purpose of U.S. Army maneuvers there was to install secret armies of ISIS fighters in underground tunnels. He’s also persuaded thousands that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut was a “false flag” hoax aimed at confiscating their guns. Anybody believing that shouldn’t be allowed to walk off-leash in a city park, much less to buy an AR-15.
In covering Trump’s allegation (and often uncritically echoing it), multiple media outlets failed to make the connection between Trump and Jones and the other conspiracy theorists pushing this baseless story.
When the time came to deliver on his threats against the Clintons, Julian Assange blinked. At an early morning news conference, he delivered nothing of consequence — enraging conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.