In 21st century America, you may be upset or frightened by the fact that some people get their news and views exclusively from Rush Limbaugh, while others get theirs from Howard Stern or Jon Stewart. Take heart, friend, for it could be worse! But what, you may wonder, could be worse than Rush Limbaugh or Jon Stewart?
Welcome to the conspiracy-laden world of Alex Jones, where THEY are watching your every move and controlling your every thought.
Conspiracy theorists have thrived and prospered with the rise of new mass media, especially the Internet. Alex Jones is one of the first newer-generation conspiracy theorists to be raised exclusively on new media, and his career has taken him from talk radio, to the Web, to blogs, YouTube, and podcasting – and beyond. If Art Bell was the king of kooky conspiracy talk radio in the 1990s (from a more paranormal bent), then Alex Jones has usurped his crown and brought political conspiracy theory into the mainstream, flavoring it with a flourish that has thousands of fans and followers taking his every paranoid word as Gospel truth.
One highlight of Jones' career came on the fateful night of December 31st, 1999 – the night the Y2K bug struck! As the evening hours wore on, Jones was on the air live, gleefully airing reports by panic-stricken nutcases about malfunctioning ATMs, missiles being launched in Europe, China being attacked…that is, until we woke up the next morning and found out nothing had actually happened. Not that that mattered to Jones and his followers, who've since gone on to enthusiastically embrace every half-baked conspiracy to come down the pike.
The basic idea behind Jones' crusade (other than to give lots and lots of attention to Alex Jones) is a simple one: Be afraid. Be very afraid. That's what makes conspiracy theories so popular – they're a product of the underlying fear that no matter what we do, THEY have us under their thumb. And so, Jones tells us, it's time to get MAD! Get OUTRAGED! Get angry enough to STRIKE BACK against THEM! Whoever Jones tells us who THEY are, they're the ENEMY! Whether it's the Wall Street bankers, or the Bilderbergers, or the Military-Industrial Complex, or the White House…we've all got to get MAD! Mad enough to use any outlandish, ridiculous, fruitcake-insane idea as justification for the upcoming revolution and uprising against THEM.
As a child of the new media, Jones is more interested in video and audio than old-fashioned paper, which is why he's produced over a dozen shocking, ground-breaking video documentaries and exposes…and only one book (9/11: Descent into Tyranny, available at most stores that stock "alternative political" books). His video releases include:
Lord Cyclohexane writes: "If anyone reading this is a fan of the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade but could never quite figure out the feel for global politicking between secret societies of harsh uncaring creatures who want to herd us like cattle…well, then, definitely watch Endgame. The story Jones puts out of an unbroken line coming down from the original Eugenics proponents of the late 19th Century/early 20th Century to feed into the "Oh Noes! Man-Made Global Warming is a plot to take away our right to exhale!" is positively brilliant. So, while I found TerrorStorm to be positively so-so and found Inside Bohemian Grove to be a complete and utter snoozefest, Endgame is an absolutely brilliant and riveting piece of abject kookery that I'd recommend to anyone."
Just how much of this crap is actually true? WHO CARES? says Jones. All that matters is that it's SCARY, and you have to GET SCARED before you can GET MAD. Mad as hell, and you're not going to take it anymore!
And in the midst of all this, Jones has made a pretty decent living for himself as a demagogue. It's as though he's encouraging this climate of fear, not only because he's determined to bring us the truth about the New World Order…he's also making money from his fans.
The worst part is that there's some truth in some of those conspiracy theories, but it's all lost in the SCARE. Because of this, people can dismiss him completely by commenting, "Hey no… there is no truth in the rumours. You're not listening to Alex Jones, are you?"
Jones' two major Web sites, Infowars and Prison Planet, are intertwined and similar in that they both provide conspiracy-heavy news stories, mostly of the type emphasizing all of the usual points of view – anti-corporate , anti-medicine ("Vaccines are producing the pandemic, not the flu," "What to do if the government force-vaccinates you"), anti-media ("Corporate media demonizes defenders of the Constitution"), and especially anti-liberal ("Obama is a corporate marketing creation"). Infowars has more "news" sources produced by Jones himself, such as his radio show and podcast; while Prison Planet caters more to his fans, with message boards and blogs. The message boards, once again, encourage discussion of conspiracy talk and posting "news tips" – even if they're outlandish and obviously made up.