A couple of years ago, if somebody mentioned they listened to Infowars, you mostly figured they liked weird stories – maybe enjoyed playing games like Illuminati, maybe liked twisty horror manga by Junji Ito. You didn’t assume they were calling to threaten the parents of Sandy Hook children, in the same way you don’t assume somebody who “loves” Harry Potter has tried to break into one of the movie sets wrapped only in a towel, or gotten plastic surgery to look more like Snape.
Prior to Pizzagate, you’d guess that anybody who talked about something like Pizzagate was in on the joke. And you’d probably be right! Nobody was breaking in to try to steal the Warren Commission’s sealed files, or trying to deliver vigilante justice against whoever “really killed JFK.”
I’m writing about this mostly because I think it’s tempting to say “this has always been there, and we missed it.” Not exactly. Plenty of the non-hardcore fans have been baffled by Alex Jones’s embrace of Trump, which is, from an anti-establishment, trust-no-one perspective, selling out.
Sure, Jones evangelized nuts theories about Obama for 8 years, but before that, he evangelized nuts theories about Dubya. Jones saying Trump is on the level when he could be diving into Russia stuff or banking conspiracy stuff, or claiming Steve Bannon is in contact with aliens, seems off-brand.
Maybe it’s because Alex Jones’s Alex Jones was a guy named Gary Allen, a member of the John Birch Society and speechwriter for segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace. He wrote a book called None Dare Call It Conspiracy, popular during the 1972 Nixon presidential campaign, about how Eisenhower was a secret communist who hated America, and blah blah blah new world order. (Chavez and MLK also obviously evil.)
Jones read it as a teenager, after a family move and some encounters with a criminal police department. He’s credited it multiple times with opening his eyes.
I’m pretty sure Gary Allen would love Trump.
Coincidentally, Allen’s real son, Mike, is a mainstream political journalist; he co-founced AXIOS, and used to be the head political writer for Politico. He’s said he never read anything by his dad.
In other words, Infowars, AXIOS, and Politico are all fake media controlled by Trump, a secret communist trying to destroy America. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. (And it’s untrue. But it sure is fun and easy to connect things to other things.)