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January 9, 2013 4

CNN Gives Platform to Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones

On Mon­day, CNN aired a prime­time inter­view with con­spir­acy the­o­rist Alex Jones on Piers Mor­gan Tonight. Jones’s appear­ance might have been an eye-opening expe­ri­ence for those unfa­mil­iar with what extrem­ists are say­ing, but to the extent that the inter­view allowed him to pro­mote both his views and his media out­lets to hun­dreds of thou­sands of new view­ers, it was quite troubling.

In his ini­tial intro­duc­tion of Jones, the host, Piers Mor­gan, only iden­ti­fied him as the host of “The Alex Jones Show” and also “one of the peo­ple behind” the peti­tion call­ing for Mor­gan to be deported for his views on the sec­ond amendment.

Jones uses his radio show and his web­sites, Infowars and Prison Planet, to pro­mote a host of right-wing and anti-government con­spir­acy theories.

For exam­ple, in a 2011 inter­view with Rolling Stone, Jones com­mented on the shoot­ing of for­mer Con­gress­woman Gabrielle Gif­fords (D-AZ), stat­ing “The whole thing stinks to high heaven. This kid Lough­ner dis­ap­peared for days at a time before the shoot­ing? My gut tells me this was a staged mind-control oper­a­tion. The gov­ern­ment employs geo­met­ric psychological-warfare experts that know exactly how to indi­rectly manip­u­late unsta­ble peo­ple through the media. They implanted the idea in his head by repeat­edly ask­ing, ‘Is Gif­fords in danger?’”

A descrip­tion on Jones’s web­site Infowars for his film “911 The Road To Tyranny” describes how the film exam­ines “Bill Clinton’s involve­ment in the Okla­homa City bomb­ing and how it was car­ried out by intel­li­gence agen­cies to be blamed on the right-wing.  Accord­ing to the descrip­tion, the film also addresses “how the FBI ordered their infor­mants to cook the bomb and train the dri­vers in the first World Trade Cen­ter attack in 1993.”

Jones’s con­spir­acy the­o­ries, while eas­ily dis­missed as ludi­crous, can influ­ence peo­ple to take action. In August 2009, a man pleaded guilty to send­ing a threat­en­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion after he wrote a mes­sage on Infowars threat­en­ing to kill a San Fran­cisco police offi­cer and his fam­ily after read­ing a dis­cus­sion about a sub­way shoot­ing by a police offi­cer in Oak­land, California.

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