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January 9, 2013

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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