On the May 8 edition of World News Tonight, ABC aired an interview with Infowars host Owen Shroyer from a news package that originally ran on network affiliate KVUE, with the chyron presenting the far-right conspiracy theorist as simply another anti-abortion “protester.”
During the clip that aired on World News Tonight, Shroyer held up an ultrasound image of a fetus and said, “I do believe in the right to life, and I believe that this right to life is being denied.” In the original KVUE segment covering a protest at the Texas state Capitol in support of abortion rights, Shroyer is identified as merely an attendee who “hopes Roe v. Wade is overturned,” ignoring his role at Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory outlet. (One day before Shroyer’s interview aired on ABC, Infowars published a more than 1-hour-long video that Shroyer filmed at the rally in Austin, wearing a mask of a crying baby as he confronted pro-choice advocates.)
ABC News has previously published multiple wire stories from The Associated Press identifying Shroyer as an Infowars host currently being prosecuted for his participation in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. He later said that former President Donald Trump and others on the right should be “proud” of what happened on January 6, while laying blame for what happened at the feet of Democrats and the FBI. Before the insurrection, Shroyer claimed that the country would “deserve” mass violence if Trump was not permitted to remain in office after the 2020 election.
At Infowars, Shroyer arguably pushes more conspiracy theories and calls for violence than even Jones. Shroyer said that former President Barack Obama “basically has a rope destined for his neck.” He also has suggested that Adolf Hitler is still alive; that the COVID-19 pandemic was a hoax orchestrated by the Chinese government; that London Mayor Sadiq Khan was linked to a series of 2018 bombings in Austin, Texas; that mass shootings may be committed by Democrats to raise support for gun violence legislation; that George Floyd’s murder was a hoax; that John Kerry disrupted a hurricane off the coast of Hawaii with a secret laser in Antarctica; and many, many more examples.
Notably, Shroyer was sued for falsely claiming that the father of a Sandy Hook mass shooting victim lied about observing a bullet hole in his son's head. The New York Times reported on the state of that case last fall.
Shroyer also has a history of anti-abortion misinformation, including claiming that Planned Parenthood is engaging in “human sacrifice.” He and Infowars mocked concerns about far-right anti-abortion violence by specifically targeting a Planned Parenthood clinic near the anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller:
On May 31, 2009, an anti-abortion extremist murdered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, who had been harassed and targeted by anti-choice groups and right-wing media for years. On May 31, 2018, Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer announced that he would be hosting and livestreaming a protest outside a Texas Planned Parenthood location.
During the May 31 segment of Genesis Communication Network’s The Alex Jones Show, Shroyer announced that Infowars would “launch a protest here in Austin at Planned Parenthood” the next day in response to his frustration that the NRA and Infowars were “being blamed for anytime there’s a shooting” while Planned Parenthood wasn’t blamed for being part of “a death cult.” Shroyer noted that in addition to organizing the protest, he would also be livestreaming the event to various channels. Toward the end of the segment, host Alex Jones and Shroyer started mocking the people they think will show up to the protest, calling them satanists and claiming they'll say things like “We are slaves, we are dying,” “I love abortion,” and “I want to kill kids.”
Back in reality, anti-abortion violence and harassment are both very real and very serious threats to those who publicly provide, write about, or even discuss abortion. Since 1993, 11 people have died as a result of anti-abortion violence, and numerous providers, patients, and their families have been injured; as recent data from the National Abortion Federation (NAF) demonstrates, this trend shows little sign of abating. NAF found that in 2017, “trespassing more than tripled, death threats/threats of harm nearly doubled, and incidents of obstruction rose from 580 in 2016 to more than 1,700 in 2017.” There was also a continued “increase in targeted hate mail/harassing phone calls, and clinic invasions,” as well as “the first attempted bombing in many years.”
It is no exaggeration that a small child would vet Shroyer more effectively than ABC News did.