Eric Hananoki

Author ››› Eric Hananoki
  • Alex Jones on supposed upcoming interview with "hot woman" Megyn Kelly: "Should I put her over my knee?"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON & ERIC HANANOKI

    Alex Jones’ website Infowars is promoting a video that says he will participate in an interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly this week. Kelly, formerly of Fox News, is now the host of NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. The show premiered June 4.

    Jones, the host of The Alex Jones Show, has been discussing his purported interactions with Kelly and her producers for several weeks on his daily program, often while making lewd comments about Kelly, including saying he should “oil wrestle” with her. Jones has also claimed that Kelly assured him he would “like” the interview and that it wouldn’t be a “hit piece,” but Jones thinks she was misleading him just to secure the on-camera talk.

    Politico media reporter Hadas Gold reported that NBC declined to comment on whether the interview will take place. Jones said on the June 5 broadcast of his show that Kelly will interview him Tuesday evening.

    Jones’ sexist comments aside, if the interview does happen, it will give Kelly an opportunity to attempt to hold Jones accountable for the many toxic conspiracy theories he has pushed -- and the violent language and anti-LGBT slurs he often uses when attacking his opponents.

    Will Kelly hold Jones accountable for his past claims?

    In one conversation about the supposed Kelly interview, Jones’ Infowars cohort Roger Stone advised Jones to do the interview because it could afford him an opportunity to “break through to the mainstream.” Given Kelly's prominent new role on NBC News, there are countless issues she can press Jones on to make sure the audience doesn’t come away with the impression he is anything other than a toxic conspiracy theorist.

    Jones has claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, was a “giant hoax,” saying that “the whole thing was fake.” He has claimed that that the shooting was “completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured,” adding, “I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids. And it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors.” He has also mocked the grief of the victims’ families and smeared the parents as actors who “do the hyperventilating to cry to go on TV.”

    The families of the Sandy Hook tragedy have criticized Jones for his horrific remarks and spoken about “the hateful fictions that he spews.”

    For years, Jones has claimed that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” by the federal government and that Osama bin Laden was “a CIA asset” and “a CIA hireling doing his job” for the government.

    Jones has also pushed conspiracy theories about other tragedies. He alleged the Oklahoma City bombing was a “staged event” by “criminals in Washington” to get sympathy to pass President Clinton’s policy agenda. He claimed mass shootings in Aurora, CO; Columbine, CO; Tucson, AZ; San Bernardino, CA; and Orlando, FL, were “false flag” events. And Jones said the Boston Marathon bombing was “staged” and the bombers were “recruited by globalist intelligence agencies and set up horribly.”

    Jones has also repeatedly bragged about his communications with President Donald Trump both before and after his election. And Trump has repeatedly pushed ideas and rhetoric that have been tied back to Jones. 

    He has also launched sexist and anti-LGBTQ attacks, and used violent rhetoric against his perceived adversaries. Jones said in late March that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “looks like the archetypal cocksucker” and a “fairy” and then said to him about any claims that Jones is colluding with the Russians: “You get in my face with that I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch. You piece of shit. ... Fill your hand.” He later claimed that his threat was just an “art performance.”

    Jones previewed his interview with Kelly by making lewd comments about her

    On his show, Jones has repeatedly discussed the possibility of participating in an interview with Kelly.

    He first raised the possibility during his May 15 broadcast. Jones said that Kelly called him and promised him he would “like” the outcome of the interview, but he also expressed skepticism that the interview was a setup:

    ALEX JONES: She’s a really smart lady, a good-looking lady. And she’s sitting there going, "You’re number one on my list. Alex, I’m kind of obsessed with you." Oh I’m sorry -- this is off record. "Alex, I’ve got to have this interview, Alex." And, "We’re going to do this interview, Alex, and it’s going to happen, and it’s going to be good, and you’re going to like it, and I pledge to you it’s going to be real, and I’m going to let you talk and this isn’t a hit piece, Alex.” And I’m going to stop right there because the rest is off record. But I was just like even though I knew I was being sold by the greatest used car salesman on earth, I thought P.T. Barnum had been reincarnated right in front of me. I wanted just the experience of her coming to Austin.

    Moments later in the broadcast, Jones made sexual comments about Kelly. He first said, Kelly “thinks I’m a Texas hillbilly and that a hot woman telling me how much she wants to interview me and how she’s obsessed with me will get me to talk to her. And even though I know it was BS, it still worked, so I’m going to be doing the interview.”

    He then repeatedly asked Stone whether he should “put her over my knee,” later adding he was talking about “putting her over my knee politically,” and said, “Can we put [the late model] Betty Page on screen please, putting a girl over her knee?” He said that those comments were “trolling” because “I can’t help it. I can say anything I want and it’s all over the news the next day.”

    Jones again made lewd comments about Kelly during his May 31 broadcast, saying, “Megyn Kelly’s coming next week. I want Kathy Griffin, me, and Megyn Kelly to oil wrestle next week on air.” Seconds later he said, “I’m just challenging Megyn Kelly and Kathy Griffin to a boxing match -- I’ll take both of them on,” explaining that he was trying to allude to comedian Andy Kaufman, who wrestled women.

  • Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson can’t get anything right

    Watson's fans include Donald Trump Jr. and the Trump administration

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson has no credibility. The longtime Alex Jones collaborator has frequently fallen for hoaxes, posted transparently false information, and pushed fringe conspiracy theories about 9/11 and mass shootings.

    Infowars and Watson have become a favorite source for President Donald Trump and his fans. The president and his aides have referred to Watson’s work during the campaign, and Jones claimed senior aides have said they “really want” Watson to be part of the White House press corps.

    Watson is an Infowars editor and writer who has been working for conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones since October 2002. He has emerged as his own brand, regularly posting videos to his own YouTube channel. His videos carry headlines like “Why Are Feminists Fat & Ugly?”; “Hillary's Weird Behavior: The Cover-Up”; “F**k Beyoncé"; and “The Deep State War on Trump.”

    He’s also a prolific presence on social media, where he regularly pushes false information and misogyny. Watson has tweeted that the Women's March on Washington would be composed of a “handful of self-entitled, fat, ugly feminists trying to get arrested in desperate attempt to impress any man”; “a feminist is a woman who hates men because she is ugly on the inside and out and no one wants to be around her”; “strident feminists are almost always joyless cunts who are not fun to be around. This is a scientific fact”; and the “stereotype of most feminists being fat, ugly and obnoxious is completely accurate.”

    Watson also rails against purported political correctness and “social justice warriors.” He complained in a June 2 Reddit Ask Me Anything discussion that liberals are anti-science because they won’t accept that African and Middle Eastern people are more aggressive because they have lower IQs, adding: “You can’t deny that there are differences between races when it comes to IQ.” He also said that there’s a “war on men and masculinity” and that popular culture glorifies “being a pussy” and having depression, which Watson falsely alleges is not a real medical condition. And Watson has claimed that “there’s no such thing as moderate Islam. Islam is a violent, intolerant religion which, in its current form, has no place in liberal western democracies.”

    Watson is a conspiracy theorist who has woven tales about the United States government's involvement in tragedies such as 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Virginia Tech shooting. He has also fallen for numerous hoaxes, including fake stories about President Obama grabbing Melania Trump’s butt, President Trump generously allowing a black woman to live in Trump Tower for free for eight years, and a “damaging new Trump tape.”

    Trump and his aides have helped mainstream Watson, Jones, and Infowars, which is aiming to get permanent White House press credentials. Trump has twice retweeted Watson’s account (Watson responded to one retweet by writing that he “can now retire”). Donald Trump Jr. loves retweeting Watson’s account and has done so nearly 40 times since October 2016, according to the Trump Twitter Archive database. Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone, Eric Trump, and White House director of social media Dan Scavino Jr. have also retweeted Watson or promoted his work.

    Jones said during a February 22 Reddit Ask Me Anything that he’s “talked to some of the senior Trump people” and they have told him, “‘Hey, we like you, but we really want Paul Watson’” as the Infowars White House correspondent. Jones added that Watson has declined to move to D.C.

    Here are 22 times Watson has pushed false stories and/or fact-free conspiracy theories:

    Watson fell for hoax that "CNN/BuzzFeed" would leak “damaging new Trump tape” before inauguration

    Watson helped start false claim that Trump “almost certainly” won popular vote due to votes “cast by illegal aliens”

    Watson posted fake photos claiming CNN made Fort Lauderdale airport shooter appear white

    Watson fell for fake story that Common Core curriculum taught 6th graders “how to use strap-on dildos”

    Watson posted -- then deleted -- story claiming WikiLeaks “bombshell” revealed that Clinton said she “hates everyday Americans”

    Watson fell for photoshopped picture of Obama supposedly grabbing Melania Trump’s butt

    Watson published false story that Obama executive order “mandate[s] the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of ‘respiratory illness’”

    Watson published 2011 story claiming “sources” say “bin Laden’s corpse has been on ice for nearly a decade”

    Watson’s Wash. Post-Seth Rich conspiracy theory fell apart

    Watson fell for fake story that trump allowed “homeless black woman” to live in Trump Tower rent free “for eight years”

    Watson falsely claims that depression is a fake condition

    Watson falsely claimed Obama adviser advocated “forced abortions” and “mass sterilization programs” through water supply

    Watson repeatedly connected Chicago attack with Black Lives Matter (police said it wasn’t connected)

    Watson falsely claims Obama’s birth certificate is “fraudulent”

    Watson falsely reported that “Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest”

    Watson conspiracy theory: “U.S. establishment” “trained, funded and allowed” 9/11 hijackers into country

    Watson conspiracy theory: WTC 7 collapse “was a controlled demolition”

    Watson conspiracy theory: Virginia Tech mass shooting might have been “another government black-op”

    Watson conspiracy theory: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh carried out attack under the direction of the FBI

    Watson conspiracy theory: Fort Hood mass shooting appears “perfectly staged”

    Watson conspiracy theory: Norwegian shooter “a patsy?”

    Watson conspiracy theory: British government behind 7/7 London bombings

    Watson fell for hoax that "CNN/BuzzFeed" would leak “damaging new Trump Tape” before inauguration

    Watson: “CNN/BuzzFeed to release damaging new Trump Tape 48 hours before inauguration.” Watson reported that a “source claiming to work for NBC has contacted Infowars to warn of a CNN/Buzzfeed plot to release a damaging video tape of Donald Trump just 48 hours before he is inaugurated as president.” [Infowars, 1/16/17, via Internet Archive]

    Watson was tricked by man who wanted to see how gullible he is. BuzzFeed reported that a man named Markus Muir said he tricked Watson into publishing the story. He explained: “It was only two direct messages and I thought he might ask for more confirmation. I went to bed, forgot about it, then I checked his feed on the train to work and it was just him saying there was huge news about to come out. I couldn’t believe it. It was a cut-and-paste job of what I said to him and it was all bullshit -- I made it all up.” He added that his idea came to him after seeing a CNN discussion on fake news. Infowars later took down Watson’s story. [BuzzFeed, 1/18/17]

    Watson helped start false claim that Trump “almost certainly” won popular vote due to votes “cast by illegal aliens”

    Watson: “Trump may have won popular vote.” Watson posted an Infowars piece claiming that “three million votes in the U.S. presidential election were cast by illegal aliens, according to Greg Phillips of the VoteFraud.org organization,” and as a result Trump “almost certainly won the popular vote.” [Infowars, 11/14/16]

    Reality: The claim that millions of “illegal” votes swung the popular vote is a baseless conspiracy. Numerous fact checkers noted that the “three million” “illegal” votes claim is false. PolitiFact wrote that the claim was given oxygen by Infowars, and it is “inaccurate” and “false.” It added that “studies have consistently shown that voter fraud is nowhere near common enough to call into question millions and millions of votes. Indeed, the ability to carry off such a far-reaching conspiracy -- potentially involving millions of people over the course of several months and without being noticed by election administration officials, many of them in states controlled by Republicans -- is ridiculously illogical.” [PolitiFact, 11/18/16, 11/28/16]

    Watson posted fake photos claiming CNN made Fort Lauderdale airport shooter appear white

    Watson tweet: “Why is CNN attempting to make the shooter look more white? bizarre.” After Esteban Santiago was arrested for the deadly January 2017 shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, Watson tweeted:

    [Twitter, 1/6/17, via archive.is]

    Watson’s photo was fake. As The Daily Beast noted, “In reality, CNN had yet to air a picture of Santiago, let alone lightened a picture of him. The conspiracy also used a picture of an entirely different man named Esteban Santiago -- not the alleged shooter. … A real image of the shooter circulated on the internet hours later, confirming that he is not the 39-year-old Santiago showed in Watson’s tweet and Gateway Pundit’s article.” Watson later deleted his tweet. [The Daily Beast, 1/6/17]

    Watson fell for fake story that Common Core curriculum taught 6th graders “how to use strap-on dildos”

    Infowars story: “6th graders taught how to use strap-on dildo.” Watson wrote in a September 2014 story that “shocking images out of a classroom in Jacksonville, Florida illustrate how 11-12 year olds in 6th grade are being taught how to use strap-on dildos amidst a debate about sexual content finding its way into other Common Core subjects, material which has been attacked by some as pornographic.” [Infowars, 9/15/14, via archive.is; Snopes.com, 1/18/14]

    Watson mistook “satire” article as real news. As The Washington Post noted, “a quick reverse image-search make it pretty clear that the images came from an LGBT event at a college in Canada … and that the story itself originated on Modern Woman Digest, a bad ‘satire,’ i.e. fake-news, site.” Infowars has since taken down the story. [The Washington Post9/19/14]

    Watson posted -- then deleted -- story claiming WikiLeaks “bombshell” revealed that Clinton said she “hates everyday Americans”

    Infowars story: “WikiLeaks bombshell: Hillary Clinton ‘hates everyday Americans.’” Watson wrote an October 2016 piece headlined “Wikileaks Bombshell: Hillary Clinton ‘Hates Everyday Americans.’” He began the story by claiming: “New Wikileaks emails released just moments ago include a shocking admission by Clinton campaign manager John Podesta that Hillary Clinton ‘has begun to hate everyday Americans’. The whistleblower organization dumped part 3 of its Podesta email release today and this has to be the most jaw-dropping revelation yet.” [Infowars, 10/11/16, via archive.is]

    Watson wildly misrepresented Clinton’s comment. As even conservatives acknowledged, Clinton did not say she hated “everyday Americans.” Rather, the email was relaying that Clinton hated the cliché phrase “everyday Americans” -- not people themselves. Infowars later deleted its story. [Media Matters, 10/11/16]

    Watson fell for photoshopped picture of Obama supposedly grabbing Melania Trump’s butt

    Watson tweeted out photo of Obama grabbing Melania Trump’s butt. Watson tweeted out the following photo after President Trump’s January 20 inauguration:

    [Twitter, 1/22/17]

    The image was photoshopped. As BuzzFeed noted, the supposed Obama-Melania Trump image is “a very badly Photoshopped image” and “so bad that you can literally still see some of Obama’s original arm in the photo.” Watson later claimed it was just a “joke.” [BuzzFeed, 1/24/17; Twitter, 1/23/17]

    Watson published false story that Obama executive order “mandate[s] the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of ‘respiratory illness’”

    Watson: Obama order allows “him to mandate the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of ‘respiratory illness.’” Watson wrote in 2014: “As the Ebola outbreak continues to cause concern, President Barack Obama has signed an amendment to an executive order that would allow him to mandate the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of ‘respiratory illness.’” [Infowars, 8/1/14]

    PolitiFact: Order did “not mandate the apprehension and detention of people who show signs of ‘respiratory illness.’” PolitiFact wrote that Infowars’ supposed reporting is “a fundamental misreading of the executive order Obama signed and the power the federal government has. The updates Obama made to a 2003 executive order do not mandate the apprehension and detention of people who show signs of ‘respiratory illness,’ has nothing to do with the current Ebola crisis and only affect people entering the country or crossing state lines. We rate the claim Pants on Fire.” [PolitiFact, 8/6/14]

    Watson published 2011 story claiming “sources” say “bin Laden’s corpse has been on ice for nearly a decade”

    Watson: “Inside Sources: Bin Laden’s corpse has been on ice for nearly a decade.” Watson reported on May 2, 2011, that contrary to the announced death of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader had actually been dead for years and the government was merely waiting for “the most politically expedient time” to announce it, according to “sources”:

    A multitude of different inside sources both publicly and privately, including one individual who personally worked with Bin Laden at one time, told us directly that Osama’s dead corpse has been on ice for nearly a decade and that his “death” would only be announced at the most politically expedient time.

    That time has now come with a years-old fake picture being presented as the only evidence of his alleged killing yesterday, while Bin Laden’s body has been hastily dumped into the sea to prevent anyone from finding out when he actually died. [Infowars, 5/2/11]

    There’s no evidence bin Laden’s body was frozen for years. Al Qaeda confirmed that bin Laden had died in the 2011 raid. [The Associated Press, 5/6/11]

    Watson’s Wash. Post-Seth Rich conspiracy theory fell apart

    Watson suggested Wash. Post released breaking story “to distract from Seth Rich bombshell.” Watson suggested on May 6 that The Washington Post “published its dubious story on President Trump leaking classified information to the Russians less than an hour after the bombshell news broke that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was in contact with Wikileaks and that DC Police were ordered to cover it up. The coincidental timing has led many Trump supporters to accuse the Post of publishing their story in an attempt to distract the rest of the media from focusing on the massive new revelations in the Seth Rich case.” [Infowars, 5/16/17]

    The Post story went up before supposed “Seth Rich bombshell.” As Post reporter Dave Weigel noted, the Post story went up before the Fox 5 story was published. (The Fox 5 story has since been disproven and the main source for the story has backtracked.) [Twitter, 5/16/17; Media Matters, 5/16/17, 5/17/17]

    Watson fell for fake story that Trump allowed “homeless black woman” to live in Trump Tower rent free “for eight years”

    Watson: “A homeless black woman reveals that she has been living in Trump Tower for eight years with the blessings of the Donald himself.” Watson posted a story with the headline “Black Homeless Woman Says Trump Allowed Her To Live In Trump Tower Rent Free For 8 Years.” He began by writing that a “homeless black woman reveals that she has been living in Trump Tower for eight years with the blessings of the Donald himself” and “this doesn’t quite fit with the media’s portrayal of Trump as a rich, racist bigot.”

    [Infowars, 12/8/16]

    Trump Hotels spokesperson said the story is not true. BuzzFeed reported in response to Infowars that the story is not true, according to Trump Hotels:

    A woman’s claims in a now-viral video that she has lived in Trump Tower rent-free for up to nine years with the blessing of President-elect Donald Trump himself is not true, a Trump Hotels spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Friday.

    “There is no validity to the video,” said Jennifer Rodstrom, a spokeswoman for Trump Hotels, who answered a BuzzFeed News request sent to a transition team spokeswoman. “The woman depicted is not our guest.”

    The video, which first appeared to be posted on YouTube in July, gained traction on Thursday after it was published on InfoWars, a right-wing conspiracy outlet, and celebrated by Trump supporters who said it contradicts criticism that Trump is a bigot.

    The InfoWars link was shared more than 28,000 times on Facebook.

    Infowars later added an editor’s note stating that the story was “unconfirmed,” but was worth reporting “given Trump’s long and documented history of helping those in need.” [BuzzFeed, 12/9/16; Infowars, 12/8/16; Internet Archive, accessed 6/5/17]

    Watson falsely claims that depression is a fake condition

    Watson: Depression shouldn’t be a “medical condition.” Watson posted a January 2017 video attacking people who have depression, complaining that “being weak-minded and emotionally incontinent” has “become a positive personality trait.” Watson concluded that people who have depression have been “misled” because depression is “temporary” and the pharmaceutical industry just wants to “control people” and make money off of them:

    PAUL JOSEPH WATSON: Why is everyone so depressed now when we've got it so much easier? It's because you've been completely misled about what depression actually is. Depression is nothing more than dissatisfaction with life. It's temporary unhappiness, but the dominant culture in the pharmaceutical industry figured out that it could control people and make tons of money by treating depression as a pathological disease. So now depression is not unhappiness but a medical condition which it’s the responsibility of the doctor to alleviate by medical means. And they're only too happy to, often being paid to do so under the insane justification that depression is a chemical imbalance -- which it isn't. [Infowars, 1/4/17; YouTube, 1/4/17]

    Medical professionals: Depression is real. The American Psychiatric Association notes that depression “is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” The organization notes that “several factors can play a role in depression” and that “differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.” [American Psychiatric Association, accessed 6/5/17]

    Watson falsely claimed Obama adviser advocated “forced abortions” and “mass sterilization programs” through water supply

    Watson: Obama adviser advocated “totalitarian measures of population control, including forced abortions, mass sterilization programs conducted via the food and water supply.” Watson wrote of former Obama science adviser John P. Holdren in 2009:

    President Obama’s top science and technology advisor John P. Holdren co-authored a 1977 book in which he advocated the formation of a “planetary regime” that would use a “global police force” to enforce totalitarian measures of population control, including forced abortions, mass sterilization programs conducted via the food and water supply, as well as mandatory bodily implants that would prevent couples from having children.

    The concepts outlined in Holdren’s 1977 book Ecoscience, which he co-authored with close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, were so shocking that a February 2009 Front Page Magazine story on the subject was largely dismissed as being outlandish because people couldn’t bring themselves to believe that it could be true. [Infowars, 7/11/09]

    PolitiFact: Claim is “pants on fire” false. PolitiFact wrote that many conservatives, including Glenn Beck, were quoting from Holdren’s book “out of context” and concluded he was not advocating those positions:

    But with regard to Beck's claim that Holdren "has proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population," the text of the book clearly does not support that. We think a thorough reading shows that these were ideas presented as approaches that had been discussed. They were not posed as suggestions or proposals. In fact, the authors make clear that they did not support coercive means of population control. Certainly, nowhere in the book do the authors advocate for forced abortions.

    Some have argued that Holdren's view of the imminent and grave global dangers posed by overpopulation should provide pause, given Holdren's current view that global warming now presents imminent and grave global dangers. That's a matter for reasoned debate.

    But in seeking to score points for a political argument, Beck seriously mischaracterizes Holdren's positions. Holdren didn't advocate those ideas then. And, when asked at a Senate confirmation hearing, Holdren said he did not support them now. We think it's irresponsible to pluck a few lines from a 1,000-page, 30-year-old textbook, and then present them out of context to dismiss Holdren's long and distinguished career. And we rate Beck's claim Pants on Fire! [PolitiFact, 7/29/09]

    Watson repeatedly connected Chicago attack with Black Lives Matter (police said it wasn’t connected)

    Watson was among the first to tie Chicago kidnapping and attack with BLM. On January 4, four black people were arrested after they live-streamed a kidnapping and attack of a white man with special needs in Chicago. Watson repeatedly claimed that the attack was connected to Black Lives Matter, tweeting among other things: “#BLMKidnapping is the hashtag to get this story trending” and “the BLM torture victim was held for 24-48 hours. #BLMKidnapping.” [Media Matters, 1/5/17; Twitter, 1/5/17]

    CNN: “Chicago police say they see no connection between the suspects and the Black Lives Matter activist group.” CNN reported following the attack that “Chicago police say they see no connection between the suspects and the Black Lives Matter activist group, contrary to some reports on social media” and noted that Watson was an early promoter of the connection:

    Chicago police say they see no connection between the suspects and the Black Lives Matter activist group, contrary to some reports on social media.

    Yet in less than 24 hours, the hashtag #BLMKidnapping was mentioned more than 480,000 times on Twitter and became one of the top five Twitter trends across the country Thursday.

    Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large of the website "Infowars," was among the first to tie the attack to Black Lives Matter, a social justice movement that protests violence and racism against African-Americans. "Infowars" is known for promoting conspiracy theories, saying the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a government hoax and claiming the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by the US government. [CNN.com, 1/5/17]

    Watson falsely claims Obama’s birth certificate is “fraudulent”

    Watson: “National security threat: Obama’s birth certificate proven fraudulent.” Watson wrote a July 2012 piece concluding that “Obama’s birth certificate betrays innumerable instances clearly indicating that the document has been tampered with in an effort to manufacture the myth that Obama was born in the United States. The manifestly logical conclusion that he was not creates an urgent national security threat and represents one of the biggest cover-ups in U.S. political history.” [Infowars, 7/18/12]

    Former President Obama’s birth certificate is not fake. Obama’s birth certificate is authentic and he was born in the United States. [PolitiFact, 7/1/09; FactCheck.org, 4/27/11]

    Watson falsely reported that “Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest”

    Infowars suggested “Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest.” Watson wrote in August 2012: “It’s not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest. Social security welfare is estimated to keep around 40 per cent of senior citizens out of poverty. Should the tap run dry in the aftermath of an economic collapse which the Federal Reserve has already told top banks to prepare for, domestic disorder could ensue if people are refused their benefits.” [Infowars, 8/15/12]

    AP debunked Infowars’ claim. The Associated Press wrote at the time that the administration isn’t building up arms “to defend against unruly senior citizens”:

    The clamor became such a distraction for the agency that it dedicated a website to explaining the purchase. The explanation, it turns out, isn't as tantalizing as an arms buildup to defend against unruly senior citizens.

    The bullets are for Social Security's office of inspector general, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes, said Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency's assistant IG for external relations.

    The agents carry guns and make arrests — 589 last year, Lasher said. They execute search warrants and respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees and customers. [The Associated Press, 9/4/12

    Watson conspiracy theory: “U.S. establishment” “trained, funded and allowed” 9/11 hijackers into country

    Watson: 9/11 “was an inside job.” Watson wrote in his 2003 book Order out of Chaos: Elite Sponsored Terrorism & The New World Order that he can prove 9/11 "was an inside job,” writing:

    Initially we will document the overwhelming amount of evidence indicating that the US knew the attacks were about to take place. The question of why the attacks took place despite the fact that they could have been prevented runs parallel throughout this extended section of the book.

    It is important to note that the official story of 9/ 11 can be dismantled from two or more different angles. If we are to believe that nineteen suicide hijackers carried out the attacks on behalf of Al-Qaeda then it can be proven that these men were trained, funded and allowed into the country by the U.S. establishment. They were tracked and traced and their intentions were well known by the authorities, many months and even years before that fateful day. I will present the evidence to verify these claims in this chapter. In the following chapter I will switch to the second and more cutting edge angle of research, namely that the Al-Qaeda plot was merely a smokescreen to shadow who really carried out the attacks and what methods were used.

    […]

    One of the biggest smoking guns to indicate that the terrorist attack was an inside job is the CIA’s direct connection with the hijackers via Pakistan ISI Director General Mahmoud Ahmad. General Mahmoud Ahmad instructed Ahmad Umar Sheikh to hotwire $ 100,000 to the 9/ 11 lead hijacker, Mohammad Atta. On September 11th, Ahmad was a guest of former clandestine CIA officer and CFR member Rep. Porter Goss and Skull and Bones/ CFR member Senator Bob Graham. Since September 4th, he had met with top brass at the CIA, the Pentagon and the White House, including Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, Joseph Biden and George Tenet.

    Condoleezza Rice lied in a May 16th 2002 press conference when she claimed ignorance of Ahmad's visit and the $ 100,000 transfer. Ahmad had already resigned from the ISI and the FBI had confirmed the circumstances behind this. Rice stated, "I have not seen that report, and he was certainly not meeting with me."

    What was the money man behind the terrorists doing in the halls of the US government before, during and after 9/ 11? This is just one example of the firm alliance running through the CIA, which in turn controls the ISI, which in turn controls Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. [Paul Joseph Watson, Order out of Chaos: Elite Sponsored Terrorism & The New World Order, 2003, via Kindle]

    Watson conspiracy theory: WTC 7 collapse “was a controlled demolition”

    Watson: “Building 7 was a controlled demolition.” Watson concluded in an October 13, 2010, article that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 was actually a “controlled demolition”:

    How much more evidence do we need to conclude that Building 7 – which was not hit by a plane and suffered limited fires across just a handful of floors – could not have simply crumbled into its own footprint within seven seconds without the aid of additional explosives?

    Of course, if authorities were ever forced to admit that WTC 7 was deliberately demolished it would then tarnish the credibility of the entire 9/11 official story, which is why NIST has engaged in an obvious cover-up to firstly withhold and then edit some of the footage in an attempt to hide the self-evident fact that Building 7 was a controlled demolition. [Infowars, 10/13/10]

    Watson conspiracy theory: Virginia Tech mass shooting might have been “another government black-op”

    Watson: Purported ties between shooter and CIA are “arousing increased suspicion.” Watson wrote an April 2007 article arguing that Seung-Hui Cho, who perpetrated the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, “was a mind-controlled assassin, whether you believe he was under the influence of outside parties or not.” He wrote of the shooter’s alleged connections to the CIA:

    Questions about the sequence of events on Monday, VA Tech, as well as the profile of the killer are arousing increased suspicion.

    We have been receiving numerous calls and e mails alerting us to the fact that VA Tech is pulling links from its website concerning their relationship with the CIA. Reports from November 2005 confirm that the CIA was active in operating recruitment programs based out of VA Tech. Several professors from VA Tech are involved in government programs linked with NASA and other agencies.

    Wikipedia also pulled a bizarre recently taken photograph of Cho wearing a U.S. Marines uniform.

    Such details only fan the flames of accusations that Cho could have been a Manchurian Candidate, a mind-controlled assassin.

    The CIA's program to create mind-controlled assassins that could be triggered by code words, MK ULTRA, is not a conspiracy theory, it's a historical fact documented by declassified government files and Senate hearings. President Bill Clinton himself had to apologize for the program before he left office. [Prison Planet, 4/19/07]

    Watson: “This could very well be another government black-op.” Watson wrote of the shooting:

    Early details about the horrific school shooting at Virginia Tech strongly indicate that these events represent a Columbine-style black-op that will be exploited in the coming days to push for mass gun control and further turning our schools into prisons.

    Eyewitness Matt Kazee told the Alex Jones Show that it was a full two to three hours after the shootings began that loudspeakers installed around the campus were used to warn students to stay indoors and that a shooter was on the loose.

    Quite how the killer was afforded so much time before any action was taken to stop him is baffling, especially considering the fact that the campus, according to Kazee, was crawling with police before the event happened due to numerous bomb threats that had been phoned in last week.

    […]

    The details that are beginning to emerge fill the criteria that this could very well be another government black-op that will be used as justification for more gun control and turning our schools into prisons, festooned with armed guards, surveillance cameras and biometric scanning to gain entry. [Prison Planet, 4/16/07]

    Watson conspiracy theory: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh carried out attack under the direction of the FBI

    Watson: “A plethora of evidence” shows FBI directed McVeigh to bomb federal building. Watson wrote in 2010 of the Oklahoma City bombing:

    In reality, as anyone who has done five minutes research into the OKC bombing will understand, the official story crumbles on the merest hint of casual examination.

    While the media, the SPLC, the ADL and similar organizations are happy to play the Timothy McVeigh card over and over again, they are less enthusiastic to mention the fact that McVeigh planned his deadly assault on the Alfred P. Murrah building under the intimate direction of a high-level FBI official, according to McVeigh’s co-conspirator Terry Nichols, a claim voluminously backed up by a plethora of evidence that has been presented in court on several occasions. [Infowars, 4/19/10]

    Watson conspiracy theory: Fort Hood mass shooting appears “perfectly staged”

    Watson: “Everything about Nidal Malik Hasan screams ‘patsy.’” Watson wrote that Nidal Malik Hasan, who was convicted of the fatal 2009 Fort Hood mass shooting, appears to be a “patsy” and the shooting was “staged”:

    The Empire strikes back – right when when public support for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan sinks to all time lows, an anti-war Islamic extremist with links to suicide bombers goes on a shooting rampage at a U.S. army base, reinvigorating support for the war on terror and demonizing opposition to it as anti-American extremism. The scam would be believable if it wasn’t so perfectly staged.

    Without getting into convoluted conspiracy theories about mind control and whatever else, not that they aren’t without merit, the facts we already know about Hasan and his behavior prior to the deadly shootings just screams out “patsy” and “set-up” and almost exactly mirrors other terror scams the Empire has run in the past.

    Just like the would-be liquid bombers that were supposedly planning on bringing down multiple airliners in August 2006, who were caught on CCTV buying bulk supplies of cake in the very hours before the plot, Hasan’s pre-shooting behavior contradicts completely the idea that he was preparing for a deadly rampage.

    […]

    When the dust settles on yesterday’s tragic events at Fort Hood it may indeed turn out to be the case that Nidal Malik Hasan was a lone nut seeking to exact revenge for what he saw as perpetual war crimes being carried out against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. If that is the case, it doesn’t make such crimes acceptable nor does it mean all people who oppose the war on terror are likely to go on a shooting rampage.

    However, from all the evidence that has emerged thus far, and in comparing it with other terror scams in the past where patsies have been deliberately groomed and set up to be the fall guys for false flag attacks, everything we know about yesterday’s events suggests that there is infinitely more to the story of Nidal Malik Hasan than meets the eye. [Prison Planet, 11/6/09]

    Watson conspiracy theory: Norwegian shooter “a patsy?”

    Watson: “Anders Behring Breivik: Manufacturing a patsy?” Watson has suggested that Anders Behring Breivik, who was convicted of murdering 77 people in a Norwegian mass shooting, was “a patsy.” He wrote a July 2011 article headlined “Anders Behring Breivik: Manufacturing a Patsy?” which claimed that “Breivik’s character of an enraged psychopath intent on butchering as many people as possible in the name of his cause is also contradicted by people who knew him personally” and concluded:

    A plethora of other questions continue to circulate surrounding Breivik and his motives. Why did this supposedly anti-Muslim crusader slaughter dozens of white Norwegian teenagers? Why didn’t he target a mosque? Why did this supposed “Christian conservative” list a television series that glorifies vampirism (True Blood) as his favorite show? How did Breivik’s ties to freemasonry and his obsession with the Knights Templar play into his rampage? Why did Breivik lift entire portions of leftist Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto and incorporate them into his own screed?

    Just like the Oklahoma City bombing, which the case has been obsessively likened with, the evidence is starting to point to a wider plot, but concurrently there seems to be a deliberate effort to manufacture a profile of Breivik as a lone-nut psychopath who was influenced by racism, nationalism, Christianity, and a hatred for Europe’s predominantly neo-liberal elite, who coincidentally will reap the greatest political benefits from this tragic massacre. [Infowars, 7/25/11]

    Watson conspiracy theory: British government behind 7/7 London bombings

    Watson wrote an article claiming British government was behind London bombings. On July 7, 2005, as The New York Times noted, 52 civilians were killed and 700 people were wounded when “four suicide bombers linked to Al Qaeda detonated explosives on a London bus and on three subway trains in the attacks.” Watson wrote a 2005 article purporting to explain how the British government “staged the London bombing,” which included: “Hire four Arabs and tell them they're taking part in an important exercise to help defend London from terrorist attacks. Strap them with rucksacks filled with deadly explosives. Tell the Arabs the rucksacks are dummy explosives and wouldn't harm a fly.” [The New York Times, 7/7/15; Prison Planet, 7/13/05

  • Trump regime courting Michael Savage, fringe radio host who claimed autism, PTSD, and depression are fake

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Vice President Mike Pence and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt are appearing on Michael Savage’s radio program in the wake of criticism surrounding the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Savage is a climate change denier who has used his radio program to attack people with autism, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression, and has advocated for killing “100 million” Muslims.

    Savage has no credibility to talk about anything of substance, as Media Matters has documented. He’s called autism "a fraud” and “a racket"; said people with PTSD and depression are "losers"; advised people not to get flu shots because you can't trust the government; theorized that liberals have been driven insane because of seltzer bubbles; and claimed that the “asthma epidemic amongst minority children” is actually "a money racket" because “the children got extra welfare if they were disabled.” Like President Trump, Savage believes that manmade climate change is a “scam” and a hoax.

    He has also pushed numerous conspiracy theories and has advocated killing “100 million” Muslims. The radio host once worked for MSNBC but was fired when he told a critical caller to "get AIDS and die.”

    In 2008, he warned, “I fear that Obama will stir up a race war … in order to seize absolute power.”

    Savage also claimed that Obama “wants to infect the nation with Ebola” and the then-president was gearing up the government to “fight a war against white people.” Savage accused Obama of engaging in “genocide” against the white race during the last year of Obama’s presidency.

    Pence is scheduled to appear on Savage’s radio program The Savage Nation later today. He previously appeared on Savage’s program in early March and was urged by the radio host to limit immigration before the country turns into “a one-party state” like California. During that interview, Pence said that he knows how much Trump “appreciates and respects, and admires you and your voice in the national debate.”

    Pruitt appeared on Savage’s June 1 program, where they both praised Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris accord. During the interview, Savage falsely claimed that “much of the science today that’s being quoted” on climate change is “fake science.” Pruitt, a climate change denier, agreed with Savage by saying that the “American people deserve truth” and suggested there should be a debate about climate change science. Savage concluded the interview by thanking Pruitt for driving the debate “in the right direction.”

    Savage said in February that he “sat with the president for well over an hour, alone” at Mar-a-Lago” and related that he told Trump “the story about global warming” by pushing junk science about climate change. (Savage's wife, Janet, is a member of the club.)

    Trump has been a repeat guest on Savage’s program and told him (according to Savage) that “without you I wouldn’t be president.”

  • The Hill is a dumping ground for anti-net neutrality pieces backed by undisclosed telecom money

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI



    Dayanita Ramesh / Media Matters

    Writers backed by telecommunications money who are looking to attack current net neutrality rules have found an easy venue to place op-eds and hide their funding: the editorial page of The Hill.

    In 2015, the FCC enacted net neutrality rules that protect consumers by prohibiting “internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use.” In a gift to the telecom industry, Republican chairman Ajit Pai last month unveiled his plans to undo those open-internet rules.

    The telecom industry has heavily funded organizations that seek to turn public and lawmaker opinions against those Obama-era rules. The sector’s lead trade and lobbying groups include NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, CTIA, and Broadband for America.

    The Hill, a D.C.-based outlet that caters to Capitol Hill, has become a favorite dumping ground for telecom-backed opinion pieces that benefit their corporate funders. Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack told Media Matters in a May 26 email that “oped writers sign official forms that require them to disclose any such funding and/or conflict of interests.” After Media Matters sent him a list of op-eds that had undisclosed conflicts of interest, Cusack said the publication would look into the matter. A follow-up question on the status of that review has not been answered as of posting.

    Media Matters has documented other instances in which the media have failed to disclose conflicts of interest in the debate over net neutrality rules.

    Here are eight recent examples of The Hill running anti-net neutrality pieces without disclosing the telecom financing behind the writers. (Funding searches were conducted through the Center for Public Integrity's Nonprofit Network tool.) 

    Harold Ford Jr., honorary chairman of Broadband for America, wrote a May 24 opinion piece praising Pai for trying “to repeal burdensome public utility regulations.” Broadband for America is backed by telecommunications companies like AT&T and associations such as CTIA and NCTA. Ford’s limited liability company received $345,000 in consulting fees from Broadband for America in 2014, according to the group’s IRS 990 form.  

    Theodore Bolema and Michael Horney, who work for the Free State Foundation, wrote a May 15 opinion piece pushing for “light touch regulation of broadband.” The piece positively cited CTIA. Free State Foundation has received funding from NCTA and CTIA.

    Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, wrote a May 10 opinion piece headlined “American innovation is the winner as the FCC tackles net neutrality” that specifically praised telecom companies. Citizens Against Government Waste has received funds from NCTA.

    Paige Agostin, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, wrote a May 5 opinion piece praising Pai for issuing “a welcome response to an all-too-typical exercise in regulatory overreach.” Americans for Prosperity has received funds from NCTA.

    Thomas M. Lenard, a senior fellow and president emeritus at the Technology Policy Institute, wrote an April 28 opinion piece which praised Pai and defended internet service providers against concerns over content blocking. Lenard’s group states on its website that its supporters include AT&T, Charter, Comcast, and NCTA. The group has received funds from NCTA and CTIA, according to its 990 forms.

    Jonathon Paul Hauenschild, director of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Task Force on Communications & Technology, wrote an April 28 piece attacking the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules. ALEC has received funding from NCTA and CTIA.     

    Tom Giovanetti, president of the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), wrote an April 27 opinion piece praising Pai for helping to eliminate “harmful regulation." IPI has received funds from NCTA and MyWireless.org (now ACTwireless), which is a project of CTIA.

    Doug Brake, a senior telecommunications policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), wrote an April 27 opinion piece praising Pai for “moving in the right direction” with his net neutrality plans. The ITIF has received funding from NCTA and CTIA.

  • Another low for Roger Stone: Seth Rich’s “parents should be charged with obstruction”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Roger Stone, who has a long history of pushing smears and toxic rhetoric, is now calling for the parents of late Democratic staffer Seth Rich to be charged with obstructing the investigation into their son’s death.

    Stone is a longtime adviser and ally of President Donald Trump who regularly spouts violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric. He’s also a discredited researcher who has pushed fringe conspiracy theories about 9/11 and the Bush and Clinton families.

    Seth Rich was a staffer for the Democratic National Committee when he was shot and killed in July 2016 in Washington, D.C. His unsolved murder has prompted numerous conspiracy theories from conservative media figures such as Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, and Newt Gingrich. (Hannity’s smears have motivated advertisers to pull ads from his program.)

    Rich’s family has pleaded with conservative media to stop peddling “discredited conspiracy theories” about their son’s death and said the right-wing media’s rhetoric has "perpetuate[d] our nightmare."

    That matters little to Stone, who is now casting doubts on the parents’ motives and saying they “should be charged with obstruction.”

    Stone told the Miami New Times that Seth Rich’s “parents should be charged with obstruction":

    But Hannity isn't the only media force still pushing the almost certainly bogus Seth Rich-WikiLeaks claims. South Florida's Roger Stone continues to give the conspiracy theories heavy play through his show on InfoWars, his social media accounts, and on his own site, the Stone Zone. Doesn't he feel any need to back down given the rumors' widespread debunking and the Rich family's requests to stop?

    "Their right to privacy is important, but not as important as the public's right to the truth," Stone says in a text message to New Times. "Frankly, at this point, the parents should be charged with obstruction."

    He previously claimed in an error-riddled rant on his weekly radio program that the parents are engaging in “suspicious” behavior:

    You have a number of interesting factors here. First of all, there’s the change in the story of Seth Rich’s parents. Initially they themselves denied that this was a robbery. Now suddenly they’re being represented by a crisis communications consultant paid for by the Democratic National Committee. To say the least, that is suspicious.

    He also wrote on his website that “people who should want that truth revealed should be Mr. Rich’s loving parents themselves. Their lack of interest in this question only makes the events surrounding this investigation smell worse.”     

    Stone accused the Clintons of murdering Rich shortly after his death, tweeting: “Four more dead bodies in the Clinton's wake. Coincidence? I think not.”

  • Wash. Post didn’t disclose that writer who penned positive piece about Trump's Saudi trip is paid by Saudi government

    Why does the Post embarrass itself by publishing lobbyist Ed Rogers?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The Washington Post allowed contributor Ed Rogers to praise Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia without disclosing that he’s a lobbyist for the Saudi Royal Court. The Post has repeatedly allowed Rogers to promote his lobbying clients’ interests without disclosure.

    Rogers is the chairman of the BGR Group, a leading Washington, D.C., lobbying group. BGR is part of a vast network of American lobbying and public relations firms that work for the Saudi government. The Post itself has reported on Rogers’ role in promoting Saudi interests. An April 2016 article stated that Rogers “did not immediately return a request for comment” about his lobbying work for the Saudi government and that “Rogers is a contributor to the Washington Post’s PostPartisan blog.”

    Rogers and BGR signed an agreement letter with the Saudi Royal Court on August 24, 2015, to “provide public relations and media management services for The Center [for Studies and Media Affairs at The Saudi Royal Court], which includes both traditional and social media forums.” The contract is worth $500,000 per year.

    Rogers used his Washington Post space to write a May 16 piece praising Trump’s then-upcoming overseas trip as a “good idea” and an opportunity to “begin a reset even if relief is only temporary.” He added that “the American public responds positively to seeing their president meeting with world leaders, reassuring them of our leadership abroad, and coming to agreements on matters of global importance. Trump’s meetings in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican are opportune settings for this administration to make a bold statement to the world that the United States is stronger and more committed than ever to leading.”

    The Post column did not disclose that the Saudi government has paid Rogers and his company. The piece was syndicated to The Plain Dealer, Chicago Tribune, and The Kansas City Star, according to a Nexis search.

    Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt disputed Media Matters’ criticism in an email, stating: “The post was not about Saudi Arabia in any way but was a very general look at the political implications of foreign travel.” BGR Group did not reply to a request for comment. 

    Hiatt told Media Matters in April that if Rogers “lobbies for a specific client or specific issue and then writes about that specific client or issue, I think readers should be made aware, and I’m confident Ed agrees.” 

    Media Matters has documented numerous instances over the years in which the Post failed to properly disclose Rogers' clients when a piece aligned with their lobbying interests. These disclosure failures include topics such as the environment, military spending, and Wall Street

    This post has been updated with Hiatt’s comment.

  • Alex Jones’ website Infowars broadcasts from the White House press briefing room

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON & ERIC HANANOKI

    Conspiracy website Infowars’ Washington bureau chief, Jerome Corsi, conducted a live broadcast from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House, telling viewers that Infowars had obtained a temporary pass and was working to obtain permanent White House press credentials.

    Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones operates Infowars, a disreputable outlet that has pushed conspiracy theories about tragedies such as the 9/11 attacks, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Boston Marathon bombing, and Oklahoma City bombing. The site also posts false information in support of Trump, and it promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory. Jones has said that he communicates with President Donald Trump and offers him advice.

    The outlet hired Corsi in January. Corsi has made a living pushing false conspiracy theories, including the claim that former President Barack Obama has a fake birth certificate, which he was instrumental in spreading.

    During the livestream, Corsi discussed an embargoed budget document and then used an iPad to give viewers a tour of the nearly empty briefing room.

    Corsi said that Infowars does not yet have permanent press credentials but that he wanted to emphasize that the site had obtained a temporary pass and was able to physically broadcast from the White House.

    While giving the tour, Corsi added, “We’re here. I think that makes clear we’re going to get press credentials and we’ll do what we need to do to get here on a regular basis to get permanent press credentials.” He signed off by saying, “Let’s kind of end this now by just saying we’re here, we’re going to get more established as we go along, and I’m very, very pleased to have made this step today.”

    Earlier today, Corsi wrote on Twitter, “Jerome Corsi, Washington Bureau Chief, http://Infowars.com. We have WH PRESS CREDENTIALS. I'm in WH May 22, 2017”:

    An accompanying Infowars article said that the outlet delivered “an epic blow to the mainstream media’s control of the narrative” by gaining access to White House press briefings and that “Alex Jones may even attend some White House press briefings in person.”

    Earlier this month, Jones announced that Infowars had been granted a weekly press pass to the White House and was working “very hard” to get permanent credentials. In January, Jones claimed that his site had been offered a White House press credential. The White House press office denied the claim. Jones later claimed he meant that Infowars “can get them if we want them, guaranteed.”

    Infowars’ access means yet another dishonest, far-right entity is in the press room.

    Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) wrote on Twitter that Corsi’s presence in the White House made him want to “throw up” given Infowars’ ongoing role in promoting conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting:

  • Likely Vatican Ambassador Callista Gingrich's Company Hawked Biblical Cancer "Cure"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Callista Gingrich’s media production company sent sponsored emails claiming that “cancer was cured back in 1925” and such cures can be found in the Bible. Gingrich is reportedly set to become the United States’ ambassador to the Vatican.

    The New York Times and CNN are reporting that President Donald Trump will soon nominate Gingrich to be the United States ambassador to the Holy See. Gingrich is an author, columnist, and president of Gingrich Productions. She and her husband, Newtfounded the company to feature the couple’s media work and provide consulting services. Gingrich Productions also rents out its email list, which reportedly has 250,000 subscribers and was used by the Trump campaign during the election.

    Gingrich Productions sends numerous shady sponsored emails, including ones that claim that “cancer was cured back in 1925” and “the actual cure” for cancer can be found in the Bible -- and it can be unlocked by subscribing to a newsletter for $74 (or $37 if you’re over the age of 60). The emails are from Health Revelations and Health Sciences Institute (HSI), which are both owned by NewMarket Health, LLC, a subsidiary of Agora, Inc.

    For example: 

    • Gingrich Productions sent a February 2016 Health Revelations email claiming to have “the TRUTH” about preventing cancer and deadly tumors. The email linked to a pitch page claiming that “all cancers were actually cured back in 1925” but the government has been covering up the evidence. The email ultimately asked readers to subscribe to the Health Revelations newsletter, which costs up to $74 a year.
    • In October and December 2015, Gingrich Productions sent an email from Health Sciences Institute claiming that “researchers investigating” the Bible have “unlocked a connection to a stunning cancer-fighting power... a breakthrough so monumental, it's poised to make traditional cancer therapies obsolete... and save millions of lives.” HSI is a subscription newsletter, which costs up to $74 a year.
    • In 2013, Gingrich Productions sent an email from Health Revelations which also claimed that “cancer was cured back in 1925” and a “God-fearing American doctor … gives the actual cure.”

    Gingrich Productions’ emails carry the disclaimer that the message “reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial positions of Gingrich Productions.”

    HSI and Health Revelations have been heavily criticized for their shady business practices and marketing of scammy medical advice. The conservative movement has been heavily infected with scams. Similar cancer “cure” emails became an issue during the Republican presidential primary when then-candidate Mike Huckabee was criticized for sending out sponsored emails from Health Revelations.

    Gingrich Productions has also rented out its email list to other dubious entities, including a financial firm that was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in "deliberate fraud" and profiting from "false statements." Here are five emails previously documented by Media Matters:

    "New Scandal in the White House?" A cryptic July 11, 2013, Stansberry & Associates email claimed that there's a "big new scandal brewing in the White House" and "when this scandal is ultimately exposed, it's going to have major implications not only for [former President] Barack Obama, but also for our entire country." Gingrich Productions frequently sent out emails from Stansberry despite the fact that it’s a disgraced financial firm that was fined $1.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in "deliberate fraud" and profiting from "false statements." The company’s founder, Porter Stansberry complained in April 2013 that it is "fucking bullshit" that people get upset at him for using slurs like "nigger" and "fag" when he's "not the least bit bigoted."

    "The Illuminati [Secret Society] Puts a Deathgrip on America." A December 31, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claimed that the "Illuminati was behind every consequential wealth event of the past year" including bitcoin. The Illuminati is a frequent player in conspiracy theories.

    "Obama's 'Secret Mistress' Exposed." A December 12, 2013, email from Laissez Faire Club claimed that "President Obama has made painstaking efforts to keep his 'secret mistress' hidden from the American public, and he has succeeded brilliantly... until now."

    "Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Social Security Checks . . ." A September 12, 2013, Newsmax Media email claimed it has "stumbled upon this weird trick that can add $1,000 to monthly Social Security checks." (For more on this email claim, see here.)

    "Fort Knox is Empty (the Gold's Missing...)." An August 20, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claimed, "Whispers are swirling around Capitol Hill that Fort Knox is empty" and "the U.S. government has been shipping gold to nations like China (as collateral for a weak dollar)." 

  • Contradicting Trump, Roger Stone Claimed The President Spoke To Him Several Times In Recent Months

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    President Donald Trump and his longtime adviser Roger Stone have given contradictory accounts of whether they have recently talked. Both are under fire after Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey, who was heading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Russia’s potential collusion with the Trump campaign.

    Stone has had a relationship with Trump for roughly 40 years and worked as a paid consultant to his campaign in 2015. He now contributes to Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet and produces commentaries through his website and radio show. He recently began marketing “opportunities” for advertisers based on his access to the president.

    Politico and CNN have reported that Stone recently encouraged Trump to fire Comey. Media Matters documented that Stone had repeatedly attacked Comey and urged Trump to fire him in media appearances and on his Twitter account.

    Trump tweeted today that CNN was wrong because he has “not spoken to Roger in a long time - had nothing to do with my decision.”

    But Stone claimed in a May 5 appearance on SiriusXM Patriot’s The David Webb Show that he talked to Trump “less than a week ago” and after media appearances in March and April:  

    GUEST CO-HOST: When was the last time you talked to him?

    ROGER STONE: Been a little while now. I would say -- I don’t want to characterize it, but less than a week ago.

    GUEST CO-HOST: Good talk?

    STONE: From time to time. He’s easier to find on the weekends. He’s got more time on his hands. But I’m happy to say after I was on with George Stephanopoulos, he called. After I was on with Chuck Todd, he called. After the Netflix document trailer was released, he called.

    GUEST CO-HOST: What’d he say?

    STONE: Well, I mean, he was certainly pleased with those appearances because, of course, I was happy to defend Donald Trump.

    Stone appeared on George Stephanopoulos’ program on March 26 and on Chuck Todd’s program on April 13. The Stone trailer was released by Netflix on March 29.

    During an interview that aired on the March 28 edition of WNYC’s The Takeaway, Stone said: “I have not spoken to the president on the phone recently but I have heard from the president recently.” Stone also told the Daily Mail in a March 21 interview that “they had been in contact since the inauguration.”

    In late April, Stone told Jamie Weinstein that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones talks to the president “from time to time.” When Weinstein responded by pointing out that Stone characterizes his communications with Trump in a similar way, Stone said, “Right. And we’re smart enough not to characterize beyond that.”

    UPDATE: In an interview with WSVN (Miami, FL’s Fox affiliate) reporter Brian Entin, Stone said that Trump “certainly knows my views on Comey” but denied influencing his decision. He also refused to deny that he’s spoken to the president recently.

  • In Media And Online, Roger Stone Urged Trump To Fire Comey, Whose Agency Was Reportedly Investigating Stone

    Stone Has Called For Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro To Replace Comey

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Before President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone had repeatedly attacked Comey and urged Trump to fire him. Stone has reportedly been under FBI investigation since January regarding “possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump.”

    Stone has had a relationship with Trump for roughly 40 years and worked as a paid consultant to his campaign in 2015. He now contributes to Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet and produces commentaries through his website and radio show. He recently began marketing “opportunities” for advertisers based on his access to the president. Stone has claimed that he still communicates with Trump and sends him memos with “political thoughts.”  

    Politico reported that “Several Stone allies and friends said Stone, who has been frequently mentioned in the investigation, encouraged the president to fire Comey in conversations in recent weeks.” He tweeted this morning “Good Riddance” and claimed Comey gave Clinton “a pass” on her emails.

    CNN reported that a source said Stone “told Trump to fire Comey” while adding that that didn’t necessarily mean Stone’s opinion caused the decision. Trump tweeted, “The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false - Fake News. Have not spoken to Roger in a long time - had nothing to do with my decision.” Stone responded to Trump on Twitter: "With all due respect, I am not the source of CNN story and have made no such claim. I support the President's decision to fire Comey 100%." 

    Stone had repeatedly urged Trump to ax Comey prior to his firing yesterday and said Comey has no “public credibility.”

    While hosting Jones’ program on March 22, Stone claimed that Comey has repeatedly helped Clinton and said Comey “has no public credibility. They used him to blacken my name because you see when he says -- they ask a question about Roger Stone, ‘Is he under investigation?’ He says, ‘Well I couldn’t comment on that.’ You see, this is a Kabuki dance, it’s like a circus. That’s meant to hang in the air pregnantly implying yes. Let me say this: I fear nothing from an FBI investigation.”

    During a May 3 appearance on Jones’ program, Stone said that Fox News host Jeanine Pirro is “a great patriot” who “should be the FBI director in this administration.”

    While hosting the March 8 edition of The Alex Jones Show (with guest John Kiriakou), Stone said, “Comey has worn out his credibly. He has no more public credibility. It is time for Donald Trump to make Judge Jeanine Pirro the head of the FBI”:  

    ROGER STONE: How can you tell they’re lying at the CIA? Their lips are moving. I think that you are exactly right. The president, however, needs to clean house. You have an analogous situation at the FBI. Why he has allowed Mr. Comey, who covered up for the Clintons in the Sandy Berger affair, covered up for the Clintons in the Marc Rich affair, covered up for the Clintons in their initial illegal server controversy where incredibly he slices and dices all of the things Hillary did in violation of the law and then announces that she won’t be prosecuted. That in itself tells you that by Election Day, when he first on Thursday said he was reopening the investigation based on 650,000 additional new emails and then on Sunday night I believe it was, says “Well folks, we went through all 750 or 650, there’s nothing there." Mr. Comey has worn out his credibly. He has no more public credibility. It is time for Donald Trump to make Judge Jeanine Pirro the head of the FBI. She was a distinguished prosecutor with a reputation for integrity. And I guarantee you she is one tough lady, someone I have known for, jeez, I guess 30 years going back to her days as the Westchester County [New York] district attorney. She could clean up the agency, of that I have no doubt.

    During an April 29 broadcast of his Stone Cold Truth radio program, Stone accused Comey of committing a “perjurious lie” when he said Trump Tower wasn’t wiretapped.  

    He wrote on March 9 that Comey “must be held responsible” for his attempts “to destroy Donald Trump”:

    “The buck stops here” said our next-to-last anti-communist democratic President Harry S. Truman. Obama and his many minions, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey, must be held responsible for a naked attempt to utilize the federal investigative machinery and their well-oiled leak machine to destroy Donald Trump all on the basis of an entirely manufactured talking points from the Clinton campaign.

    On his Twitter account, Stone has called on Trump to fire Comey and claimed the former FBI director is “in the tank for the Clinton Crime family,” that he has “committed perjury” for stating that Trump Tower wasn’t bugged, and that he “belongs in prison with” Hillary Clinton.