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Timothy Johnson

Author ››› Timothy Johnson
  • Twitter’s half measures against Alex Jones don’t make much sense unless he’s getting special treatment

    While Jack Dorsey was saying Alex Jones might learn from his Twitter limitation, Jones was using Twitter to push conspiracy theories about Robert Mueller

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Hours after being banned from tweeting for a week, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was conducting a live broadcast from an alternate Twitter account where he doubled down on a previous claim that special counsel Robert Mueller oversees people raping children.

    During the evening of August 14, Twitter took action against Jones’ primary account, @RealAlexJones, after the account sent a tweet that linked to a video on Periscope in which Jones called on his supporters to get their “battle rifles” ready:

    While many major news outlets are reporting that Twitter’s action is a “suspension,” BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac notes that it is better described as an account “limitation” because a suspension would mean taking the account offline. Under the terms of the action, @RealAlexJones was forced to delete the tweet linking to the Periscope video in order to start the countdown on a seven-day period in which the account is prohibited from tweeting.

    Earlier on August 14, Media Matters had drawn attention to the Periscope video, in which Jones told supporters that they may need to use guns against the mainstream media, antifa, “Chicom operatives,” and other enemies. In the video, Jones told his listeners to take action before the media carried out a “false flag” attack:

    The impact of Twitter’s action on Jones’ long-term ability to use the website as a platform for his often violent and hate-filled conspiratorial rhetoric appears to be minimal.

    While the offending Periscope video was deleted at the time Twitter took action, Jones continued to stream from the platform (which is owned by Twitter) throughout the evening of August 14. According to Mac, shortly after Jones was suspended from Twitter, his Periscope broadcast was featured on the website’s homepage under the hashtag #News.

    As of August 15, visitors to Jones’ Periscope account are greeted with the message “Sorry, this page doesn’t exist!” Reached for comment, a Twitter spokesperson told Media Matters that Jones’ Periscope account “has limited functionality” and that the limitations placed on Jones’ Twitter account had been extended to the streaming platform, meaning that he will be able to stream again in a week. The spokesperson also said that the action taken does not represent a suspension.

    But before Jones’ Periscope page was locked down, he used the platform to conduct a live broadcast on his @Infowars Twitter account, which was not affected by the action Twitter took against his @RealAlexJones account.

    During the 9:45 a.m. August 15 broadcast, Jones referenced an infamous July 23 incident in which he pantomimed shooting Mueller and claimed that the former FBI director “controls” people raping children. In his August 15 Twitter livestream, Jones doubled down, saying, “I said he knows it's going on, he watches them rape the children, and he uses it then for blackmail” and, “He watches -- they’ve got hidden cameras in those things, it’s what they frickin’ do,” while tenuously attempting to connect Mueller to reports of widespread abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania:

    That video is now temporarily inaccessible on Periscope. According to BuzzFeed, the @Infowars Twitter account has also been placed on a seven-day restriction.

    Jones’ wrist slap from Twitter makes it hard to draw any conclusion other than that he is receiving special treatment. Earlier this month, after Jones was banned from YouTube, Facebook, and other major online platforms, Twitter’s vice president released a statement claiming that Jones had not violated Twitter rules as he had on the platforms that banned him. CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy, however, found more than a dozen examples of content on the platform that appeared to violate the rules. Following Darcy’s reporting, Jones deleted the tweets and Twitter said the content did in fact violate the rules -- but that because the tweets were deleted, no action would be taken.

    This evening, NBC Nightly News will air an interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in response to the controversy. According to an excerpt published by NBC, Dorsey told Lester Holt, “Any suspension, whether it be a permanent one or a temporary one, makes someone think about their actions and behaviors.”

    Given Jones’ history, that view represents extreme naiveté or willful ignorance at best.

  • After Facebook, YouTube, and others ban him, Alex Jones directs supporters to Tumblr

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    After being banned by Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms and websites for violating community guidelines, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is now using Tumblr to promote his Infowars outlet.

    Infowars drew attention to the Tumblr account on Twitter -- one of the only other major platforms Jones has not been banned from -- with a tweet that said, “They can take our Facebook, Apple, Spotify, Tunein, Youtube, Stitcher, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, Sprout, MailChimp & Disqus but they'll never take our...........Tumblr!”:

    The tweet linked to Jones’ Tumblr page. The page made its first post in 2012, but it has posted only sporadically over the past six years. On August 13, the account began repeatedly posting content after being dormant for over a year.

    Jones is using his Tumblr account to encourage readers to watch his show on Periscope and to download the Infowars app:

    Other posts link to material on Jones’ Infowars.com website.

    Media Matters has asked Tumblr for a comment on Jones’ use of its platform and will update this post if we receive a response.

  • Sean Hannity turned over his radio show to Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow to undermine the Mueller probe

    Giuliani: "Even conspiracy is not a crime"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Fox News host Sean Hannity allowed Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow to guest host the entire broadcast of Hannity’s radio show on August 10. The duo, who both work as personal lawyers for President Donald Trump, devoted substantial time to lobbing wild attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s "hoax" investigation into Trump and his campaign.

    Sekulow and Giuliani are regular guests on both Hannity’s Fox News show and his radio show, where they assist Hannity in pushing pro-Trump propaganda.

    Despite the ongoing prolonged back-and-forth between Trump’s legal team and Mueller about whether Trump will allow himself to be interviewed by Mueller’s team -- and the fact that Trump himself has called for Mueller’s investigation to be summarily ended -- Giuliani and Sekulow argued on Hannity’s show that the White House has given “unprecedented cooperation” to Mueller’s investigation.

    Giuliani also advanced his false claim that allowing Mueller to question Trump about his decision to fire former FBI director James Comey would be an impermissible “perjury trap.”

    As Jonathan Chait explained at New York magazine, a perjury trap “describes when prosecutors lure a witness into giving false testimony, usually for reasons other than covering up a crime, knowing they can prove the claim was false, and then nail them for perjury. … Asking Trump about his attempt to manipulate his FBI director is not a perjury trap. The question is not extraneous to a crime, it is a crime.”

    During the show, Giuliani also channeled Trump in denigrating the investigation as “illegitimate,” a “witch hunt,” and a “hoax.”

    Perhaps the most absurd moment occurred when Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett joined the show’s third hour. During a discussion where Jarrett, Sekulow, and Giuliani claimed that collusion cannot be a crime as a matter of law (they are wrong), Giuliani said, “Even conspiracy is not a crime. It’s got to be a conspiracy to commit a crime,” to which Jarrett responded, “Right, we conspire every day to have lunch, or breakfast, or whatever, that’s not a crime.”

  • Periscope is still hosting video where Alex Jones pantomimed shooting Robert Mueller

    Jones also said Mueller had let people rape children in front of him

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Periscope, a video streaming service owned by Twitter, continues to host a video in which conspiracy theorist Alex Jones pantomimes shooting special counsel Robert Mueller while alleging Mueller is involved in covering up pedophilia.

    During his July 23 broadcast, Jones held his finger like a pistol while ranting about Mueller, claiming, in part, “That's a demon I will take down, or I'll die trying” and telling the special counsel, “It's not a joke. It's not a game. It's the real world. Politically. You're going to get it, or I'm going to die trying, bitch. Get ready.” Jones also said Mueller had let people rape children in front of him:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): That's the thing, is like, once it's [special counsel Robert] Mueller, everyone's so scared of Mueller, they'd let Mueller rape kids in front of people, which he did. I mean, Mueller covered up for a decade for [Jeffrey] Epstein kidnapping kids, flying them on sex planes, some kids as young as seven years old reportedly, with big perverts raping them to frame people. I mean, Mueller is a monster, man. God, imagine -- he's even above the pedophiles, though. The word is he doesn't have sex with kids, he just controls it all. Can you imagine being a monster like that? God.

    People say, "Well, God, aren't you scared of him?" I'm scared of not manning up. I'm constantly in fear that I'm not being a real man, and I'm not doing what it takes, and I'm not telling the truth. And so, call it whatever you want, I look at that guy, and he's a sack of crap. That's a demon I will take down, or I'll die trying. So that's it. It's going to happen, we're going to walk out in the square, politically, at high noon, and he's going to find out whether he makes a move man, make the move first, and then it's going to happen. It's not a joke. It's not a game. It's the real world. Politically. You're going to get it, or I'm going to die trying, bitch. Get ready. We're going to bang heads. We're going to bang heads.

    In recent days, several broadcasting platforms including YouTube, Apple’s iTunes, and Facebook have banned Jones for violating their content policies. Twitter and Periscope, however, have not taken action against Jones.

    According to Vox, Jones’ Mueller rant “set off a round of debate in recent weeks about whether Infowars should be granted carte blanche on big social media outlets” and Facebook’s statement on its ban of Jones “almost certainly is in response.” The Mueller video was also one of five videos pulled by Apple before the company decided to delete Jones’ entire iTunes library.

    The video is, however, still viewable on Jones’ Periscope page, and Jones' tweet with the video is still live on Twitter as well. Periscope’s community guidelines prohibit content that “directly or indirectly threatens or encourages any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people.”

  • AZ Senate candidate Joe Arpaio comes to Alex Jones’ defense

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is running as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, told his campaign to “stand up” for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after several social media companies banned Jones from their platforms.

    Dustin Stockton, a senior Arpaio strategist, wrote on Twitter that Arpaio has directed the campaign to look into purchasing advertising on Jones’ Infowars outlet “to help provide resources as they fight for free speech”:

    In July 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court over his refusal to comply with a court order that said he could no longer direct the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to engage in racially discriminatory practices against Latinos. He faced up to six months in jail, but he received a pardon from President Donald Trump before he was sentenced.

    Shortly before the pardon was officially announced in August 2017, Arpaio appeared on Jones’ show and credited Infowars with bringing his case to Trump’s attention, saying, “I want to thank you, Alex, and your staff, Jerry Corsi, Roger Stone, for bringing this story out and reaching the president. I supported him from, what, two years ago at the same forum that he did yesterday and I’m with him and I’m with him to the end.”

    Jones hosted Arpaio again in January and called on his listeners to donate to and volunteer for Arpaio’s campaign while pushing a conspiracy theory that “illegals” will try to steal the election from Arpaio.

    Arpaio is facing U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward in a primary contest later this month to determine the Republican nominee for an election to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. In addition to Jones, Arpaio’s right-wing media allies include Frederick Smith, a senior executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group.

    Update: Arpaio also sent an August 6 email to supporters that asked for campaign contributions so he can purchase advertising with Jones. He wrote, in part: "I've instructed my campaign to reach out to Jones and purchase some advertising. ... If you donate now, you'll be supporting both Sheriff Arpaio and free speech."

  • Alex Jones says Infowars platform bans are first step in globalist plot to carry out violent false flag attacks against CNN and MSNBC

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Hours after YouTube banned him, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones repeatedly claimed that globalists and the media will orchestrate mass casualty attacks at CNN and MSNBC which will then be blamed on Jones and President Donald Trump.

    This irresponsible and unfounded claim gives anyone who wants to carry out violence against members of the media a preconceived cover for their actions.

    Over the last two days Jones and his Infowars outlet have been banned from YouTube and Facebook for violating content policies while Apple and Spotify have removed some of Jones’ content from their platforms, citing similar reasons.

    Jones made the “false flag” claims while guest hosting the August 6 edition of Infowars program War Room. At the top of the show, Jones said “false flag” attacks would be staged against CNN and MSNBC in order to cause civil unrest, or even a civil war, and that the motivation behind the Infowars platform bans is that “they don’t want me on air on big viral platforms so that I can respond when they do it”:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): But here’s the big issue: They are coming for you, they are now going to launch their operations, they are going to launch their civil unrest, they are going to launch their calls for civil war, which they’re now doing, they’re going to launch their events. And then they’re going to persecute Infowars, lie about Infowars, build us up as this villain, keep hyping that I’m going to send people to people’s houses to shoot people. I’ve been saying for years, and I never said it, but for years I’ve been saying, “No, don’t go out and self-investigate stuff with firearms,” because they’re going to set you up, they’re going to set somebody else up. But they’re gearing it all up to stage the false flags against MSNBC, CNN, you name it. To stage false flags against universities, to stage false flags against antifa, to make the villains the good guys and they don’t want me on air on big viral platforms so that I can respond when they do it. So they’re strangling us and absolutely banning us 100 percent ahead of staging massive events as we’ve been predicting into the late summer, early fall to create so much civil unrest they can implement the 25th Amendment and stampede enough cowards inside.

    Later in the show, Jones said that “the next step in their censorship plan” would be that “they’re going to stage false flag terror attacks, they’re going to stage events against the media.” Jones said that the media itself would be involved in plotting the attacks, claiming, “They’re going to say that Trump criticizing their lies is going to cause the violence and they’re going to directly, though, pin the probably mass shooting and bombing attacks on Infowars”:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): What’s the next step in their censorship plan? Well, I can tell you. They’re going to stage false flag terror attacks, they’re going to stage events against the media. And we told you this was coming. They’re going to say that Trump criticizing their lies is going to cause the violence and they’re going to directly, though, pin the probably mass shooting and bombing attacks on Infowars. Now, I’d already been getting this chatter. I could see CNN and others hyping it up that I’m going to cause violence, that Trump’s going to cause violence. I could see [CNN’s] Brian Stelter yesterday -- and let’s make sure we have that clip for the next segment where plays the segment off C-SPAN and says, “Oh, everybody’s coming to try to get me,” whole thing sounds staged -- this is all they have left now is to say our speech is bad and that we have to be taken down.

    Jones later compared himself to a victim of the Holocaust, claiming, “They always censor someone like the Jews in the Nazi Germany or the Quakers in Nazi Germany before they absolutely rob them and then kill them.” He went on to say that false flag attacks will target CNN, MSNBC, Google, and Facebook and that the perpetrator -- on orders from their globalist superiors -- will “say they did it for internet freedom and sell the idea that see Trump was wrong, Alex [Jones] was wrong, we do have to censor, it’s their fault.” Jones also sold the false flag attacks as an attempt to cause Trump-backed candidates to lose their 2018 midterm election races:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): That’s what’s critical here is that they always censor someone like the Jews in the Nazi Germany or the Quakers in Nazi Germany before they absolutely rob them and then kill them. So people are pissed; they see what’s happening. And the intel I got was they’re going to build this to build anger at CNN, MSNBC, Google, Facebook, they’re going to pick a campus, or some side group, or some live event and they’re going to have people they’ve wound up they’re protecting attack it. They’re going to then say they did it for internet freedom and sell the idea that see Trump was wrong, Alex [Jones] was wrong, we do have to censor, it’s their fault. And they’ve got their folks then ready to activate as soon as that happens to go shoot up the next congressional baseball game. So it’s happening, they’re moving, they’re not going to let Trump win the midterms.

    On August 5, shortly before his YouTube account was deactivated, Jones posted a video where he claimed that a recent death threat made against CNN’s Brian Stelter and Don Lemon on C-SPAN was a “false flag.”

  • Alex Jones: Phone call with threat to shoot CNN’s Brian Stelter and Don Lemon is a false flag

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones called a death threat against CNN’s Brian Stelter and Don Lemon that was phoned into C-SPAN a “false flag” during a video posted on August 5 to Jones’ YouTube channel. The video was one of the last posts uploaded to Jones' channel before YouTube terminated his account on August 6.

    On August 3, a person identified as “Don from State College, PA,” called into C-SPAN to falsely claim that Stelter and Lemon had called all Trump supporters racist. The man ended his call by saying, “They started the war. If I see ’em, I’m going to shoot ’em. Bye.” Stelter covered the threat on his show Reliable Sources on August 5.

    Jones reacted to Stelter’s coverage by calling the death threat a “false flag” and “phony as a three-dollar bill.” According to Jones, the call “sound[ed] completely fake” and was part of a plot to “hype everything up and get it ready for civil war.” Jones also called Stelter a “little monster hunchback” and “ugly twisted lying filth”:

    Jones has used his YouTube channel to heap abuse upon Stelter in recent months, including posting videos (since removed when his account was terminated) with the titles “Brian Stelter And Michael Wolff Are The True Faces Of Evil,” “Alex Jones Challenges CNN's Brian Stelter To Fight For $1,000,000!,” and “Internet on Fire Comparing Subway Spokesmen Jared Fogle With Brian Stelter.” (Fogle is serving a 15-year prison sentence for possessing child pornography and having sex with minors.) During a January broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones went on a bizarre rant where he claimed Stelter “runs your kids, he runs the schools, he runs the banks” and drinks children's blood. During the rant, Jones addressed Stelter: “You will pay. Yeah, you don’t think I see your face, scum? You don’t think I don’t see you, Stelter? I see you, you understand me?”

    On the evening of August 5, it was reported that Apple had banned Jones from its iTunes platform for violations of its content policies. Facebook followed suit on August 6, removing the four primary pages where Jones shared content. Last month, YouTube deleted four videos Jones posted and banned him from livestreaming for three months because of content violations. On August 6, YouTube removed Jones' channel from its platform.

  • Sacha Baron Cohen exposes how deep gun extremism runs in America

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    During the inaugural episode of his Showtime series Who Is America? comedian Sacha Baron Cohen got gun activists and sitting members of Congress to endorse a hypothetical program to arm preschoolers to ward off school shootings.

    While one might imagine Cohen would have had to interview fringe and obscure activists to secure endorsements for such a program, which he said would arm children as young as 3, the two gun group leaders interviewed both wield significant influence over how gun laws are shaped in the United States.

    Posing as an Israeli anti-terror expert, Cohen conducted sit-down interviews in which he touted his program with Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) president Philip Van Cleave, Gun Owners of America (GOA) executive director emeritus Larry Pratt, and several members of Congress.

    During his interview, Van Cleave called gun training for children as young as 3 “a good idea” and mused that children could be “very effective soldiers” because they haven’t developed a “conscience, where you feel guilty about doing something wrong.” He also bragged that his group killed a bill in the Virginia legislature that would have restricted access to guns for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Van Cleave also agreed to film promotional materials for Cohen’s program; in the video, he is shown handling a number of guns disguised as stuffed animals that would be given to children.

    Similarly, Pratt said that it was a “great” idea to “arm certain gifted children” and suggested that a “good toddler” could stop a bad guy with a gun. He also laughed uproariously after Cohen said “it’s not rape if it’s your wife” in telling a fictitious story where he was shot by his wife after getting “horny in the middle of the night” and after Cohen told a fictitious story about a Muslim man being mistaken for a terrorist and shot while praying.

    Like Van Cleave, Pratt filmed promotional material for Cohen’s program in which he read from a script that said, “Toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by fake news or homosexuality. They don’t worry if it’s politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman -- they’ll just do it.”

    Prior to their appearances on Cohen’s program, neither Pratt nor Van Cleave were strangers to extremist rhetoric. Pratt, who was forced out of Pat Buchanan’s 1996 presidential campaign after his ties to white supremacists were revealed, has repeatedly said that politicians should fear being shot by GOA members if they endorse stronger gun laws. During a 2013 CNN appearance, Pratt expressed support for having guns in kindergartens, presumably in the hands of school staff. For its part, VCDL promoted an article in a 2011 newsletter that described in explicit detail how to use a gun to ward off an attack by “urban thugs” armed with pangas -- a type of African machete.

    Despite these fringe views, both Van Cleave and Pratt are prominent lobbyists against stronger gun laws. The Associated Press calls VCDL one of Virginia’s “most influential gun rights groups.” VCDL tracks the dozens of gun laws introduced each year and on its 2018 tracker claims 75 legislative victories on gun bills. For years, VCDL has staged rallies outside of the Virginia legislature at the start of each session. During the events, armed VCDL supporters (guns are allowed inside the state house) lobby against proposals to strengthen gun laws and in favor of proposals to weaken gun laws. (After a disappointing 2014 lobby day, VCDL suggested in its newsletter that if the group didn’t get its way on gun laws, violence would be a legitimate option.)

    GOA is closely associated with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. During a 2015 GOP primary debate, Cruz said that he was “honored” to be endorsed by the group. During a call with GOA supporters earlier that year, Cruz said, “GOA endorsed me early on when I ran for the Senate and played a critical part in helping get me elected and sending me from the state of Texas to represent 27 million Texans.” Following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the National Rifle Association was reportedly willing to allow a modest expansion of background checks on gun sales to pass the Senate, but the group changed its position after GOA was successful in spreading the false narrative that the law would create a federal gun registry.

  • Don’t believe anything NRATV says

    The National Rifle Association's media outlet sent a pro-censorship message on social media and then went ballistic when people called it pro-censorship

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s media operation, caused a stir on Twitter Thursday afternoon after sending a tweet that read, “It's time to put an end to this glorification of carnage in pursuit of ratings because it's killing our kids. It's time for Congress to step up and pass legislation putting common sense limitations on #MSM's ability to report on these school shootings."

    The tweet immediately generated outrage, which is understandable given that it appeared NRATV was promoting the notion that Congress ought to limit how the press can report on gun violence. NRATV, however, had taken itself out of context. The tweet was promoting a video narrated by NRATV host Colion Noir that ultimately concluded that such action by Congress would be wrong.

    Viewers could be forgiven for not sitting through the four-minute video given its painfully bad logic. It essentially equated Congress passing a law to limit how the press could cover shootings to Congress passing a law that regulates gun ownership. This is of course nonsensical given that rights protected by the Constitution are regulated in different ways, something that Noir, a law school graduate, should know.

    Prohibiting the press from reporting on shootings would constitute prior restraint, which would violate the First Amendment. Regulations on firearms, however, are typically permissible under the Second Amendment.

    The 2008 landmark Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller found that the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding individuals to have a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. The ruling means that total gun bans are unconstitutional. However, many other regulations are permissible. As Heller’s majority opinion, written by conservative Antonin Scalia, stated, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

    Federal courts have repeatedly upheld laws banning assault weapons, for example. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “courts across the country have rejected the overwhelming majority of Second Amendment challenges initiated since Heller,” finding that myriad regulations comport with the Second Amendment right.

    This is all unimportant to NRATV, which crowed about the controversy and was clearly pleased with the result of its dishonest ploy. Noir wrote on Twitter, “I hate to humble brag but My recent  video just exposed how our mainstream media refuses to watch a 4min video in its entirety before reporting on it and pushing their agenda.” Apparently without irony -- given that NRATV took itself out of context -- NRATV’s Twitter account promoted a tweet from The Washington Times that read, “NRATV host Colion Noir enraged critics on Thursday who were eager to use an out-of-context tweet on de facto media control as a serious argument.” During the May 25 broadcast of NRATV, host Grant Stinchfield said of the media, “We here at NRATV set a trap, and they got caught,” adding that it "borderlines on criminality when it comes to the way they abuse the First Amendment."

    Promoting obviously false information is a tactic at NRATV, which has fabricated congressional testimony during its broadcasts to attack its political opponents and even once quoted a satire article published by the NRA’s magazine that was clearly labeled “fiction” as if it were serious in order to encourage people to vote for Donald Trump on Election Day.

    Chillingly, NRATV has actually supported anti-First Amendment measures as part of its pro-Trump efforts, particularly when it comes to the freedom of the press and the right to assemble. While branding itself as a news source, NRATV clearly does not act in good faith and should be thought of less as a legitimate journalism operation than as a propaganda outlet.

  • Alex Jones dons a clown mask and makes anti-gay comments while ranting about Rep. Eric Swalwell

    Jones punched a computer screen displaying Swalwell’s face during 27-minute tirade

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Alex Jones repeatedly called Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) “Eric Swallowwell” and punched a computer screen displaying Swalwell's face after he became angry that the Democratic congressman had argued for stronger gun laws during a Fox News appearance.

    Jones displayed bizarre behavior (even for him) throughout the 27-minute video posted to his YouTube channel, including donning a clown mask, repeatedly analogizing restricting firearms following mass shootings to the prospect of all men being forced to remove their penises if one man commits rape, and telling a fellow Infowars host, “If you don’t chop your balls off and put them in a jar, you’re a rapist.” (Jones said in the video that he was not intoxicated.)

    With gun policy in the news again following another school rampage, Swalwell appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on May 21, where he argued for restrictions on assault weapons and other restrictions on firearms.

    Jones’ YouTube channel posted his response video the evening of May 22, after Jones’ normal broadcast, with the description “Alex Jones lays out the truth and hypocrisy behind Democrat Eric Swallowwell and his gun confiscation agenda.” Jones has also previously depicted men as gay to disparage them, regardless of their sexual orientation.

    While wearing a clown mask and affecting an accent, Jones repeatedly called Swalwell “Swallowwell” and made nonsensical claims about gun regulation:

    During his rant, Jones walked up to a computer displaying Swalwell’s face and said “look at this little” before punching the computer, apparently breaking it:

    He also entered the Infowars studio where War Room host Owen Shroyer was working, confronting Shroyer with comments about removing his penis and testicles:

    Toward the end of the video, Jones encouraged his supporters to target Swalwell with homophobic harassment on social media, saying, “I think everybody should start tweeting hashtag 'swallowswell' on this video.” Jones routinely uses social media platforms to push anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

    Jones' anti-gay commentary is also often mixed with violent rhetoric. In April 2017, Jones said that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “looks like the archetypal cocksucker” and is a “fairy” before threatening to beat Schiff’s “goddamn ass.”