Alex Jones' week of irresponsible Las Vegas shooting conspiracy theories

Alex Jones' week of irresponsible Las Vegas shooting conspiracy theories

Jones has recklessly accused a multitude of people and groups of being involved in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history

Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

Hours after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, America’s most famous conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, took to the airwaves to name the culprit as a “leftist” who was “angry about Trump” before connecting the shooting to the 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution -- and Jones was just getting started.

No credible reporting had said anything of the sort. But the falsehoods from Jones kept flowing as he spun increasingly convoluted and wide-ranging conspiracy theories out of his initial claims. In the three days following the shooting, Jones would make wild claims about the gunman, Stephen Paddock, including alternately claiming that Paddock was a left-wing extremist and that the mass killer was actually innocent, the victim of a setup. And he was reckless in ascribing blame, claiming the shooting was ordered by various groups including the Democratic Party.

To give his irresponsible -- and often contradictory -- conspiracy theories a sheen of credibility for his audience, Jones often cited anonymous, supposedly highly-placed sources in law enforcement, the military, and the government.  

For years, Jones has concocted conspiracy theories following tragedy. Other shootings he has claimed were false flags or hoaxes include the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the Aurora, CO, movie theater mass shooting, the Columbine High School attack, and the Pulse nightclub shooting. The narrative is always politically expedient for Jones: When Democrats are in power, the government often stages the attacks, and when they are not, outside leftist forces are usually responsible.  

There are real-world consequences to Jones’ conspiracy theories. The man who opened fire in December inside a Washington, D.C., restaurant that Jones’ website Infowars had claimed was involved in a child trafficking ring appears to have watched Infowars material in the days leading up to the shooting, according to court documents.

Families of Sandy Hook victims have said that Jones has spurred harassment against them, with angry callers telling parents their children didn’t actually die. Jones’ Las Vegas comments are primed to cause a similar phenomenon. Significantly, Jones is pushing conspiracy theories surrounding people with no involvement in the shooting, including the gunman’s brother and the owner of the Mandalay Bay Resort, the site from which the gunman carried out his attack.

Also significant is the fact that Jones apparently has the ability to get his information on the desk of President Donald Trump. The two men have a warm relationship, with Trump appearing on Jones’ show in December 2015 to praise Jones’ “amazing” reputation. Since then, Jones has claimed to be in regular communication with Trump and his inner circle. In one recent example of Jones’ influence, racist former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio credited Jones with bringing his case to Trump’s attention, ultimately leading Trump to issue Arpaio a pardon.

Below are Jones’ myriad conspiracy theories about the Las Vegas attack, made on The Alex Jones Show between October 2, the day following the shooting, and October 4:

THE GUNMAN

Jones has offered numerous contradictory claims about the gunman’s background, including that Paddock was a left-wing extremist who attended anti-Trump rallies, a patsy, “an Islamist,” and a spy who “got set up and double crossed.” Jones also claimed that there were multiple gunmen and in one scenario suggested that Paddock was “a patsy taken up there and killed,” allowing the real perpetrators to escape:

  • While credulously repeating ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the attack, Jones said that Paddock “was basically a leftist” who “was so angry about Trump and everything that was happening that he went out and carried out this attack.”

  • Jones weaved Paddock’s reported interest in gambling into his conspiracy theories, stating at one point that “this guy was an Islamicist (sic) or an Islamicist (sic) patsy being handled and set up to pay off gambling debts that were being paid out of the Middle East for him to carry out this attack or to at least be set up in the attack.”

  • Just before showing a graphic image purportedly of Paddock’s corpse, Jones said, “He could clearly be a patsy taken up there and killed; the folks that actually did it escaped.”

  • He also promoted the evidence-free theory that there were multiple gunmen. According to “Army and Navy SEAL contacts” whom Jones says he talked to, “it’s very clear at some points you’ve got multiple shooters going on.”

  • While playing video footage and stills supposedly from a past demonstration against Trump in Reno, NV, Jones fixated on a man in the crowd and said, “I’m sorry, that last video looks like [Paddock]. I’m sorry. Bone structure, the way he smiles, he looks like an idiot,” and, “If that isn’t him, that’s his brother.” Later while playing the same footage, Jones said, “You know it’s going to be antifa because it looks just like him getting in the cop's face on the video. And I mean, if it isn’t him, it’s his twin brother.” Jones made the claims even though one his own reporters previously said that the man shown in the video is “almost certainly” not the gunman.

  • Jones said that “the consensus around the office” is “that this guy’s a patsy and he was set up.”

  • Referencing Paddock’s past employment with Lockheed Martin, Jones said that Paddock “worked for clandestine-type groups” and could be a “spook.”

  • Riffing on his “patsy” theory, Jones said, “We also have all the telltale signs of a patsy: working for Lockheed Martin, connected to the Skunk Works, traveling all over the world, millions and millions of dollars that he couldn’t show for from shadowy investments, a wife or girlfriend married to two other men connected to Islamic groups, connected to antifa groups.”

  • Jones claimed that Paddock “was hooked into intelligence agencies” and “got set up and double crossed.”

THE MOTIVE

While authorities have not determined Paddock’s motive, Jones has made a laundry list of claims of who supposedly directed or was connected to the attack. People and groups he named include ISIS, supporters of the Bolshevik Revolution, “deep state Democrats,” former Vice President Al Gore, former high-level CIA officials, “the shadow government,” antifa, globalists, the Democratic Party, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Resort, and supporters of restrictions on guns:  

  • While most news outlets were skeptical of ISIS’ claim of responsibility, Jones promoted the terror group’s claim as fact, saying that Paddock “had converted to Islam.” He also stated, “Well now we see what appears to be the first Islamist attack on a conservative group or a conservative venue.”

  • Moments after first making the ISIS claim -- which he would repeat throughout the week -- Jones linked the shooting to the 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

  • Jones claimed that the attack “has the hallmarks of being scripted by deep state Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cut-outs.”

  • Ascribing a racist motive, Jones stated that the attack was part of a plot by the “left” to “mainly go out and kill white people.”

  • Jones connected the attack to former Vice President Al Gore and two former CIA officials, claiming, “Who was allied with ISIS and Al Qaeda during the entire last six years of the Arab Spring? Well, Al Gore called for an Arab Spring here in America. Al Gore, Phil Mudd, and many others also said -- like the former deputy director of the CIA Phil Mudd said, or like the former head of the CIA Mr. [John] Brennan said -- there will be terror attacks in America and they’re coming and Trump is going to be overthrown in the next two months.”

  • Claiming that all of his CIA sources believe “this is basically leaning towards a left-wing false flag attack,” Jones suggested it could have been “staged by the shadow government,” and added, “You think, well, logically if it’s hitting a group of patriots, then that would look bad on Obama and Hillary and the globalists, but that’s not how this works.”

  • Jones claimed that sources from the FBI’s hostage rescue team told him that “they found antifa information in the room and photos of the woman in the Middle East.”

  • Citing violence in Ukraine, Jones said the shooting fit within the “globalist” tactic of using mass shootings to overthrow governments.

  • Jones said that “the deep state Democratic Party wing is 100 percent behind this thing and they are just a murdering pack of scum.”

  • Referencing the large variety of weapons found in Paddock’s room, Jones suggested that the shooting was staged to ban those weapons, saying, “They’ve got every manufactured type you can imagine of semi-auto and of different conversions to be able to ban all of those. You can see the whole cut-out.”

  • Jones alleged on multiple occasions that the employees of Mandalay Bay Resort knew of Paddock’s plan. His theory posits that hotel staff must have known about the arsenal of weapons in Paddock’s hotel room because housekeeping staff do a “security sweep,” including rummaging through all of people’s belongings. Jones also seized on a letter MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren sent several weeks ago that offered to match donations employees made to several nonprofit organizations, claiming Murren “is saying give to the big Islamic group here in the U.S., CAIR, give to the Chinese government-connected group, give to the Southern Poverty Law Center, you name it, ADL, you name it. So this is a big leftist hotel, big leftist group. So -- I mean there’s no way to get 42 guns up in there and they don’t know.” Citing the same letter, Jones said, “You look at where this ends up happening -- in a hard-core Democratic Party company stronghold involved giving massive amounts of money to the very suspect groups who had their hands in [the Oklahoma City Bombing] and other events.” He also said, “We should look at the insurance of Mandalay Bay, just like 9/11.”

  • Referencing his oft-repeated claim that the left is attempting to start a civil war in the United States, Jones said, “This is a Democratic Party production -- I will say it. They did it. They’ve been calling for a civil war, they’ve been calling to kill conservatives, they want our guns, they’re completely obvious, and they’re just -- it’s incredible.”

  • Jones repeated the claim of one of his employees that described the attack as “an arms deal gone bad with jihadis,” adding that “they set him up and that they then did the shooting and that that’s what happened.”

THE GUNMAN’S BROTHER

Beginning on October 4, Jones began promoting conspiracy theories about media interviews given by Paddock’s brother Eric. While playing footage from interviews Jones said, “This guy is the worst actor,” and that he “is central casting, the squirrelist person I’ve ever seen.” Although not apparent on the video, Jones claimed that Paddock was wearing an “earpiece” and “they’re talking in it, you can see it’s happening, … and he’s just parroting talking points,” before saying, “This is a total cover-up.”

Posted In
Guns
Network/Outlet
Genesis Communications Network
Person
Alex Jones
Show/Publication
The Alex Jones Show
Stories/Interests
Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting, Guns, Conspiracy Theories
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