“The Empire strikes back”: Right-wing media defend Alex Jones after Infowars is banned from several major platforms

“The Empire strikes back”: Right-wing media defend Alex Jones after Infowars is banned from several major platforms

››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & ZACHARY PLEAT

After Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes all removed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Infowars pages from their platforms, several right-wing media figures leapt to the extremist’s defense. Jones’ defenders responded by criticizing and threatening “the entire rotten tech machine” and invoking a wide range of comparisons to support him, including Star Wars, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, reality TV star Kylie Jenner, and the Holocaust.


Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

The Drudge Report: “APPLE REGULATES HATE.” The website’s homepage also featured a link to stream Jones’ show on Infowars’ website.

Frequent Infowars guest Marc Randazza: “They came for Alex Jones, and I didn't complain because I was woke. How many will they come for until they come for you?”

Far-right troll Jack Posobiec: Infowars has “the right to free speech within the law as much as anyone in America.”

DailyWire.com’s Ben Shapiro: “Apple and Facebook should not have banned @Infowars, even though I think the outlet is a flaming dumpster fire.” 

Shapiro: Alex Jones is “a garbage heap. Social media are wrong to ban him.”

Shapiro: Social media platforms “don’t tolerate voices like Jones while tolerating voices who are just as bad on the political Left.” 

Breitbart: “The social media Masters of the Universe” banned Infowars but retained “many leftist pages with far worse content.” 

Breitbart Editor Joel Pollak: “The actual, imminent threat to press freedom today is the ‘de-platforming’ campaign to pressure private companies to censor content and outlets that left-wing activists don't like.”

Breitbart senior tech correspondent Allum Bokhari: “If you want your first amendment rights to be more than words on a paper, now is the time to take action.”

Right-wing YouTube personality Mark Dice: “Alex Jones is now an unperson, straight out of the plot of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell: “I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces,” but deplatforming of Infowars “is part of a disturbing trend” meant “to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets.”

Fox News contributor Nigel Farage: Alex Jones “is undeniably the victim today of collusion by the big tech giants. What price free speech?”

Weekly Standard senior writer Mark Hemingway: “Have we deplatformed Kylie [Jenner] yet for her conspiracies about chemtrails?”

Breitbart’s John Nolte: “I am no InfoWars fan or Alex Jones fan, but if you are *not* defending speech you do not like or agree with, you are not doing the First Amendment correctly.”

Right-wing activist James O’Keefe: “We will expose the entire rotten tech machine.”

National Review’s David French: Banning Infowars over hate speech “is dangerous to free speech.”

Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter: “I remember when True Conservatism (TM) didn't excuse leftist censorship.”

Former Trump staffer Matt Branyard on Fox Business: The “department heads of all the tech companies … are hardcore leftists. … It just makes me wonder who's next, whose unfavorable opinions will be targeted next for deplatforming.”

Radio talk show host Wayne Dupree: “Silencing a man isn’t proving he’s wrong… it’s proving that you believe he’s right but can’t afford everyone else hearing what he has to say.”

Radio talk show host Glenn Beck: “A very sad day for Freedom of Speech.”

Radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman: “First they came for Alex Jones. Who’s next? Who gets to decide what's hate speech and what's not?”

JOYCE KAUFMAN (HOST): Martin Niemoller said it best. He was just a pastor, Protestant preacher who was a foe of Adolf Hitler. Guy spent seven years in concentration camps. But he is best remembered for the quote: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” We can't forget that stuff. First they came for Alex Jones. Who's next? Who gets to decide what's hate speech and what's not. The Southern Poverty Law Center? How does that sit with you? Don't sit well with me. They brand people like me hate speech. 

White nationalist Baked Alaska: “[T]his is a major aggression against conservatives.”

Carl Higbie: “When will they turn that outrage on the rap community that is far more offensive?”

White nationalist troll Nick Fuentes: “Today is the Pearl Harbor of the Left’s war on free speech. This changes everything.”

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