The Alex Jones Show | Media Matters for America

The Alex Jones Show

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  • Fox News figures repeatedly suggested the Obamas were behind dropped Smollett charges

    Right-wing figures on social media went further, suggesting the Obamas were involved in the staged Smollett attack

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Multiple Fox News figures and other right-wing media personalities are suggesting that former first lady Michelle Obama helped actor Jussie Smollett after his alleged attack that police say he staged. The claim comes after far-right message boards, social media accounts, and other outlets pushed conspiracy theories that the Obamas or Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) had been involved in the Smollett incident.

  • The NRA and its media outlet have long been a breeding ground for odious conspiracy theories

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    A National Rifle Association official had a conspiratorial correspondence with an infamous Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist after the 2018 Parkland, FL, school shooting, according to a March 27 HuffPost exclusive. The story is indicative of a culture at the NRA that allows the promotion of conspiracy theories about mass shootings, gun policy, and other topics by some of its leaders.

  • Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson is launching a new project to "generate the next generation of YouTubers”

    Infowars is banned from YouTube, but the outlet is finding new ways to reach an audience on the platform

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Far-right conspiracy theorist and Infowars personality Paul Joseph Watson announced the launch “probably within the next two weeks” of a new project that aims to “generate the next generation of YouTubers, of young political commentators.”

    While appearing on Infowars program The Alex Jones Show on March 5, Watson said that his project will still involve “working together” with Infowars and that the two entities are “still going to be affiliated.” While host Alex Jones and many of his primary Infowars channels are banned from YouTube, Watson currently maintains a YouTube page with more than 1.5 million subscribers.

    During Watson’s appearance, Jones said that he had been working with Watson for 18-19 years and that he was “excited” about the new project, saying, “That’s what successful operations do is they spawn new things, and I think in time you will also spawn apprentices as well.” Attempting to dismiss speculation of infighting between Jones and Watson, Jones said that the project was “pretty much my idea.”

    Watson described his project as “an exciting new operation, it’s going to be where all my material is housed, and hopefully longer term we’re going to get more writers on board and organically grow it into a larger news org,” adding that he is “hoping to, you know, generate the next generation of YouTubers, of young political commentators.”

    While for a time Watson was best known for being a conspiracy theorist and source of sometimes hilariously incorrect information, his commentary has taken a darker turn in recent years. In a 2018 interview with The Daily Beast, Alex Jones’ ex-wife Kelly Jones said of Infowars, “They’ve transmogrified into little white supremacists which is alarming crap,” and “Paul’s white supremacy is growing -- I know it’s a difficult issue, this refugee crisis -- but they are actively encouraging white supremacy.” Indeed, months before the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, Watson interviewed the event’s organizer, Jason Kessler, about “anti-white racism."

    Watson’s new project appears to be the latest effort of Infowars to get its brand of toxic commentary before a younger audience on a platform where the outlet is largely banned. On February 27, Jones made a nearly five-hour appearance on Joe Rogan’s show The Joe Rogan Experience during which he ranted and pushed outlandish conspiracy theories. The appearance has drawn more than 10 million views and Rogan’s channel is monetized, meaning YouTube is profiting off of the video through ad revenue sharing. Likewise, newly hired Infowars personality Kaitlin Bennett made a February 25 appearance on massive YouTube star Logan Paul’s podcast. Like Rogan’s show, Paul’s podcast is monetized. Recapping her appearance with Jones on his program, Bennett gloated about sharing with Paul’s audience a “perspective on gun rights and the Second Amendment that they probably didn’t think they were ever going to watch.” Jones said he was “glad” Bennett appeared on the show because of its large audience and because it’s hosted by the “college kids that the tweenies and 13-year-olds look up to.” Jones also said he would like to appear on the show himself.

  • Despite bans, YouTube is still profiting off of Alex Jones and Infowars

    And Jones has a new strategy to use YouTube to reach your children

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Alex Jones, whose Infowars outlet is largely banned from YouTube, is re-emerging on the platform through appearances he and his staff members are making on hugely popular YouTube shows. Many of these programs are monetized through commercials, and YouTube profits off of them because it shares ad revenue with its broadcasters.

    On February 27, Jones appeared for nearly five hours on Joe Rogan’s show The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan and Jones have known each other since the early 2000s and have appeared on each other’s shows. But earlier this year, they were involved in a dispute over comments Jones made about the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. (Jones has definitively declared the shooting a hoax multiple times but has attempted to spin those comments to rehab his image in recent years.) It is hard to say whether the dispute was genuine or just a ploy to attract attention, but they made up before the February 27 show and the episode has been viewed over 5 million times so far.

    Notably, at the top of the lengthy broadcast, Rogan attacked critics who say he shouldn’t give Jones a platform before assisting Jones in spinning his past comments on Sandy Hook. The broadcast features multiple commercial breaks, meaning that Rogan’s channel -- which itself has over 4.6 million subscribers -- and YouTube are sharing advertising profits for the video.

    Forbes senior contributor Dani Di Placido described Jones’ appearance on Rogan’s show as “little more than another unhinged speech from Jones, who has enough energy to feverishly rant about aliens, artificial intelligence and Hillary Clinton for almost five hours solid.” He also noted that Rogan views Jones as “the guy who always provides a wild conversation, as long as you can tolerate listening to his rapid-fire fantasies.” 

    Jones’ appearance on Rogan’s show appears to not be a one-off occurrence but rather a new tactic to skirt the varying bans imposed on him and his outlet by major social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Infowars personality Kaitlin Bennett -- aka the “Kent State Gun Girl” -- also made a lengthy appearance on the massively popular Impaulsive Podcast on February 25. The channel has nearly 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube, and Logan Paul, the primary personality, has nearly 19 million subscribers on his personal channel.

    During the podcast, Paul and his two co-hosts ostensibly sought to debate Bennett, who is known for engaging in ridiculous far-right stunts, on issues related to gun regulation and other topics. Instead, the overall effect of the interview was to normalize her brand of commentary. Paul introduced Bennett by calling her “a very controversial guest, arguably more than myself.” He and his co-hosts then bolstered Bennett’s points at times during their discussion. Show co-host Mike Majlak encouraged Bennett to disassociate herself from Jones, saying Bennett’s “very strong points” are diminished by the association. Toward the end of the video, Paul told Bennett she makes “a lot of valid points” but should consider ways she could be more effective with her message.

    Throughout the appearance, Paul and his co-hosts appeared woefully unprepared to debate Bennett on specific claims. At one point, they gave her a veneer of legitimacy after she cited the widely known fact that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not have a very high success rate in confiscating prohibited items during airport security checks; one of the co-hosts fact-checked her and ruled that she was correct in her claim.

    Like Jones’ appearance on Rogan’s podcast, Bennett’s appearance on Impaulsive Podcast was monetized.

    Even though YouTube has banned Jones’ primary account and many of his related channels, Infowars was able to piggyback on Bennett’s appearance on the platform. YouTube still allows Infowars contributor Millie Weaver to maintain a channel, and she posted a recap of Bennett’s appearance titled “Logan Paul Gets Red Pilled,” referring to a quote from The Matrix that is now mostly used to describe someone being convinced to adopt far-right beliefs. The recap video features Infowars’ watermark and ends with Weaver giving a pitch for Infowars’ website and online supplement store.

    Beyond the monetization issue, the forays by Infowars figures back into YouTube show an attempt by Jones to emulate the strategy of other fringe right-wing operations to reach an untapped younger audience. Following her appearance, Bennett appeared on a segment on The Alex Jones Show, and Jones noted that Paul reaches “tens of millions of people,” saying, “It’s kind of the college kids that the tweenies and 13-year-olds look up to.” Jones said he was “glad” Bennett went on the show because it is “important” for Infowars to reach young people. Bennett said that by appearing on the program, she gave Paul’s audience a “perspective on gun rights and the Second Amendment that they probably didn’t think they were ever going to watch. So that’s out there now.”

    Jones said that he wants to appear on Paul’s show too: “I would love to invite Logan Paul on the show. I would also love to go on that broadcast because I’d like to be able to speak to my oldest daughter’s audience and tell my daughter, ‘Now, be good, and don’t vape like the other girls.’”

  • Alex Jones goes to bat for employee Roger Stone, comparing judge in his criminal case to Hitler and attempting to connect Robert Mueller to Jeffrey Epstein

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Trump confidant Roger Stone is under a gag order concerning his upcoming criminal trial, but his employer Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet is still publicly litigating his case for him.

    Stone, who is a co-host of the Infowars program War Room, was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. On February 21, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing his case, imposed a near-total gag order on Stone after he posted an image on his Instagram account of her “next to an apparent rifle scope's crosshair.”

    According to the terms of the gag order, Stone is prohibited from publicly commenting on “the Special Counsel's investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.” Additionally, the order says that “the defendant [Stone] may not comment publicly about the case indirectly by having statements made publicly on his behalf by surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers.”

    Before the gag order was issued, Stone was using his Infowars platform to raise money for his legal defense and publicly litigate his case. During a February 18 appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Stone alleged that his prosecution came about as part of the machinations of a “globalist cabal.” Earlier, on February 8, Stone attacked media pundits talking about his upcoming trial, saying on War Room that he was reveling “in the hatred of these leftist retards.”

    While Stone is now severely limited in what he can publicly say about his case, his boss Alex Jones has taken the lead on Infowars’ defense of Stone. During a February 24 broadcast, Jones compared Judge Jackson to Hitler.

    While complaining about Mueller prosecutor Jeannie Rhee, who is part of the Stone prosecution team, Jones said, “I couldn’t hold a straight face in that judge’s courtroom when Jeannie Rhee is my prosecutor. It’d be like I was a Jew in World War II, hypothetically, and the head judge is Hitler. I’d be like, ‘Dude, you’re Adolf Hitler.’”

    Jones then turned to his guest, attorney Robert Barnes, to promote a conspiracy theory that attempts to connect Mueller to serial child molester Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is currently in the news because a federal judge recently ruled that Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta violated federal law in 2008 with his actions as a federal prosecutor in “concealing the particulars of Epstein’s [plea] deal from the girls who gave evidence” in his criminal trial.

    Barnes weaved a sloppy conspiracy theory to claim that “the common denominator” between the Epstein, Stone, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort cases is Mueller, who is “the deep state fix-it man” and is “still fixing things for the deep state.”

    The Stone and Manafort cases are both, of course, connected to Mueller because they arose from Mueller’s investigation. As for Epstein, Barnes claimed that Epstein was directly giving Mueller “blackmail files” -- presumably related to other alleged perpetrators connected to Epstein's sexual misconduct case -- in 2008 when his plea deal was struck and Mueller was the head of the FBI. In 2018, the FBI disclosed that Epstein “provided information to the FBI,” but there is no indication that Mueller was the recipient of the information. Still, Barnes attempted to conspiratorially cast doubt on Judge Jackson and the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation:

    ROBERT BARNES: So, there is one name that all those stories are connected to -- the Epstein case, the Manafort case, and the Roger Stone case, and interestingly enough it’s the one name that the judge in the Roger Stone case said that Roger Stone can never reference. Not only can he not reference it related to his case -- he can never talk about one name period while his case is pending in court, which could be years. And what name is that? Robert Mueller. And what is Robert Mueller to do with the Epstein case? Guess who was FBI director when that deal was done? Guess who was identified in internal FBI documents -- that were identified by a guy on Twitter called Techno Fog, a famous lawyer, that identified what, that the informant -- an informant for Robert Mueller was Mr. Epstein.

    In other words, he was giving blackmail files, potentially, on a wide range of people to Robert Mueller at the same time the sweetheart deal that broke the rules was being filed on behalf of Epstein. And so while Epstein gets to sit in a sweetheart deal, Paul Manafort’s supposed to go to prison for life. Paul Manafort’s supposed to be the most harshly punished individual in one of the most historied political prosecutions. So Paul Manafort, who has never been accused of anything connected to pedophilia, is going to go to prison for life and rot until he dies, but Epstein, who is running a blackmail ring of underage prostitution, gets to walk. And the only man that they all have in common is Robert Mueller, and it’s the one person the judge said Roger Stone can never talk about, even unrelated to his case. So that’s the common denominator between all three is that the deep state fix-it man is still fixing things for the deep state.

    Jones also defended Stone's Instagram post that got him sanctioned by the court. During his February 21 appearance before the court, Stone had acknowledged the post came about because of a brief lapse in judgement. But Jones stuck with Stone’s initial explanation for the image, describing the crosshair as “a little Celtic cross up in the corner” and showing the image to his viewers. Jones also falsely alleged that Jackson’s gag order prohibits Stone from speaking publicly about Epstein or President Donald Trump.

    Borrowing language that Stone used before he was subjected to the gag order, Jones alleged that Stone is being pressured “to bear false witness against the president” and also addressed Trump directly, saying, “And we can talk about how great Trump is all day, but he’s asleep at the switch. Tweets don’t do it, President; protect us.”

  • Alex Jones is souring on his indicted Infowars employee Roger Stone

    Jones: "Gateway Pundit can hire Roger"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Conspiracy theorist and Infowars head Alex Jones is frustrated with Trump confidant Roger Stone because he thinks Stone gave a rival right-wing news outlet an “exclusive” about Stone’s criminal case.

    Stone, who is a co-host of the Infowars program War Room, was arrested on January 25 and charged with seven felonies as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The charges allege Stone lied to Congress about his dealings with WikiLeaks concerning emails hacked by Russia in the 2016 presidential election; obstructed an official proceeding; and intimidated a witness, radio host Randy Credico.  

    Following Stone’s arrest, his first media appearance was on Infowars, and he has since appeared regularly on Infowars programs, including the show, War Room, that he co-hosts, to publicly litigate his criminal proceeding and fight with his critics. Stone has expressed fear at the possibility that he will be subject to a gag order and recently described his Infowars platform as “vital” to his criminal defense strategy.

    Now Stone has another problem, as his boss, Jones, has become angered that Stone shared an “exclusive” with far-right website The Gateway Pundit.

    The dispute centers around a February 13 motion filed by Stone’s legal team requesting a hearing concerning Stone’s allegation that the special counsel’s office improperly released Stone’s indictment before it was unsealed. Gateway Pundit was the first media outlet to publish a story about that filing, posting a piece bylined by Stone associate Jacob Engels.

    Discussing the Gateway Pundit story and the motion (which Jones initially mischaracterized as a “lawsuit against Robert Mueller”), a clearly perturbed Jones said during the February 13 broadcast of his show, “I like Roger as a friend, but he doles out exclusives ... some to Fox News, some to Daily Caller, and he works here. I pay his salary. … So I guess Roger Stone’s going to go to the woodshed here pretty soon.”

    Jones went on to say -- possibly facetiously -- that Stone now works for Gateway Pundit. He said, “This is a global exclusive. In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, filed today, Roger Stone’s motion requesting a show cause order. So it’s on Gateway Pundit. Well that’s good. Gateway Pundit can hire Roger. … In fact, Roger Stone now works for the Gateway Pundit, which is good.”

    An annoyed Jones added, “People call us to find out what Roger’s up to and I just -- I can’t tell you; I don’t know. So Roger Stone now works for the Gateway Pundit, ladies and gentlemen -- seriously, as of about 10 seconds ago. I’m like, ‘Roger, get a job with the Gateway Pundit.’ Because -- here, let me check my other phone. I don’t want to go off half-cocked. Maybe he called this other phone and gave me the exclusive. Nope, doesn’t look like it.”

    Just the day before, Stone had emphasized how important his Infowars platform was to him. During the February 12 broadcast of War Room, Stone said that “one of the main reasons” he was indicted is that he works at Infowars. He went on to say, “I’ve told you about the vital role that Infowars plays in the strategy for my defense. If I can’t come here, if I can’t come on The Alex Jones Show, if I can’t come on the morning show with David Knight, if I can’t come on the War Room, then there’s no forum where I can really go to tell people the complete story about what’s going on.”

    Stone then said, “I guess the best thing to remind everybody is that please go to the Infowars store” to support the outlet’s operation. Then he transitioned into an extended pitch for a supplement called Brain Force that Infowars sells:
     

    ROGER STONE: One of the main reasons I think I’m targeted, Rob [Dew], is because I’m on Infowars. Because I work with you and Alex Jones and [War Room co-host] Owen Shroyer and [Infowars host] David Knight and so many others to bring people the stone cold truth, the unvarnished truth about what’s going on in the struggle against the globalists. And I’ve told you about the vital role that Infowars plays in the strategy for my defense. If I can’t come here, if I can’t come on The Alex Jones Show, if I can’t come on the morning show with David Knight, if I can’t come on the War Room, then there’s no forum where I can really go to tell people the complete story about what is going on. Everywhere else you appear you’re edited, you're censored, you're limited. But here at Infowars nobody tells us what we can and cannot say, nobody tells us what we can and cannot cover. We just go for where the facts lead us. So I guess the best thing to remind everybody is that please go to the Infowars store. It is vitally important that Infowars continue to thrive.  

    On February 13, after Jones complained about Stone giving away exclusives, Stone did not appear in his regular slot on War Room.

    Jones’ attack on Stone is the latest example of infighting at Infowars over Mueller’s investigation. Previously, Jones and Stone teamed up to feud with former Infowars D.C. bureau chief Jerome Corsi. Corsi, who is also entangled in Mueller’s probe of what happened with WikiLeaks, is referenced throughout Stone’s criminal indictment. Jones and Stone have sought to discredit Corsi’s public statements about the probe and in some cases even appear to have attempted to influence how Corsi testifies under oath to Mueller’s grand jury. For his part, Corsi, who is an obvious witness for Stone’s trial, has suggested Stone is guilty of witness tampering because of Stone’s interactions with him. Most recently, Corsi filed a lawsuit against Stone alleging Stone was attempting to induce him to have a heart attack or stroke by causing “emotional distress.”

  • Dan Bongino’s rise from the swamps of Infowars and NRATV to contributor at Fox News

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Dan Bongino, the latest addition to Fox News’ lineup of contributors, is a former NRATV host and tea party congressional candidate who honed his conspiracy theories on the fringe platform Infowars. He is now bringing his attacks and smears on the investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election to Trump’s favorite network.  

  • After Roger Stone was released from custody, his first stop was The Alex Jones Show

    Stone: “There is no circumstance under which I would plead guilty to these charges. There’s no circumstance in which I would bear false witness against the president.”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    President Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone’s first media appearance following his departure from a courtroom -- where he was charged with several crimes related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation -- was on Alex Jones’ Infowars outlet, which employs Stone as a show host.

    During his appearance, Stone denied committing crimes, repeatedly promoted his legal defense fund, and promised that he would never testify against Trump.

    Stone was arrested the morning of January 25 and charged with five counts of making false statements, one count of obstructing a proceeding, and one count of witness tampering. He had been under investigation by the special counsel’s office over whether he had inside information about emails hacked by Russia and then released by WikiLeaks in the 2016 election cycle.

    Stone, who co-hosts the Infowars program War Room, gave a lengthy phone interview to Jones, which he started by saying, “I can say I’ve had greater, better moments -- better mornings, shall we say.” He went on to describe the early morning raid of his home and denied committing any crimes.

    Claiming that the special counsel’s office tried to “destroy [him] financially” to force him to plead guilty to “completely bogus” charges, Stone asked viewers to contribute to his legal defense fund. For his part, Alex Jones claimed the charges are part of an effort to “mak[e] journalism illegal.”

    Stone went on to say, “There is no circumstance under which I would plead guilty to these charges,” and added, “There’s no circumstance in which I would bear false witness against the president.” Trump previously encouraged Stone not to testify against him, leading to accusations of witness tampering.

    When Jones asked if he had a statement for Trump, Stone said, “Once again, there is no evidence of Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration, and I’m not charged with doing anything inappropriate or illegal to assist in his election, even though I think I’m being persecuted for being a 40-year friend and supporter of his.”

    During a later segment, Stone again promoted his legal defense fund, claiming he will have $2 million in legal fees. There were technical difficulties on Stone’s phone line that interrupted the interview, and Jones speculated that someone might be breaking into his phone or cutting his line to silence him.

  • Rep. Dave Brat appeared in conspiracy theory-filled Alex Jones interview and praised him for “educating people”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    When Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) wanted publicity for his new book, he gave an interview to Alex Jones and helped him push conspiracy theories about Muslims and refugees. He also praised the conspiracy theorist for “educating people,” and asked Jones’ audience to visit his website.

    Jones is one of the nation’s most toxic media personalities, having claimed that the U.S. government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Columbine, Oklahoma City, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon, among others. Jones’ dangerous rhetoric has gotten him banned from numerous platforms, and he is also being sued by families of the Sandy Hook victims for defamation. Jones has repeatedly pushed lies and smears about the December 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, CT, including claiming that the shooting has “inside job written all over it” and it was “synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured.”

    Despite widespread knowledge about Jones’ dangerous and violent rhetoric, Brat appeared on the June 28, 2016, edition of The Alex Jones Show to promote his book, which was released that day. Writer Brian Tashman documented Brat’s appearance at the time for Right Wing Watch.

    Brat praised Jones, telling him at the conclusion of the interview that he’s “educating people.” Jones also celebrated Brat, calling him a “true populist” and “one of the best up there.”

    Brat and Jones exchanged conspiratorial and anti-Muslim rhetoric. While summarizing an Evening Standard of London article, Jones falsely claimed that London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, said “we’re going to start bringing in Sharia law, basically” and was being “seditious.” Jones then claimed that he sees “the left truly allied with Islam, with orthodox, which is aggressive, jihad Islam. … I’m sorry, [then-President Barack] Obama and others have allied with it. Am I wrong, congressman? What’s going on here?” Brat replied: “No, you nailed it but there’s some severe splits and contradictions coming up on the left."

    Responding to Brat’s remark that “the leftists are taking control,” Jones told him that “Hitler was a socialist. You can call him a fascist, but whatever. He came from the left, a command-and-control guy. So was Stalin. ... The left, historically -- look at the French Revolution, it was a nightmare. They just run around murdering people. I don’t know what’s wrong with them.” Brat replied that "getting rid of history in the K-12 agenda right now is one of the most troubling things.”

    Jones also told Brat that “Obama orders Border Patrol to ship in TB (tuberculosis),” and refugees coming into the country “just get released to Democratic Party facilities.” Brat replied that he's “been following in Virginia. We’re keeping our eyes on several facilities in my own 7th district.”

    The Republican congressman continued: “Our government is demand-driven, right? I mean, ultimately, the citizens have to get fed-up. And so -- you’re educating people. I’m educating -- that's what’s got to happen. And we [have] got to educate the next generation that you've got to put up a fight if you would like to keep living in this country the way it is.”

    Brat's website address was prominently featured on-screen and was promoted at the conclusion of the interview.

    Media Matters previously documented that in 2015, Brat promoted white nationalist website VDare's praise of his anti-immigrant amendment on his Twitter account.

    Then-candidate Donald Trump appeared on Jones’ program in 2015 and praised his “amazing” reputation. This January, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also appeared on Jones program -- months later, and following criticism, Gaetz said he wouldn’t go back on the show.

  • Fox & Friends hosts founder of astroturfed #WalkAway “movement” who has appeared on Infowars

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox & Friends is promoting an astroturfed social media “movement,” the #WalkAway campaign, that has been hyped on The Alex Jones Show and promoted by social media bots.

    On the October 2 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt interviewed Brandon Straka, the supposed founder of the #WalkAway campaign, which encourages voters to “walk away” from the Democratic Party. During the appearance, Straka complained of an apparent “dishonesty” within the “liberal media,” promoting his hashtag, website, and an upcoming “march on Washington” in the process.

    Straka’s “movement” is really an astroturfed social media campaign that has been amplified by both Infowars and Russian bots. Since early July, when the hashtag began to trend on Twitter, Straka himself has appeared on multiple Infowars shows to promote his so-called movement, and an analysis of the hashtag on Twitter found it to be a “psychological operation” aimed at shaping conversations in cable news segments, such as his appearance on Fox & Friends. According to multiple analyses, the hashtag's spread was largely driven by non-human activity, and accounts that tweeted in support of the “movement” had used pro-Trump hashtags such as #maga, #fakenews, and #qanon before they “walked away” from the Democratic Party. Moreover, according to Snopes, the campaign’s supporters have promoted the hashtag with misleading stock photos of people who had supposedly “walked away” from the Democratic Party, though Straka claims the photos were not actually created by the campaign itself.

    From the October 2 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

    AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): We see your t-shirt. How did you become a conservative? You were a liberal and now you are a conservative activist?

    BRANDON STRAKA (FOUNDER, #WALKAWAY CAMPAIGN): Nice. Well, it's a bit of a long story. But, in general, what it was was, I really came to the realization that the liberal media was incredibly dishonest throughout the campaign of Donald Trump, creating a narrative about who he was and who his followers were. And that really opened my eyes to their dishonesty. I actually think he is a really amazing president, and I think that the people in this country who support him are really good people, but they have gotten a really bad shake from the liberal media.

    EARHARDT: Do you think that there are other people that feel the way do you and they’re just being quiet about it? Because we saw in the election, a lot of people were too afraid to say that they were supporting the president.

    STRAKA: Right, well, this is what I say all the time in the campaign is that it is time for the silent majority to become un-silent, and that's really what's happening, I think, with the #WalkAway campaign. It's a testimonial campaign, and people are creating their testimonials, and they're finding the courage to speak their truth for the first time. It's really created a network of support. In fact, we have a #WalkAway march on Washington next month, which is really going to be a massive demonstration of solidarity.

    EARHARDT: So it's walk away from the Democratic Party and support us?

    STRAKA: Absolutely.