Conspiracy Theories

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  • Days before Megyn Kelly interview airs, Alex Jones pushes more Sandy Hook conspiracy theories

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Just days before NBC is set to air an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Megyn Kelly’s new show, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, Jones once again pushed several conspiracy theories about the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Kelly and NBC’s decision to interview Jones has created a firestorm of controversy, with some family members of Sandy Hook victims calling for NBC to shelve the recorded interview given that Jones has pushed toxic conspiracy theories about the shooting that spurred some of his followers to harass the families. Page Six reported that following harsh criticism of the decision to give Jones a platform, Kelly invited Sandy Hook families to be interviewed for the episode as well.

    During the June 15 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones promoted several conspiracy theories that he and others have previously used to deny that the tragedy ever happened.

    Citing the U.S. government’s use of misinformation to justify wars in the Middle East, Jones said, “If they’ll do that, then am I supposed to question Sandy Hook when it happens and they’ve got the kids going in circles in and out of the building, and they don’t call the rescue helicopters, and then instead an hour later there’s port-a-potties and food being delivered and PR firms are there and Anderson Cooper says he’s on location but he’s clearly faking the location.”

    It should go without saying that Jones’ claims about the shooting that took 26 lives are false.

    On his show, Jones continued to lie about what he has said about the Sandy Hook tragedy in the past, saying he has “looked at every angle of” the shooting and claiming that he has said previously, “It could have been totally true, could have been totally fake.” (In recent months, Jones has repeatedly claimed he was merely playing “devil’s advocate” when commenting on the shooting.)

    As Media Matters documented, in the years following the tragedy, Jones definitively stated on several occasions that the shooting did not happen. In 2014, for example, Jones said, “It took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake.”

    Jones has been lying about his past comments on Sandy Hook since his statements started drawing heightened scrutiny following his claim after the 2016 election that President Donald Trump would soon appear on his show. (Trump appeared on Jones show in 2015 and praised the conspiracy theorist’s “amazing” reputation.)

    Kelly’s interview is set to air June 18 at 7 p.m. EST.

    Jones’ June 15 comments on Sandy Hook:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): It is a fact that on the eve of the Gulf War in 1990 a PR firm was hired, and the daughter of the owner of the PR firm, who’d never been to Kuwait and who spoke fluent English and had been brought up in the U.S., went and testified to seeing Iraqi soldiers ripping babies out of incubators and bashing their brains out by the hundreds. This was used as the pretext to launch that war that was meant to legitimize the U.N. as a global government body and bring in a new world order as George Herbert Walker Bush said, or Bush 41. Now, if criminal elements of our government will do something like that to launch now three wars in the Middle East, back radical jihadists to take over Iraq, Syria, Libya, other areas, overthrow our allies in Egypt, kill millions of people, starve millions more, and have Madeline Albright, Clinton’s secretary of state, say a half-million kids is an OK price to pay -- in fact, let’s cue that up. If they’ll do that, then am I supposed to question Sandy Hook when it happens and they’ve got the kids going in circles in and out of the building, and they don’t call the rescue helicopters, and then instead an hour later there’s port-a-potties and food being delivered and PR firms are there and Anderson Cooper says he’s on location but he’s clearly faking the location. We looked at every angle of that. And so they’ve now misrepresented what we’ve said, that I said it could have been totally true, could have been totally fake. I didn’t progenerate. I didn’t create. I wasn't the fount of that. The things that I am the fountain of, I’ll tell you. 1776 worldwide. Rebooting America. Nationalism.

  • Here is exactly what Alex Jones has said about the Sandy Hook massacre

    Jones on Sandy Hook: “Staged,” “inside job,” “undoubtedly there’s a cover-up,” “giant hoax,” “the whole thing was fake,” “in my view, manufactured”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is calling for his upcoming interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly not to air because he says Kelly misrepresented his views on the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

    A short promotional video released by Kelly on June 11 showed Jones attempting to obfuscate and spin his past statements about Sandy Hook, with the prominent conspiracy theorist and ally of President Donald Trump calling Sandy Hook “complex,” claiming he has advocated both for and against concluding that the shooting actually happened, and claiming he “looked at all the angles.”

    Following the release of this promo, Jones wrote on Twitter, “I'm calling for @megynkelly to cancel the airing of our interview for misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook.” Jones’ tweet included a link to a 40-minute video in which he complained about the interview. The interview is scheduled to air June 18.

    While we don’t know how the Sandy Hook exchange will play out in the full interview, what can be proved is that Jones is a liar who -- since developing a high profile during the 2016 election -- has attempted to sanitize his definitive past claims that the shooting was a “hoax.”

    In 2013, Jones called the shooting “staged” and said, “It’s got inside job written all over it.”

    In March 2014, Jones said, “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying, and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it.”

    In December 2014, Jones said on his radio program, “The whole thing is a giant hoax.”

    Jones continued: “The general public doesn’t know the school was actually closed the year before. They don’t know they’ve sealed it all, demolished the building. They don’t know that they had the kids going in circles in and out of the building as a photo-op. Blue screen, green screens, they got caught using.”

    Making it clear he didn’t view the occurrence of the shooting as an open question, Jones explicitly said that the Obama administration was behind the shooting, noting, “It took me about a year with Sandy Hook to come to grips with the fact that the whole thing was fake.”

    Jones made similar comments the following January, saying the shooting was “a synthetic, completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. 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.”

    In July 2015, Jones said cast doubt on whether children were actually killed during the shooting, before citing prominent Sandy Hook hoaxer Wolfgang Halbig.

    Jones began to spin his past Sandy Hook statements in earnest following the victory of Donald Trump as his past statements came under increased scrutiny because of his association with Trump and his claim that the new president would appear on his show in the near future.

    Despite his recent contradictory claims about the shooting, Jones continues to make statements that fuel Sandy Hook conspiracy theories.

    Here are some headlines that advance Sandy Hook conspiracy theories that are still active on Jones’ website,

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  • Alex Jones melts down after being interviewed by Megyn Kelly

    Jones on Kelly: “Not feminine -- cold, robotic, dead. I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Prominent conspiracy theorist and President Donald Trump ally Alex Jones is lashing out after being interviewed by Megyn Kelly for an episode of NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. Following Tuesday’s interview taping, Jones is now suggesting Kelly is aligned with the “New World Order” globalist conspiracy theory, complaining that she is producing a “fake news” piece about him, and declaring that she is “not feminine” but is “cold, robotic, dead.

    Kelly visited Jones at his Austin, TX, studios Tuesday to conduct an interview with him for an upcoming episode of her show.

    At the top of the June 7 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones declared Kelly’s interview of him to be “fake news” and said of the show’s producer: “I felt like the lady that’s the lead producer -- nice southern belle lady, older lady -- is like somebody that leads you to the gas chamber, or to the hangman’s noose, or to the electric chair. They comfort you, give you your last meal.”

    Jones continued complaining about the interview later in the show, suggesting that Kelly is associated with the “New World Order” conspiracy theory and claiming that she “was kind of snickering about world government and forced population control.”

    He suggested that Kelly is a “sociopath” or “psychopath,” and also said Kelly is “not feminine” but instead is “cold, robotic, dead.” He added, “I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly.”

    Prior to conducting the interview, Kelly visited Jones’ studio to observe him as he broadcast the June 6 edition of his program. Jones paused his conversation with a guest to speak with Kelly about her show and their upcoming interview. During an exchange about whether Kelly will interview Trump, Jones asked her whether she would sit in Trump’s lap, to which Kelly responded, “Move on.” Jones also said, “I got to say, she’s prettier in person.” Kelly responded, “I never know whether that’s a compliment or not in my line of work.”

    Over the past few weeks, Jones has repeatedly made lewd comments about Kelly. During his May 15 broadcast, Jones 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 B.S., it still works, so I’m going to be doing the interview.”

    He then repeatedly asked his guest co-host whether he should “put her over my knee” during the interview, later adding that he was talking about how he’d “put 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 that he was “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.

    No air date has been announced for Jones’ interview. This week, Kelly’s show will air an interview with sportscaster Erin Andrews.

    More transcript of Jones’ complaints about Kelly:

    ALEX JONES (HOST): When we do the right thing, we join our ancestors in the great quest. In God’s great plan. The “New World Order” will fail. It will fall. All of these arrogant sellouts that serve the globalist program will be punished in this life. They all lie to themselves and think they’re part of the power elite. I told Megyn Kelly last night while she was kind of snickering about world government and forced population control. I said pediatric cancers are up over 10,000 percent. Fifty years ago, a doctor would fly across the country to see a child with cancer. Now you go to the mall, to your left, to your right, the kids have got their shaved heads, they’ve got their brain surgery marks all over them. I mean, I was in one restaurant and there was four kids you could tell had brain surgery stumbling around with their motor functions hacked in half from whatever hellish testing they’d gone through -- poor little babies.

    And I said, “Surely, surely by the time you’re an old woman, most of your family will be dead from cancer.” And I said, “Your children are going to die of cancer.” And the people around were like, “Whoa.” Her crew, she had a big -- they were like “Whoa, can we spin that? Like he’s hoping they die of cancer?” And I said, “I’m not hoping they die of cancer.” But I said, “Surely, know that if it’s 10,000-plus percent now -- and that’s an old number -- it’s going to be 20-, 30,000, 40,000 percent just the next few decades, it’s estimated. And it’s going to kill your children, Megyn. You’re going to outlive your children, Megyn. And I’ve got children on this planet too as well and I want to reverse this, so you think about working for those psychopaths.”

    Go ahead and show some pictures of her. You think about working for the “New World Order” long and hard. And everybody at Media Matters and all the rest of you, you think about that. Because you can have that painted-on Joker smile all you want. And those lawyer sociopath eyes. But at the end of the day, I’ve spoken the truth, and I’ve warned you, and I’ve laid out the facts. Because I have basic humanity. And I know that’s not the trendy mainline culture that’s pushed -- and I’m not even singling Megyn Kelly out and saying she’s the end-all, be-all of evil.

    But not feminine -- cold, robotic, dead. I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly. That’s not an insult to Megyn Kelly. I talked to a lot of other folks that know her, they said, “No, it’s the same.” Because you’re dealing with -- sociopath? A psychopath? I don’t know.

    But I wanted to see it for myself. The girl next door sitting there with the toad creature [Alex Jones]. And again, she can come off like the sweetest, nicest person. She told me point blank in a long phone conversation that she wasn’t going to get into the things and wasn’t going to focus on the things that I knew she was coming for. And then for 90 minutes -- that was the last interview of three yesterday -- she did everything she said she wouldn’t in spades. And I knew that from before she ever came. But I wanted to see it for myself. And so that we could all see it for ourselves as well and experience what it is to serve the force that is strangling this country.

  • “Mind control,” “shadow government,” and Seth Rich: Sean Hannity’s history of pushing conspiracy theories

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Fox News host Sean Hannity attracted widespread condemnation for pushing conspiracy theories about a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer, but it wasn’t his first time promoting or entertaining such wild claims on air. From claiming that the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick protested the national anthem because he “may have converted to Islam” to implying that former President Barack Obama is a terrorist sympathizer, here are some examples of Hannity embracing conspiracy theories.

  • How the Seth Rich conspiracy theory and Greg Gianforte’s assault reignited the conservative media’s civil war

    Hannity widely mocked, denounced by GOP pundits

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    For a movement that seems to be careening past barriers of common sense this year with President Donald Trump in the White House, two recent events caused some members of the conservative media to pull up short and demand some accountability. The startling episodes were last summer's murder of a 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer -- and an absurd right-wing conspiracy theory about the attack -- and last week's assault of a reporter by a Republican candidate for the U.S. House.

    Rekindling the civil war that broke out during the Republican primary last year when a collective of conservatives rallied unsuccessfully against Trump’s candidacy, the varied reactions to these reports have renewed the widening schism between hardcore Trump loyalists in the media who lean toward the “alt-right” movement and who’ve adopted a troll-first-ask-questions-later form of harassment and the more traditional conservatives who are increasingly aghast at the behavior on display.

    Shameless,” “bizarre,” “morally bankrupt,” “shameful,” “twisted”: Those were some of the descriptors conservative commentators reached for in order to describe other conservative media players in recent days because of their commentary about Rich or Gianforte.

    As someone who has monitored the right-wing press for many years, I can’t recall a time when so many GOP-friendly commentators unloaded on fellow conservatives over complaints of unprofessional behavior (rather than over policy disputes.) It’s quite unusual.

    Specifically, some of those who called out their colleagues were appalled at how Sean Hannity and Fox News spearheaded a vile media campaign to politicize the death of Rich. The deplorable push of the hollow story was to suggest Rich committed a crime before he was killed by stealing tens of thousands of DNC emails and giving them to WikiLeaks last year, thereby making him a target of political violence.

    The ghoulish effort had sinister partisan undertones: If Rich stole the emails, that means the Russians did not. And that would mean there was no Trump/Russia collusion. Or something.

    The whole spectacle, as Hannity and others at Fox teamed up with the most sordid players on the far right, represented a stunning collapse of decency.

    “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” announced Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, who once served as chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush. Surveying the Rich debacle, Gerson wrote, “The movement has been seized by a kind of discrediting madness, in which conspiracy delusions figure prominently.”

    Others were shocked that Trump loyalists in the right-wing media cheered when Republican Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter on the eve of the candidate’s special election in Montana last week.

    “The age of Trump has corrupted a great many people and shattered norms,” lamented Mona Charen in National Review. (She once served as Nancy Reagan's speechwriter.) “Those whose moral compass has long since been stashed in the bottom drawer defending the indefensible piled on to applaud Gianforte’s thuggishness.”

    Not many of the commentators necessarily connected the dots between the Rich conspiracy and the Gianforte assault. But what they did, separately, was detail the aggressive unmooring that’s taken place among key sections within the Trump loyalist media -- the complete abdication of civility in the name of excusing reckless excess.

    “This sort of stuff isn’t worthy of baseline value-based behavior, let alone conservatism,” complained Ben Shapiro, the former Breitbart writer who now works at the far-right Daily Wire, referencing reactions to the Gianforte assault.

    The Rich and Gianforte episodes provided fairly clear lines of demarcation for the conservative press: Either you support defaming murder victims and causing needless pain to their family for partisan gain, or you don’t. And either you support politicians openly assaulting private citizens, or you don’t.

    The fact that either scenario generated robust debate within the conservative movement tells you how grave the situation is in today’s right-wing media.

    One key point: The recent awakening on the right seems to be limited specifically to the Rich and Gianforte stories. Meaning, the conservative press, in general, continues to do extraordinary damage to our public debate by constantly spreading misinformation and by regularly defending or dismissing the indefensible from the current White House.

    Still, it’s worth highlighting the chorus of condemnations that rose up last week and pondering what it might mean for the unfolding Trump presidency. For now, temperatures are running hot and Fox News has taken a pounding in the wake of the channel’s Seth Rich fiasco.

    At The Weekly Standard, John McCormack announced, “Perhaps the worst actor of all in this twisted game of telephone is Fox News host Sean Hannity.”

    “The network I once respected as a necessary antidote to liberal media now peddles craven lies and Russian disinformation,” complained Max Boot at Foreign Policy.

    Added Jennifer Rubin, a longtime conservative writer at The Washington Post: “Fox’s jaw-dropping unprofessionalism and dishonesty were matched only by its cruelty in subjecting Rich’s loved ones to a grotesque political plot.”

    Conservative New York Times columnist and longtime Wall Street Journal writer Bret Stephens agreed:

    Meanwhile, John Podhoretz at Commentary wrote a scathing anti-Hannity column headlined “The Shame of Defaming Seth Rich.”

    And then there was the Montana morality meltdown.

    After Gianforte threw Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the ground in front of several witnesses and while the reporter’s tape recorder rolled, Trump loyalists in the press rushed to the Republican's defense. Some even cheered the attack while blaming and mocking the unsuspecting victim.

    For some Republican-friendly journalists, that was too much to stomach. 

    “Too many conservatives are either doubting the event occurred, despite audio evidence and witness testimony by a Fox News crew, or praising Mr. Gianforte for giving the press what it deserves,” lamented former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, who was infamously grabbed by Trump’s campaign manager last year while trying to ask the candidate a question.

    “There is never an excuse for a politician to assault a reporter for asking questions,” wrote Jay Caruso at the GOP-friendly RedState. “It’s sad to watch some conservatives wave it away because they don’t like the media.”

    “You either uphold certain basic standards of decency or you don’t,” noted Charen after singling out conservatives such as Brent Bozell, Dinesh D’Souza and Laura Ingraham for loudly supporting Gianforte’s attack. “Some who call themselves conservatives have shown that they are nothing of the kind. To be conservative is to be honorable. These are contemptible, partisan hacks.”

    I don’t often agree with the National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Wire, Commentary, and former Bush speechwriters. But in this case, they’re right to loudly sound the alarm about the very dark place that Trump is leading today’s conservative media.