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The Alex Jones Article
Why we shouldn't police speech
This is one of those articles where another 10% of readers are done with me, and that’s okay.
First, a disclaimer:
I don’t condone anything Alex Jones has to say about Sandy Hook. He misled his viewers and prevented families from grieving in peace. There is a difference between being a reasonable skeptic and being a public menace.
That said Alex Jones may be an unhinged mess, but he inadvertently sparks discussions we can't ignore in our messed-up society.
He is Joe Rogan’s most-watched guest (mostly in support of Jones), but he’s also one of John Oliver’s most-watched ‘guests’ (mostly in lampooning of Jones).
I’m not here to make you like or hate Alex Jones; I’m just pointing out that there’s more to the man than meets the eye.
Alex Jones Has Gotten Things Right
Alex Jones, who was originally a Democrat, got a lot of things right.
During the Bush administration, Jones correctly called the Iraq War a pointless neocon crusade for oil.
While ‘journalists’ like Dan Rather (who alleged Saddam Hussein “might have tens of thousands of liters of anthrax”) or New York Times reporter Judith Miller wrote about weapons of mass destruction, Alex Jones was calling bullshit.
He was also the first, along with Jon Ronson — yes, that Jon Ronson — to expose Bohemian Grove, a place where ultra-powerful (mostly Republican) men like the Bushes and the late Ronald Reagan gather every year for clandestine talks and to burn an effigy of a human in front of a 40-foot owl named Moloch.
Here’s Richard Nixon talking about it:
Alex Jones was also one of the first to report on Jeffery Epstein two years before he was arrested on an episode of Joe Rogan:
Alex Jones: “We all know about Jerry Epstein.”
Joe Rogan: “I don’t know about Jerry Epstein.”
AJ: “Just Google the Lolita Express.”
Goddamnit, just mentioning all of this might as well be a career death sentence for me in the journalism biz. Ah, who cares? I do, please support me (-̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥᷄_-̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥᷅ )
The question is does Jones have a carte blanche to spew lies, conspiracy theories, and pure evil just because he gets some stories right? Hell no.
But it does give us a window into how Jones sees the world and what motivates him. He isn’t an insidious huxter snake oil salesman as casual critics would have you believe. He’s a complex human being who has gotten stories right and in some cases, very right—and many others very wrong.
Does Alex Jones Have a Mental Illness?
Alex Jones has had several psychotic breaks; he’s had genuine mental health issues, at least one public meltdown, and he has struggled with sobriety.
Back in 1996, Alex had a total on-air meltdown. This was before he fully went off the deep end but you could already sense the twisted thoughts taking root.
He’s also a victim of spousal abuse in which his wife once beat him to a pulp with a five-pound stone ball.
These events along with his manic energy, grandiose statements, and hyperbolic rhetoric have led some to believe that he suffers from bipolar disorder.
(Publicly, he’s been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder which isn’t surprising)
What to make of all this?
I’ve personally always had a fascination with extremity, and think there is genuine wisdom to be found therein. However, I also have concerns about the potential negative consequences; knowledge can be dangerous, I think, and I worry that it can degrade my mental health, render me totally out of touch with society, or something similarly frightening.
I’d say this is what’s happened with Alex Jones.
“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
A Final Point: Media Censorship
Alex Jones was banned from Apple, Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all within 12 hours of each other, something he warned of for many years.
Love him or hate him, you can't deny that this is an Orwellian nightmare:
The tech giants are meant to be rivals, each with their own principles and beliefs. But lo and behold, they all banned Alex Jones in unison. Eerie.
Meanwhile, any principled leftists brave enough to take a stance against media censorship were attacked and smeared by the vast majority of leftists blinded by their hatred of Jones.
The fallout from this event has left social media sites more emboldened than ever to silence dissent and crack down on alternative points of view.
Who is Alex Jones, really?
Honestly, I can't say for sure. On one hand, he's shed light on important stories that the mainstream media wouldn't touch. But on the other hand, his actions toward the Sandy Hook victims are absolutely despicable, malicious, and totally misguided.
At the end of the day, we need to approach Alex Jones with a healthy dose of skepticism. It could have been world-altering if police cracked the Epstein case 10 years ago when Alex was reporting on it. But he makes it hard on himself:
I’ll go on record and say that I want more journalists who can break the mold like Alex Jones without the endless baggage. We need more people unafraid to stand up and speak truth to power, even if it means they’ll never work in mainstream media again.
But that’s just my opinion, man.
You can yell at me in the comments now.
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