This article was originally published on March 1, 2017 and republished after Facebook banned "InfoWars" from its platform for hate speech.
Donald Trump’s first address to the United States Congress was lauded as a “teleprompter triumph” and a display of a “kinder, gentler president.” After taking arrows for ignoring the resurgence of anti-Semitic events in the United States, Trump opened his speech by denouncing “hate and evil”, explicitly mentioning the threats against Jewish centers.
Mere hours before, though, Trump suggested to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro that the post-election string of anti-Jewish bomb threats and cemetery vandalisms could be a false-flag, perpetrated by Trump opponents to make the president look bad.
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That is just the latest statement made by Trump parroting or channeling right-wing commentators or conspiracy theorists - in this case, Alex Jones. Jewish leaders, such as Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, were appalled.
Alex Jones, 43, has been on the air for over 20 years. He began his radio career in 1996, aged 22, in Austin, Texas, with spreading conspiracy theories, including that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was actually perpetrated by the U.S. government - what has become known as a false-flag attack. Today Jones has an eponymous program, “The Alex Jones Show,” which like his website and YouTube channel “InfoWars,” has attracted record traffic in the Trump era.
InfoWars has run articles accusing Israel of involvement in planning the 9/11 attacks, charged the Rothschild family with promoting “endless war, debt slavery and a Luciferian agenda,” and stating that health-care in the U.S. is controlled by the “Jewish mafia,” to name but a few topics.
Unlike most web publishers of his ilk, Jones can boast a distinction: he is in regular, personal contact with Donald Trump. "Trump and I have talked several times since the election — about freedom and our common goal to destroy our enemies," he told the German paper Der Spiegel.
Trump is the only U.S. president who (albeit before his election) appeared on Alex Jones’ online show, via video from Trump Tower in December 2015, and praised the notorious conspiracy theorist. "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” Jones takes credit for Trump calling the media the “true enemy” of the American people, saying he originally coined and introduced the term to Trump in 2015.
Jones has repeatedly claimed over the last 20 years that various attacks on the U.S. were staged by the U.S. government. The list of tragedies that Jones and Infowars have claimed were false-flag include: the 9/11 attacks, the Columbine school shooting, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Sandy Hook shooting, and the Boston Marathon bombing, among others.
Trump and his White House have undeniably elevated the credibility and profile of Alex Jones and InfoWars, even sending the website “exclusive details” Monday night about President Trump's Tuesday night speech to Congress.
Adding to the controversy surrounding Trump’s reported false-flag remarks to Shapiro was a tweet by White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs head Anthony Scaramucci, saying, “It's not yet clear who the JCC offenders are. Don't forget The Democrats’ effort to incite violence at Trump rallies.” At the other end of the rainbow, Rabbi Jack Moline, the president of the Interfaith Alliance, said that Trump “must be listening to Alex Jones again.”
Jones, for his part, denies having any influence over Trump. “MSM (the mainstream media) tries to say Alex Jones is an eight-headed kook with all these warts and Trump’s copying everything he says. It’s just not true,” Jones told the New York Times in mid-February.
Author Norman Cohn, offered a stark warning against elevating eight-headed kooks to prominence in the political discourse: “There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures, and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people, who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility,” Cohn wrote in his 1967 book “Warrant for Genocide: the Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” adding, “And it occasionally happens that this underworld becomes a political power and changes the course of history."