Everyone enjoys a good conspiracy theory, particularly Alex Jones. His Infowars.com site can explain every single problem in the world through his theories on the rise of the ‘New World Order’. I only discovered Jones a few weeks ago and wrote him off as a wacko on the fringe American media.
Today, he’s arrived on a mainstream BBC programme. In the above video clip, David Aaronovitch of The Times and Andrew Neil try to figure out Jones’ big theory on the Bilderberg conference. Instead of explaining, he ranted on topics including ‘the SS office Prince Bernard’, ‘the Nazi German plan’ behind the EU to ‘hydroflourons in the water’. It makes for some astonishing viewing — but as Neil pointed during the show, it’s all just for show:
And the moment Alex Jones knew he was no longer on air he stopped. All an act. #bbcsp.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) June 9, 2013
Jones’ appearance is a reminder that we’re comparatively free of such loony voices in our mainstream political coverage. Even the most extreme of guests wouldn’t rant and scream when asked (kindly and more forcefully) to keep their trap shut. Skip to 4:40 above to see where Jones really kicks off.
In America, such debates are less unusual – and even, in places, encouraged. As Mark Halperin describes in his 2008 book The Way to Win there is a genre of American debate called a ‘freak show’ – where political debate is reduced to comic extremes. It is to politics what WWF is to wrestling. The political world is given its semicomic Hulk Hogans and they’re asked to get in the ring: ‘Michael Moore, meet Ann Coulter ‘ — that kind of thing. Those who succeed in this world are those who decide to navigate, rather than ignore, this bizarre world we caught a glimpse of today.
Jones’ claimed three million radio listeners and 50 million YouTube followers have much to answer for.
‘ICONIC’ UPDATE: Alex Jones emerged from the BBC studio saying ‘I just went on one of the biggest news shows in the United Kingdom’ and believes his ‘performance…will be perceived negatively at first, but over then time it will become iconic’. Yes, seriously. It’s 4:08 in the below:
He didn’t give up there either – at 1:21 below, you can find our friend Jones fronting up ‘Bilderberger’ Ed Balls just after his interview: