Media

The idea that Alex Jones and others like him just offer a ‘different opinion’ is ignorant bullshit

Alex Jones doesn’t simply offer a varying opinion. He disseminates disinformation that undermines civil society and the universal deference to truth.

There has been a very frustrating trend in the era of Trump: this idea that just because someone labels their views as a “different opinion,” we have to listen to them or be considered closed-minded.

If someone disagrees with the tax system, or how exactly to fix our education system, or any number of genuinely political issues, then of course one should be willing to hear a different opinion, as long as a person has been informed on the subject, obviously.

What exactly, were Alex Jones’s political opinions?

He claimed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were literal demons from hell.

He claimed Sandy Hook was a hoax.

He threatened violence on any number of people.

He spread hatred and spewed racist and misogynistic and homophobic rhetoric often on his talk show.

He offers no evidence to back anything up.

Why he does he deserve a seat at the table? Why are we supposed to listen to his drivel as if his opinion is just as valid as real intellectual thinkers? It’s not based on fact. It doesn’t seek to empathize with anybody.

He’s not concerned at all with news or analysis. In court documents during a child custody battle with his ex-wife, his lawyer claimed he was a performance artist.

As far as any actual news reporting or analysis goes, one of his journalists unwittingly proved without a shadow of a doubt that InfoWars has no idea what it’s actually doing. Confusing the rules that govern publicly-trading companies with actual government-owned entities is mind-numbingly stupid, and I should not have to waste my time explaining that to another adult. The fact that these people curate news? Nah. Keep ’em.

Which begs the question: is Alex Jones a journalist, an actor, or an entertainer?

Oh, another question — who, exactly, sees this as entertaining? Who hears “Sandy Hook was a hoax” and says “Oh man, that is quality story-telling. Thank you, Alex Jones, for your fascinating point of view.”

In the end, it does not matter if he is genuine about any of this. This is not simply a “difference of opinion,” and the conservative who argues such does their own political leaning a disservice. If this is simply a conservative opinion, conservatism is ugly as hell.

But InfoWars is part of a larger trend that delights in purposefully misreading history. Promoting arguments that the Democrats were the party of slavery is either a bad understanding of the past or a bad faith argument meant to slow down or confuse the issue at hand. Explaining that Nazis are actually a leftist regime, and that they were actually socialist, either shows a stunning lack of any cognitive ability whatsoever or a gleeful attempt to shove the limelight away from the fact that there are actual Nazis in the Republican party.

I’m looking at sites like Prager U, who put forth a retelling of history with so many holes, I wonder if the people involved ever took a basic high school history class. I’m looking at people like Mike Cernovich and the like, who are adamant about a secret liberal pedophile rings while also doxxing entertainers who are open with their liberal views. They are skewing the conversation until we finally have gotten to the point where I am almost too tired to think about how fucking stupid building the wall is.

This twisting and shifting of history to make partisan arguments is bad for everyone. There is nothing to be gained by arguing with or debunking the claims of Alex Jones and his ilk. They do not care about facts. They care about winning petty arguments and spreading their terrifying world view of pedophile pizza shops and a Deep State bureaucracy.

They are uneducated, lazy trolls. They have been given a fair hearing and they have squandered it.

Featured image via screen grab/YouTube

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