Alex Jones: The American lie machine spreading across the world

MIDDLE ISRAEL: The lie machine that is tearing American society asunder is at play wherever populism thrives, including in Israel.

 ALEX JONES talks to media outside the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, which this week ruled he must pay bereaved parents compensation for falsely claiming the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax (photo credit:  BRIANA SANCHEZ/POOL VIA REUTERS)
ALEX JONES talks to media outside the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, which this week ruled he must pay bereaved parents compensation for falsely claiming the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax
(photo credit: BRIANA SANCHEZ/POOL VIA REUTERS)

He got what he deserved. Having built a career on spreading conspiracy fantasies about events that he neither witnessed nor probed, radio-show host Alex Jones was ordered by a Texan court to pay $49 million in damages to one pair of his lie machine’s many victims.

The couple, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, lost their six-year-old son, Jesse, in the 2012 attack on the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were slain by a gunman who shot himself in the head, and earlier that day, also murdered his mother.

Jones claimed all this was a hoax: there was no shooting, the children did not exist, the bereaved parents seen on TV were actors, and the entire affair was staged by the government in an effort (if only there were one) to confiscate citizens’ firearms.

While the jury was debating his verdict, Jones told his radio show’s listeners that his trial – whose existence even he couldn’t deny – was concocted by “globalists” who resolved to shut his mouth and finish him off.

The disorders all this reflects – moral, social, and possibly also clinical – can create the impression that Jones represents an isolated phenomenon. He doesn’t. In fact, he is the zeitgeist. If anything, he has been ahead of his time, and not only in America, but worldwide, and that includes the Jewish state. 

 Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his emails asked by Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during trial at the Travis County Courthouse, Austin, Texas, US, August 3, 2022.  (credit:  BRIANA SANCHEZ/POOL VIA REUTERS) Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his emails asked by Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during trial at the Travis County Courthouse, Austin, Texas, US, August 3, 2022. (credit: BRIANA SANCHEZ/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Who lies in the news? 

FABRICATING “NEWS” has been around forever. However, it is one thing to claim that Hitler or Elvis is alive, as supermarket tabloids did routinely last century, and it is an entirely different thing to scratch bereaved parents’ wounds. Who does this sort of thing? Where does such nefariousness come from?

One has to suspect that such callousness is psychic, part of a mental disorder that blocks one’s ability to imagine other people’s pain.

However, Jones is not alone in this disgrace. His websites InfoWars and PrisonPlanet are followed by millions, as are his radio shows, all of which are dedicated to the spread of lies about landmark events, from the Oklahoma City bombing to the September 11 attacks.

In other words, Alex Jones has been for the epochal War on Truth an arms supplier, a troop recruiter and a field commander – roles he assumed already in 1999, when he launched his website five years before the launch of Facebook. This doesn’t mean the war itself is this wacko’s doing. It isn’t. The assault on truth is led by leaders; real leaders; world leaders.

FANNED THROUGH social media, which placed lie machines in millions of hands, the War on Truth deploys the masses, but is inspired from above. As argued here previously, the war that threatens the free world was waged in a pincer movement by Vladimir Putin in the East and Donald Trump in the West.

While the Kremlin industrialized fake news by manufacturing websites, bloggers, talk-backers and social media pages geared to contaminate free elections, the free world’s leader routinely tweeted lies, defied science, defamed the press, and also denied the pandemic that later brought his presidency to its end.

People like Alex Jones were this operation’s useful idiots. Trump did not think there was no massacre in Sandy Hook, and neither did Jones, as he conceded in court when he finally understood his situation. However, the ability to divert some of the public wrath concerning gun proliferation appealed to both of them, even if they never technically colluded, or even met.

Lying to the masses is for these people both a means and an aim, maybe also fun. That is why a guy like Steve Bannon, who spread conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, doesn’t detect the absurdity he speaks, or feel the revulsion he evokes when he compares the FBI to the Gestapo, as he did this week in response to the American spooks’ raid on Trump’s Floridian estate.

And Steve Bannon is not a cybernetic heckler like Alex Jones. Bannon was the White House’s chief strategist. That is why the lie machine is not just a pistol for the masses, but an atomic bomb in governmental hands. And the hands are not just American.

The US lie machine is active where populism thrives

THE LIE machine that is tearing American society asunder is at play wherever populism thrives, from Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro claimed COVID-19 vaccines cause AIDS; to Hungary, where President Viktor Orban claimed “the [George] Soros network” – a euphemism for “the Jews” – was behind a European Union “plan” to swamp Europe with 35 million Muslim immigrants.

The lie machine is hard at work in Israel

The lie machine has also been hard at work in the Promised Land, where “the Jews” have been replaced with “the Arabs.”

What began with Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2015 election-day invention of “left-wing NGOs” bussing “en masse” Arab voters to the polls, this year became “Bennett is transferring huge sums to the Islamist movement,” even though coalition budgeting for Arab causes, like funding for ultra-Orthodox or settler causes, does not go to political parties or movements.

In between these fabrications, the Israeli lie machine spread stories about Benny Gantz’s smartphone having been hacked by Iranian agents, about Avigdor Liberman being a Russian agent, and about Ehud Barak having flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane surrounded by the late financier’s infamous collection of underage prostitutes. 

Now, as yet another election looms, the question is where will the lie machine try to take us next: what will be the next big lie, how will it be spread, and how much damage will it do? 

Whatever the answers, the next big lie’s mastermind would do well to think in advance of what Alex Jones now understands in retrospect, namely, that lying can cost the liar more than he can afford to pay; and that truth, no matter how inventively twisted or how deeply buried, will ultimately emerge, shine and win. www.MiddleIsrael.net

The writer, a Hartman Institute fellow, is the author of the bestselling Mitzad Ha’ivelet Ha’yehudi (The Jewish March of Folly, Yediot Sefarim, 2019), a revisionist history of the Jewish people’s political leadership.

The industry of lies was dealt a setback, but the war on truth rages on