Jones in December 2017
Alexander Emric Jones
February 11, 1974
|Residence||Austin, Texas, U.S.|
|Known for||Various conspiracy theories|
(m. 2007; div. 2015)
Alexander Emric (or Emerick) Jones (born February 11, 1974) is an American radio show host and far-right conspiracy theorist. He hosts The Alex Jones Show from Austin, Texas, which airs on the Genesis Communications Network across the United States and online. Jones runs a website, InfoWars, based on conspiracy theories and fake news, and the websites NewsWars and PrisonPlanet.
Jones began his career in the 1990s running a live public-access cable television program, later switching to radio. He has been the center of many controversies, including his promotion of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy theories, and his aggressive opposition to gun control in a debate with Piers Morgan. Jones has accused the US government of planning the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks, and falsifying some details regarding the Moon landing. He has claimed that several governments and big businesses have colluded to create a "New World Order" through "manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech and—above all—inside-job terror attacks that fuel exploitable hysteria".
Jones has described himself as a conservative, paleoconservative and libertarian, terms he uses interchangeably. Others describe him as conservative, right-wing, alt-right, and far-right. New York magazine has described Jones as "America's leading conspiracy theorist", and the Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as "the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America". Asked about such labels, Jones said he is "proud to be listed as a thought criminal against Big Brother".
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Radio, websites and mail-order business
- 4 Views
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Media
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Jones was born in 1974 in Dallas, Texas, and was raised in the Dallas suburb of Rockwall and the city of Austin, Texas. His father is a dentist and his mother a homemaker. In his video podcasts, he reports he is of Irish, German, Welsh, mostly English, and partially Native American descent. He was a lineman on his high school's football team and graduated from Anderson High School in Austin in 1993. As a teenager, he read conservative journalist and conspiracy theorist Gary Allen's book None Dare Call It Conspiracy, which had a profound influence on him and which he calls "the easiest-to-read primer on The New World Order". After high school, Jones briefly attended Austin Community College but dropped out.
Jones began his career in Austin with a live, call-in format public-access cable television program. In 1996, Jones switched to radio, hosting a show named The Final Edition on KJFK (98.9 FM). Ron Paul was running for Congress and was a guest on his show several times. When the Oklahoma City bombing happened in 1995 Jones began accusing the government of being responsible: "I understood there's a kleptocracy working with psychopathic governments—clutches of evil that know the tricks of control". In 1998, he released his first film, America Destroyed by Design.
In 1998, Jones organized a successful campaign to build a new Branch Davidian church, as a memorial to those who died during the 1993 fire that ended the Waco siege of the original Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas. He often featured the project on his public-access television program and claimed that David Koresh and his followers were peaceful people who were murdered by Attorney General Janet Reno and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms during the siege. In the same year, he was removed from a George W. Bush rally at Bayport Industrial District, Texas. Jones interrupted governor Bush's speech, demanding that the Federal Reserve and Council on Foreign Relations be abolished. Journalist David Weigel, reporting on the incident, said Jones "seemed to launch into public events as if flung from another universe."
In 1999, Jones tied with Shannon Burke for that year's "Best Austin Talk Radio Host" poll, as voted by The Austin Chronicle readers. Later that year, he was fired from KJFK-FM for refusing to broaden his topics. His views were making the show hard to sell to advertisers, according to the station's operations manager. Jones stated:
It was purely political, and it came down from on high [...] I was told 11 weeks ago to lay off [Bill] Clinton, to lay off all these politicians, to not talk about rebuilding the church, to stop bashing the Marines, A to Z.
He began broadcasting his show by Internet connection from his home. In early 2000, Jones was one of seven Republican candidates for state representative in Texas House District 48, an open swing district based in Austin, Texas. Jones stated that he was running "to be a watchdog on the inside" but withdrew from the race after a couple of weeks. In July, a group of Austin Community Access Center (ACAC) programmers claimed that Jones used legal proceedings and ACAC policy to intimidate them or get their shows thrown off the air. On July 15, 2000, Jones infiltrated the Cremation of Care, which he called "a ritualistic shedding of conscience and empathy" and an "abuse of power".
In 2001, his show was syndicated on approximately 100 stations. After the 9/11 attacks, Jones began to speak of a conspiracy by the Bush administration as being behind the attack, which caused a number of the stations that had previously carried him to drop his program, according to Will Bunch.
On June 8, 2006, while on his way to cover a meeting of the Bilderberg Group in Ottawa, Jones was stopped and detained at the Ottawa airport by Canadian authorities who confiscated his passport, camera equipment, and most of his belongings. He was later allowed to enter Canada legally. Jones said about the reason for his immigration hold: "I want to say, on the record, it takes two to tango. I could have handled it better."
On September 8, 2007, he was arrested while protesting at 6th Avenue and 48th Street in New York City. He was charged with operating a megaphone without a permit. Two others were also cited for disorderly conduct when his group crashed a live television show featuring Geraldo Rivera. In an article, one of Jones' fellow protesters said, "It was ... guerrilla information warfare."
On June 6, 2013, Jones addressed the media for the annual Bilderberg conference in Watford, England. He gave an hour-long speech to around 2,000 protesters in the grounds of The Grove hotel, where he was "rapturously welcomed", "surrounded by cameras and peppered with questions".
On July 21, 2016, following the 2016 Republican National Convention, Jones and Roger Stone began to plot the removal of Ted Cruz from his Senate seat after he failed to endorse Donald Trump as the Republican presidential candidate, with potential challengers Katrina Pierson and Dan Patrick mooted as replacements in the upcoming Texas election for Senate in 2018.
On July 6, 2017, alongside Paul Joseph Watson, Jones began hosting a contest to create the best "CNN Meme", in which the winner would receive $20,000. The contest was created in response to CNN releasing an article regarding a Reddit user who had created a pro-Trump, anti-CNN meme.
Radio, websites and mail-order business
The Alex Jones Show is broadcast nationally by the Genesis Communications Network to more than 100 AM and FM radio stations in the United States. In 2010, the show attracted around 2 million listeners each week.
According to journalist Will Bunch, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, the show has a demographic heavier in younger viewers than other conservative pundits due to Jones's "highly conspiratorial tone and Web-oriented approach". Bunch has also stated that Jones "feed[s] on the deepest paranoia". According to Alexander Zaitchik of Rolling Stone magazine, in 2011 he had a larger on-line audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.
InfoWars and other sites
Jones is the publisher and director of the InfoWars website. The InfoWars website receives approximately 10 million monthly visits, making its reach more extensive than mainstream news websites such as The Economist and Newsweek.
His website InfoWars has been described as a fake news website and has been accused of spreading conspiracy theories. According to a court testimony Jones delivered in 2014, InfoWars has revenues of over $20 million a year.
A 2017 piece for German magazine Der Spiegel by Veit Medick indicated that two-thirds of Jones' funds derive from sales of a successful range of his own products. These products are marketed through the InfoWars website and through advertising spots on Jones' show. They include dietary supplements, toothpaste, bulletproof vests and "brain pills," which hold "an appeal for anyone who believes Armageddon is near", according to Medick.
In August 2017, Californian medical company Labdoor, Inc reported on tests applied to six of Jones' dietary supplement products. These included a product named Survival Shield, which was found by Labdoor to contain only iodine, and a product named Oxy-Powder, which comprised a compound of magnesium oxide and citric acid; common ingredients in dietary supplements. Labdoor indicated no evidence of prohibited or harmful substances, but cast doubt on Infowars' marketing claims for these products, and asserted that the quantity of the ingredients in certain products would be "too low to be appropriately effective".
On a segment of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver stated that Jones spends "nearly a quarter" of his on-air time promoting products sold on his website, many of which are purported solutions to medical and economic problems claimed to be caused by the conspiracy theories described on his show.
Mainstream sources have described Jones as a conservative, far-right, alt-right, and a conspiracy theorist. Jones has described himself as a libertarian and a paleoconservative. He indicated his support for Donald Trump during the Presidential campaign in 2016 also denouncing Trump's rival Hillary Clinton ("Hillary for prison!") and Barack Obama.
Jones is a vocal gun rights advocate. MTV labeled him a "staunch Second Amendment supporter", while the London Daily Telegraph called him a "gun-nut". He has been quoted in the media for claiming, in a debate with Piers Morgan, that "1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms". Jones was referencing the American Revolutionary War in relation to theoretical gun control measures taken by the government. He has been reported to own around 50 firearms.
Jones is known for both his opposition to vaccines, and his views on vaccine controversies. On June 16, 2017, Vox covered his claim that the introduction of the Sesame Street character Julia, an autistic Muppet, was "designed to normalize autism, a disorder caused by vaccines." On November 20, 2017, The New Yorker quoted Jones as claiming InfoWars was "defending people's right to not be forcibly infected with vaccines". Critics argue that he endangers "children by convincing their parents that vaccines are dangerous." Jones has specifically disputed the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccines.
Mother Jones has said that Jones is a believer in weather weapons, and Salon has covered his claim "that the president has access to weather weapons capable of not only creating tornadoes but also moving them around, on demand". His belief in weather warfare has been reported by mainstream media. He has claimed that Hurricane Irma may have been geo-engineered.
Jones has promoted the white genocide conspiracy theory. Media Matters covered his claim that NFL players protesting during the national anthem were "kneeling to white genocide" and violence against whites, which the SPLC featured in their headlines review. On October 2, 2017, Jones claimed that Democrats and communists were plotting imminent "white genocide" attacks. His reporting and public views on the topic have received support and coverage from white nationalist publications and groups, such as the AltRight Corporation and the New Zealand National Front.
Jones has been the center of many controversies. In 2009, Jones claimed that a convicted con man's scheme to take over a long-vacant, would-be for-profit prison in Hardin, Montana was part of a FEMA plot to detain US citizens in concentration camps. Jones was in a "media crossfire" in 2011, which included criticism by Rush Limbaugh, when the news spread that Jared Lee Loughner, the perpetrator of the 2011 Tucson shooting, had been "a fan" of the 9/11 conspiracy film Loose Change of which Jones had been an executive producer.
Jones has been criticized for propagating conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018 being false flag operations engineered by gun control advocates. In particular, he has stated that "no one died" in Sandy Hook and that Stoneman Douglas survivor David Hogg was a crisis actor. Claims made in support of these theories have been proven false.
In March 2018, six families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as well as an FBI agent who responded to the attack filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones for his role in spreading conspiracy theories that had caused survivors to be harassed, stalked and threatened. By February 2019, ten families had joined in lawsuits that had won a series of court rulings that would require Jones to testify under oath and open his business records for examination. Later that month Jones was ordered to undergo a sworn deposition as part of the case. The judge also ruled that three other defendants must face deposition, people who are "critical to Infowars business operations." Previously Jones was ordered to turn over internal financial, business and marketing documents related to the operations of Infowars.
In March 2019, Jones acknowledged that the deaths were real during a sworn deposition in the defamation suit stating: "And I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I've now learned a lot of times things aren't staged".
2013 television interviews
In January 2013, Jones was invited to speak on Piers Morgan's CNN show after promoting an online petition to deport Morgan because of his support of gun control laws. The interview turned into "a one-person shoutfest, as Jones riffed about guns, oppressive government, the flag, his ancestors' role in Texan independence, and what flag Morgan would have on his tights if they wrestled." The event drew widespread coverage, and according to The Huffington Post, Morgan and others such as Glenn Beck "agreed that Jones was a terrible spokesman for gun rights". Jones's appearance on the show was a top trending Twitter topic the following morning.
On June 9, 2013, Jones appeared as a guest on the BBC's television show Sunday Politics, during a discussion about conspiracy theories surrounding the Bilderberg Group meetings with presenter Andrew Neil and journalist David Aaronovitch. A critic of such theories, Aaronovitch implied that, since Jones had not been killed for exposing conspiracies, they either do not exist or that Jones is a part of them himself. Jones began shouting and interrupting, and Andrew Neil ended the interview, describing Jones as "an idiot" and "the worst person I've ever interviewed". According to Neil on Twitter, Jones was still shouting until he knew that he was off-air.
Relationship with Donald Trump
In December 2015, Jones says he initially "formed a bond" with Donald Trump, after the presidential candidate appeared on The Alex Jones Show, with Trump stating "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down."
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton criticized Trump for his ties to Jones. Jones said that Trump called him on the day after the election to thank him for his help in the campaign. Since Trump took office, it has been claimed Jones communicates with the President through aides, something which Chief of Staff John Kelly had reportedly tried to block.
In April 2018, Jones publicly criticized President Trump during a livestream, after Trump announced a military strike against Syria. During the stream, Jones also stated that Trump had not called him during the prior six months.
In a February 2019 interview with Joe Rogan, Jones expressed mixed sentiments about Trump, stating:
I don't dislike Donald Trump and I think he's done some good things, on trying to do peace and trying to get jobs back to America, but I hate Donald Trump because I got behind him [...] and then he became my identity.
In February 2017, the lawyers of James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, sent Jones a letter demanding an apology and retraction for his role in pushing the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Under Texas law, Jones was given a month to comply or be subject to a libel suit. In March 2017, Jones apologized to Alefantis for promulgating the conspiracy theory and retracted his allegations.
In April 2017, the Chobani yogurt company filed a lawsuit against Jones for his article that claims that the company's factory in Idaho, which employs refugees, was connected to a 2016 child sexual assault and a rise in tuberculosis cases. As a result of the lawsuit, Jones issued an apology and retraction of his allegations in May 2017.
In March 2018, Brennan Gilmore, who shared a video he captured of a car hitting anti-racism protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, filed a lawsuit against Jones and six others. According to the lawsuit, Jones said that Gilmore was acting as part of a false flag operation conducted by disgruntled government "deep state" employees in promotion of a coup against President Trump. Gilmore alleges he has been receiving death threats from Jones' audience.
Leonard Pozner, father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim who has been forced to move several times to avoid harassment and death threats accusing him of being a crisis actor, has filed a defamation suit against Jones in Texas.
Khan Shaykhun chemical attack
In April 2017, Jones was criticized for claiming that the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack was a hoax and a "false flag". Jones stated that the attack was potentially carried out by civil defense group White Helmets, which he falsely claims are an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist front financed by George Soros.
Social media restrictions
On July 24, 2018, YouTube removed four of InfoWars' videos citing "long-standing policies against child endangerment and hate speech", and issued a "strike" against the InfoWars channel. YouTube also suspended the channel's ability to live stream. On July 27, 2018, Facebook suspended Jones's profile for 30 days, and also removed the same videos, saying they violated Facebook's standards against hate speech and bullying. On August 3, 2018, Stitcher Radio removed all of his podcasts stating that he was involved in harassment or encouraged it.
On August 6, 2018, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify removed all content by Alex Jones and InfoWars from their platforms for violating their policies. YouTube removed various channels associated with InfoWars, including The Alex Jones Channel, which had amassed 2.4 million subscriptions prior to its removal. On Facebook, four pages that were associated with InfoWars and Alex Jones were removed due to repeated violations of the website's policies. Apple removed all podcasts associated with Jones from its iTunes platform and its podcast app. On August 13, 2018, Vimeo removed all of Jones' videos because they "violated our terms of service prohibitions on discriminatory and hateful content". Facebook cited instances of dehumanizing language about immigrants, Muslims and transgender people, as well as violence glorification, as examples of hate speech policy violations.
Jones' accounts have also been removed from Pinterest, Mailchimp and LinkedIn. As of early August 2018, Jones still had active accounts on Instagram, Google+ and Twitter. Jones tweeted a Periscope video calling on others to get their "battle rifles" ready against antifa, the mainstream media, and Chicom operatives. In the video he also says, "Now is time to act on the enemy before they do a false flag." Twitter cited this as the reason to suspend his account for a week on August 14. On September 6, 2018, Jones was permanently banned from Twitter and Periscope after confronting and berating CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. On September 7, 2018, the InfoWars app was removed from the Apple App Store for "objectionable content". He was banned from using PayPal for his business transactions, with PayPal citing "instances that promoted hate or discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions, which run counter to our core value of inclusion," in their announcement.
Alex Jones' InfoWars was discovered to be available on Roku devices in January 2019 a year after its removal from multiple streaming service providers. Roku indicated that they do not "curate or censor based on viewpoint." Roku indicated that it had policies against content that is "unlawful, incited illegal activities, or violates third-party rights" and that InfoWars was not in violation of these policies. However, following a social media backlash, they removed InfoWars and stated "After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform."
In March 2019, YouTube terminated the Resistance News channel due to it reuploading live streams from the deleted InfoWars channel. On May 1, 2019, Facebook barred Jones from using both its Facebook and Instagram services.
Jones has three children with ex-wife Kelly Jones. The couple divorced in March 2015. In 2017, Kelly sought sole or joint custody of their children due to her ex-husband's behavior. She claimed "he's not a stable person" and "I'm concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress" (Adam Schiff). His attorney responded by claiming that "he's playing a character" and describing him as a "performance artist". On his show, Jones denied playing a character and he called his show "the most bona fide, hard-core, real McCoy thing there is, and everybody knows it". In court, Jones clarified that he generally agreed with his attorney's statement, but that he disagreed with the media's interpretation of the term "performance artist". Kelly was awarded the right to decide where their children live while he maintains visitation rights.
|2001||Waking Life||Man in Car with PA||Cameo|
|2006||A Scanner Darkly||Preacher||Minor role|
|2007||Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement||Himself||Documentary|
|2009||The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off|
|After Last Season||God||Cameo|
|2016||Amerigeddon||Senator Reed||Minor role|
|2009–2012||Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura||Himself||Recurring guest|
- Jones, Alex (2002). 9-11: Descent Into Tyranny. Austin, Texas: Progressive Press. ISBN 978-1575581132. OCLC 52400701.
- Jones, Alex (2009). The Answer to 1984 Is 1776. London: The Disinformation Company. ISBN 978-1934708156. OCLC 421814975.
|2001||Waking Life||by Richard Linklater|
|2001||The Secret Rulers of the World||by Jon Ronson, part four of a five part series|
|2003||Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11||by Stephen Marshall|
|2009||New World Order (documentary)||by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel|
|2010||The Fall of America and the Western World||by Brian Kraft|
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Alex Jones is no stranger to conspiracy theories.
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[His cable show] has made the exuberant, 27-year-old conspiracy theorist a minor celebrity in Austin.
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YouTube title: Joe Rogan Experience #1255 - Alex Jones Returns!
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