There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:00
Part One: Alex Jones: The Godfather of Fake News
Hey there. I'm Scott rank, host of the podcast history unplugged. Now, it really is a dream come true to get paid to talk about history without all the stress while still being able to make a living. And I did it with Spreaker from iheart. Not only did they make it super easy to monetize my podcast, but ad revenue is 3 to four times higher with spreaker than with any other host I've worked with. So if you want to turn your passion into a podcast and give this a try visitspreaker.com, that's spreaker.com get paid to talk about the things you love. Hey, it's Roy Wood, junior, host of The Daily Show podcast beyond the scenes and we are back for season 2. Beyond the scenes is the podcast where we take the topics and segments that were on The Daily Show and give them a little more love. This season, we're bringing back more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents, more experts, giving us some extra knowledge you can't get anywhere else. Don't miss it. Listen to beyond the scenes on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. This podcast is brought to youbyjbl.com. Now our friends at JBL understand the power of tuning in to the real U. From true wireless headphones to pulsing potty boxes, you can dare to vibe your way with the wide and colourful range of JBL products. Catch your favorite podcasts like this one unfiltered the JBL podcast on the Go. Play your music whenever, wherever and live in the moment your moment. Be unfiltered at JBL. Com. Hey, everybody, I'm Robert Evans, and this is once again behind the ******** the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in all of history, and today we are talking about a very special, terrible, terrible person. Alex Jones. Now you probably know Alex Jones is a ridiculous hobgoblin of a man who spouts conspiracies at the same rate of fire as a Vulcan chain gun. He's been banned from Facebook, Twitter, the App Store, and pretty much every other mainstream. App that is capable of somehow spreading information. Up until very recently, Alex Jones was considered nothing but a far fringe ****. Hardly an important voice in our national discourse, but the sad, weird, almost funny if you can hold back the tears, truth is that Alexander Jones is one of the most influential Americans of the 21st century. He is an architect of modern conservative media and a pioneer in a field that employs everyone on the podcast today. Speaking of everyone on the podcast today, my guest today are Ben Bollin and No Brown from Ridiculous History. Hey, thanks for having us on the show. Robert, Robert so excited to talk about this despicable pustule of a man, and especially because this is the second time that the three of us have hung out. You recently appeared on an episode of our Show. Yes, I did, talking about California's first governor and one of the most famous racists in Oregon history. That was fun. It's true. Feel good moment for everyone. Well, today we will be talking about more racism. But not from a Californian or an Oregonian. Actually, from a from a Texan. So. That's fun. You guys excited? Ohh man, thrilled. Let's do it. All right, let's roll into this. Alexander Emric Jones was born in Dallas, TX in 1974. A 2011 Rolling Stone profile describes him as the descendant of two lines of Texas frontiersmen. I think this article is one of the first, if not the very first, major publications that devoted a substantial feature to the subject of Mr Jones's life. It takes a bemused, slightly mocking, but ultimately quite fawn stance towards the infamous ****. Quote he describes a childhood that will disappoint those searching for the Freudian roots of his crusade. His parents, a dentist and a homemaker, raised him with love in the manicured suburb of Rockwall. I was an all American kid with a great family, he says. I read time, Life, books, played football with friends, with everybody. So that's a that's what Alex says his background was, yeah. Yeah. So that that seems so far pretty normal. Pretty normal so far. I mean, it's it's hard not to read him talking anytime. He's quoted in like a Griffin, Alex Jones been eating cigarettes with the phone book. You can read the phone book in that voice. There's a lot of fun. You say Rockwall, he grew up in Rockwall. Rockwall, yeah, which sounds very down home. That sounds like a very comforting place to have grown up. It it is. I actually grew up about 25 minutes away from Alex Jones and no way in a place called Plano. So Rockwall is a suburb of Dallas and it's it's a pretty affluent place. This the the suburbs on that side of Dallas are generally quite well off upper middle class for sure and Rockwall is one of the nicer suburbs in that whole area. It it is a nice quiet and pretty boring place. Mike Judge is King of the Hill is set in that same area and it's actually pretty accurate depiction of how it was when I lived there at least. I think that's why I said it was comforting. King of the Hill is like video comfort food for me. Yeah, put it on. Like, to just. It lulls me into a state of utter bliss. So, man, OK, so when did things go wrong? Well, that's kind of something we're all going to have to piece together here during this story. I've, I've, I've read as everything I can about his background, every different article I found that goes into his childhood. So I'm going to give you everything. There's some conflicting stuff here. So awesome. Here we go. And also, just hey, man, on a personal note, thanks for doing that. Been saving us from it. I hope you're OK. It wasn't. It's it's finding all the clips. That was really emotionally damaging because I had to listen to a lot of Infowars and it's what you are going to put us through that part. So, yeah, yeah. No, no, you you owe me nothing. All right? I'm ready. I'm a monster. OK. According to Alex, his parents raised him to be a political quote, almost as an experiment to see what I'd turn into. The closest thing to a childhood political training was some neighbors who were members of the John Birch Society. They'd come over for dinner and I'd be. Opposed to those ideas starting at around age 2. So this is the first place where I have questions with that Rolling Stone article because no one in 1984 just had friends that came over to talk about the John Birch Society. Do you guys know what that is? No, break it down for us. OK, so the John Birch Society is like the prototype for all future right wing conspiracy organizations. Fred Koch, the patriarch of the Koch brothers, was one of the founding members. To give you an idea of these peoples intellectual 10 there. They believed Dwight D Eisenhower was a secret communist. Ohh wait, yeah, I am familiar with these people because they're still like they're staunchly anti communist. That's one of their big platforms, right? Yeah, they're staunchly anti communist and they believe that like a gigantic communist conspiracy controls most of the world, even during like the height of the Cold War when like you know, they like I said, they think Eisenhower was a was a lefty. So that should give you an idea of how far to the right these guys are. So having friends who just, I don't buy that he just had friends who came over. To talk about the John Birch Society and other articles I've read say that Alex Jones's father himself was a member of the John Birch Society, which makes a lot of sense. Whatever. The truth is, Alex Jones was probably born into a mix of middle class luxury and far right conspiracy theories. Every single deep dive on the man I've read will mention that while young, he found a book called None Dare Call it Conspiracy on his father's bookshelf. Wow. Yeah, yeah. OK, so there's another quote from Rolling Stone. According to none dare, the federal income tax is nothing but a plot by a cabal of mega rich insiders who work to suck the middle class dry and transfer its wealth to the Ford and Rockefeller foundations. As a teenager, Jones read the book twice. It's still the easiest to read. Primary and then to the New World order, he says. So this is like the book that's his. His. I don't know. What's another influential book? The Bible. This is his Bible. Because here's the here's the fountain, his catcher in the rye. There you go. But he always, you know, makes a point. Maybe this is coming later. I'm sure it is that he's playing a character and he doesn't even really believe any of this, but based on what you're saying so far, it sounds like he has a pretty strong history of ******* believing in. He just recently started saying that it was a character. Yeah, and that's for a custody hearing. And Speaking of that custody hearing, the 2018 custody hearing, which we will be talking about more in, in the last episode of this three parter podcast, but during that custody hearing, he does talk about his childhood some. So I'd actually like to play you a clip from that. Where Alex talks about his life at age 16, so this will give us all some idea of what Alex Jones was doing as a teenager when I was 16. I didn't want to party anymore. I didn't want to play games anymore. I grew up. I had already been in the fights. All the big rituals I'd already had, probably. I hate to brag, so I'm not bragging. It's actually shameful. Probably 150 women or more. That's conservative. Jesus, that over 150 women. I'd already been in fights with full grown men. I was already dating college girls. By the time I was 15 years old, I was already a man. So that's the hardest part. 150, I got hairy ball. 150 and he's being conservative, dude. No, he is. He is myth building at this point. I mean, I mean, come on. That's that's all lies. Clearly it's it's it's funny. I I feel that. Yeah, that's 44 year old allegedly started 40, tops. Robert. I say 140 tops. Oh, believe 140. That's a reasonable number for a 15 year old. So, yeah, oddly enough, if you want some context for that video, the first part of it is him talking about a new world order plan to stop people from breeding because we're all supposed to have kids by age 16. Yeah. So anyway, I don't want to be just taking Alex out of context because whenever the media attacks him. Yeah. Here's a question. If that's his beef, you know, this is this conspiracy to, like, cut off procreation or whatever. And he's had 150 women by the age of 15. Where are all his, like, you know, ******* children? Progeny he's admitted to I think 10 abortions to like having having had partners of his have 10 abortions over the years and stuff and it's usually something he brings up when he's talking about his like shameful past or whatever for whatever reason that's important to him. Yeah, but so. So none of that is true, you're saying, right? Like, absolutely none of it. I know he's had sex with people because he has kids, but I really doubt he had sex with 150 people by the time he was 15. But was he, was he really fighting? Full broken, real well? I don't know. But we're going to be talking about a fight we know Alex Jones had and we've got different, different perspectives on that fight, including the police report that Alex filed. So that's coming up in a little bit. Maybe you guys, well, we'll reserve our judgment until then, so. Anyway, during his John Hughes movie Worth adolescence, Alex Jones stumbled onto his first conspiracy while he was out at parties on the weekend. He would watch his off duty. Cops sold pot, ecstasy and coke to other teens, Jones said to Rolling Stone. Quote, a truck would appear sometimes with a guy still in uniform inside. Then on Monday they'd have dare and drug test us for football. I was like, you want to drug test me when I know you're selling the stuff? I called them the mafia to their face. At the time I didn't know anything about the CIA drug dealing, so Alex was a varsity lineman at this point. In high school, so it's entirely possible he went to a lot of parties and it's also possible that Rockwall Cup sold drugs to teenagers. That whole chunk of suburban Dallas, Fort Worth has horrific and had horrific drug problems. When I was a kid there in the mid 1990s there was an article that on a like 7 or 8 kids died in a night from heroin overdoses. It was called the Great Heroin massacre and it turned out that Plano was like the heroin capital of the United States and in like 2001 a bunch of Dallas cops got busted for planting hundreds of pounds of fake. Drugs on people. So there's a lot of police corruption in that part of Texas. It is entirely possible that young Alex Jones stumbled upon a real drug conspiracy. He says that this conspiracy is why he wound up leaving the Dallas area. He got arrested for driving without a license and having a 6 pack of beer in the car. And when the police brought brought him to jail, he says the police threatened to frame him and send him away if he didn't stop. You know, talking about the the things that they were doing wrong. Maybe that's true. Maybe Alex started his career as a conspiracy theorist with a real conspiracy. It is possible cops in that part of Dallas have done some shady things, and that was certainly whet your appetite. You know, it's like the first one is legit. Then you know, everything you see from then on is like, got that tone to it. It does sound a little self aggrandizing, though, that the cops were so concerned, you know what I mean? If they're that bad, why didn't they just get rid of him? Well, and that's that's a fair point. And it's almost even if there was something wrong, because apparently the Rockwall sheriff was indicted on criminal charges for like, organized crime conspiracy and stuff after he and his family left Austin. He says they left that his parents moved to Austin because he was a threat from the police. I don't know if that's true. I don't know if they were afraid of him, but it's entirely possible he saw some evidence of an actual shady thing going on and that that's what sort of jumpstarted him. I gotta say, I appreciate that you're you're being very fair, Robert. I'm noticing that this is, I think my spider sense tells me this is about to get really weird. I mean, it's Alex Jones. Of course it's going to be really, really weird. But yeah, he does it at this point. He hasn't done anything that's that's inherently terrible. And he maybe stumbled upon a real, a real conspiracy. Buckley Hammond, Alex's cousin and a current Infowars employee, considers this this whole Rockwall police thing to be a major moment. Alex quote The Rockwall cops were lowbrow thugs and Alex was a Hellraiser. The conflict with the cops started Alex down the road of his current pursuit, so yeah, that seems plausible. Once he and his family moved to Austin, Alex quit football, which is probably good. He's not a man who needs head injuries added on to whatever else is going on in his head. There you go, there's a nice dig. He also quit smoking pot because he says it made him paranoid, and we wouldn't want paranoid Alex Jones decades later during that magical 2018 custody hearing. Alex Jones. Admitted that he still does smoke marijuana once a year quote to monitor its strength like law enforcement does. So you mean just to make sure nobody's putting anything in the ******* week? Thank God he believes that George Soros is making marijuana more potent. That was his what he stated in court and so he's keeping tabs on. Because obviously from breeding, to stop people from breeding and bring in the new world order with better pot. Did you, have you seen the video of him where he's like talking? He's on a YouTube clip and in the background he's got all this like EDM DJ equipment and there's like this conspiracy about Alex Jones that he is a secret EDM DJ. He definitely plays a lot of EDM on Infowars, but like in the background there's like a TR 808 and like these like CDJ decks and like all of this stuff that only a super ******** synth nerd would have. And it's clearly like. Room in his house. I can tell you I know like at least close to a dozen men over 40 in Austin who are are electronic music DJ's. So I'm 35 and I live in Atlanta and I've got a bunch of sense stuff in my yeah. So, you know, me and Alex Jones have that in common. It just kind of made me feel closer to him. I just wanted to bring that up early. It's just a Texas thing. Well, yeah, I mean, it's it's popular in Austin. It's entirely possible that that's a hobby of his. And if so, I encourage him to do that and not everything else he's been doing. Consider, yeah, EDM. A more or less positive thing for the world. So, so, so it's similar, I guess. This testing marijuana's potency, it reminds me of that old story about Gandhi where he said that he would have, like, young female relatives of his sleeping bed with him to test his, like, his resolve, his discipline in his resolve. Yeah, well, good on Gandhi. Good on Alex Jones. Alex Jones. Real bulwark. You know what? It's weird, but anytime someone talks about doing something to test themselves, it's almost. Always a little shady. I don't know, maybe normal people don't test themselves, they just indulge sometimes. Yeah, whatever. I'm getting on getting on a moral point here. Anyway, Jones claims that near the end of his time in high school, he started reading big fancy history books including William Shires. What? Rise and fall of the Third Reich, which is a really good book, as well as works of Roman history. He began to see a pattern in history of government staged terror attacks, and this apparently was sort of the start of his formation of the ideology that would take him through into adulthood. So in 1993, Alex Jones graduated high school. He wound up gravitating towards the Austin Community Access cable station and took on basically whatever work he could volunteer for. In 1995, when the Oklahoma City federal building was blown up by Timothy McVeigh, Jones got on the air and accused the federal government of planning the attack. Other conspiracy nuts started mailing him tips and information. Soon Jones became a local Austin celebrity. Brian Blake, the Austin Public Access station producer, recalled that back in those days the station was quote wild and unmoderated, like the YouTube of its time. That was my question. Like, he just had like a like a bully pulpit. Like he could just do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted at this time. Yeah, yeah. He could just get on public access TV. He had like a slot. And he also guessed it, a lot of people shows and he would just say whatever he wanted to. Did you ever end up seeing some of this stuff, Robert? Oh yeah, we're we're about to play a clip to it. So I have found a clip from the show in this era, and it's pretty remarkable. When you see Jones today, I you wouldn't look at Alex Jones in a modern Infowars broadcast and be like that man is polished, but I think this video makes it clear that he is. He's just that's the Polish he's picked because the early video shows him before he's developed his full schtick. So for some context, this video starts when one of his fans calls in to complain about a wildlife preserve in the area. And Jones starts mocking him and like, how dare you doubt the wisdom of the globalist elite sort of way. So he's he's being satirical. He's not really mocking the guy, but he's talking to him the way he thinks that a globalist elite would talk to this guy. It's kind of weird. The guy doesn't seem to get the joke and is really uncomfortable with the fact that Alex is yelling at him. And at one point the poor ****** called like thanks Alex for the call and says he has to go and is clearly put off and Alex screams at him. No submit. And then this happens. Alright, I'll talk to you soon, no. Submit for the kids. Of course I'm illustrating. I'm sorry about being a certain hello on the air. Another government training center, dude. They've taught you how to be cool, the cool person goes. Never tell the girls is the fool. You know who wears the cool clothes? He doesn't care about politics. None of that. Baby, let's party. Yeah, I don't care about my future, my kids, future of the world's future. I'm a caring person. I like Bill Clinton. That's just yeah, this Alex Jones is fun. He's whimsical as **** man, this is great. He's dapper. Yeah, he's enjoyable. You wanna watch this Alex Jones? He doesn't look like he hasn't fully drunk his own kool-aid at this point. You know, he also doesn't look like he's emotionally and financially invested in destroying the world. He looks like this is a bit for him, like he could do a SNL weekend update or something. I can see why people would have found him enjoyable and even comforting to like turn on at night smoke a little. It was also a different time. It was a different time. She was not as heavy and weird as it is now. I mean, come on, this feels like an intentional comedy show. Yeah, still with a bent, but with a intent on making people laugh more than scaring them into buying doomsday prepper supplies. Or whatever. And he sounds like a normal human being. Not as we'll get to in later clips not look like he's been gargling cigarettes and razor blades for the last 30. It's like what happened to Gollum, you know? Like over time you just like shrivel and degrade into this, like totally new creature, you know? This is like him when he was smeagol? Yeah, this is this is Smeagol Jones and not Golem. I like that. I like that. So at this point, he's he's definitely he. He rants a lot about socialists and he's already ranting about the globalists, but his conspiracy theory? Is more like an X-Files type of conspiracy. The military and the police and the CIA are untrustworthy and spying on people. They're all engaged in a grand chess game for your mind. And it's not he's not partisan. The Republican and the democratic parties are all fake to this Alex Jones. He's not left on the right. He's just everyone that's in power at all is in the same conspiracy. That's Alex just at this point. Fingers on the same hand, right. Yeah. Yeah. Just yeah. Exactly. So this this particular take that he that he developed secured Jones. Comfortable niche in Austin's then thriving community of weirdos, he became a minor local celebrity and is in fact one of the people like that slogan. You know, keep Austin weird that developed in this time in the late 90s in Austin. And Alex Jones is one of the people who was the most prominent folks in that sort of era of kooky, quirky Austin. So in 1996, he got his first radio job, a show called the Final edition on KJFK FM. The chief conceit of the final edition is that every episode might be the last, because even then, the globalists. Perpetually a few days away from cracking down on Alex Jones. At least that's the version of reality that Jones portrayed. The Rolling Stone. Subsequent reporting over the years has revealed a different side to how he got his show. I found this quote from a 2017 Business Insider article. While his big break came from public access TV, Jones's first real job in media was with a local talk radio show. He got the job with some help from his father, a dentist who recommended his son to a patient who managed the station. After his father made the connection, Jones was invited for an interview, but his father didn't just make the connection. BuzzFeed also published a great article on Alex in 2017 called Alex Jones just can't help himself. It provides even more detail on how Alex's dad basically got him his first radio radio job quote, he said my son's got some out there ideas, but I think he'd be perfect, Daryl O'Neill, the KJFK manager who brokered the deal, explained. The next week he brought Alex in for a meeting to secure Jones a spot on the station. Jones's father became his son's first on air advertiser, so. There we go. Dad's money is what got Alex Jones's career started and his dad is a fairly well off doctor. Definitely upper middle class. It is interesting if you're a regular listener to the show to how many of the terrible figures in America that we've talked about. The Koch brothers, Paul Manafort, Eric Prince got their big break from their dad's money. Just kind of weird how that works. Anyway, Speaking of money that doesn't come from fathers or might doesn't come from Alex Jones is we. It's time. Alex Jones is we. It's time for ads. This this was my way of of segueing into the ads. I was well done. Perfect. Yeah. Thank you. I'm a professional. Just Sophie. Can we just play the ads? More than a movie, American Me is a new podcast that digs into the history and mystery of American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos that had a huge impact on Latino cinema and culture. I'm your host, Alex Fumero, and I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered and even today people are still scared to talk about the film. Everything else, I mean, you know? I I don't want to speak about it. And we had to sign a paper saying that if we were taken hostage that they would not bargain for us. Eddie, I know he said that he had permission to do the bill, so I don't know where it got lost in translation. Learn about what really went down from the people that were there. 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Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. And we're back. We're talking about Alex Jones and yeah, we just we just got into the fact that his dad got him his first radio job, which is fun. Perfectly fine if you're not the kind of person who always brags about how you're a self-made man anyway, whatever. So yeah, dad's money aside, Alex Jones was apparently a natural at Radio Ryan shoe KJFK's radio engineer later recalled Jones's first day quote. He just walked into the booth, sat down, and started in on a rant. Cold. I never saw anything like that. According to BuzzFeed quote, other early coworkers said that Jones was famous on often disorienting theatrics have been there from the start. Burke described a moment when a caller attacked Jones on air as a soft button up to media type. Jones, according to Burke, erupted into tears, yelling. My name is Alexander Jones and I played football, man and my parents are still married and I'm a damned American. The color was stunned, a coworker recalled. We went to break right after that and he put his head in his hands and his rubbing his eyes, all sheepish. He turned to me and said, was I crying too much? I just turned it on sometimes and I don't know how to stop. So, wow. So he's really in touch with his emotions, huh? Pretty stable guy. Well, that's always been a hallmark of him, is like he gets super worked up and like, you know, that's sort of him saying, look, I'm just like you. I I feel things, I feel deeply, I think interesting point because he said sometimes they just turn it on, but I can't turn it off. So there's an interesting, like, I guess conflict there, like how performative is it, does he start performing? I think he's just method. He taps into it like, you know, method, acting, style. I don't know. I think that may have been it at first. I think he probably started out having enough discretion and self-control to tap into it when he knew it was appropriate for making the show more compelling and drawing viewers or listeners in. And I suspect maybe over time he's kind of lost his filter and lost his ability to filter like a sane person would because I gone completely bombed. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's that's my theory. So. Earlier about Alex Jones and what he's like in a fight. And it just so happens we have some some data on that. So in 1997, another local Austin celebrity known as Space Hitler punched Alex Jones right in his face several times. Space Hitler, real name Clayton counts. But I'm going to keep calling from space Hitler. Yeah, space Hitler had a habit of calling into Alex Jones's public access show and making fun of him. His nickname of choice was Jarhead Jones, which for some reason Alex Jones was Jarhead Jones. Which for some reason Alex Jones hated. Here's how Jones described him in the police report that he filed. Quote he has called my home and told me graphically that he wants to kill me. I have made a complaint when this has happened informally a number of times and we have contacted the FBI. He has harassed many people over the past years. His voice is very easy to remember. It is I would say a Houston type accent. He is very strange looking. He has eyes that look like a goats. Where is it? So, so it's it's it's space Hitler just a famous local troll, or did he have his own show too? Is this like the Battle of the shock jock? Like what's going on? He was just a famous local, kind of like, personality, eccentric, eccentric. And I I don't think it's true that he threatened to murder Jones at his home. I think that's because topping in the FBI is classic Alex Jones. I think he's exaggerating it, but from what's up with the goat eyes, though, I have no idea. I've never heard anyone describe someone's eyes as being like a goats. Does that mean they're really close together or really far apart? Octopus eyes. Yeah. Your guess is as good as mine. I've seen a lot of things. I have no idea what he means. Yeah, so from what I can gather from other people's accounts, space Hitler was definitely harassing Alex Jones, although again, I don't think he was calling his home and threatening to disembowel him. There are a number of versions of what happened in the fight between space Hitler and Alex Jones. They pretty much all start when space Hitler and some friends came down by the studio where Alex was, like working at the Public Access television studio, and we're harassing Jones, and Jones asked them to step outside and then pretended to get a gun. From his car, one of space Hitler's friends mocked him for this and then punched Alex Jones in the face. Now Charlie Sotelo, who was an employee at the station, says that he came out right after Alex got punched and Alex was in a frenzy and going crazy. Sotelo tried to calm Jones down and he and Jones got into an argument and then Jones started throwing punches at him, Sotelo says. Quote Alex tried to fight back but was throwing wild punches with no form. The guy is no fighter, so Charlie Zitello claims that the fight only stopped because Alex's dad arrived. They gave us a Tello, $100 because Alex had blood on his shirt. So that's that's one side of the story. That's space Hitler and Charlie Sotello's side of the story. They they're making fun of Alex. He calls them outside and pretends to get a gun to scare them. And somebody punches him and he starts swinging wildly at people, and someone tries to calm him down, and he starts swinging wildly at that guy too. And then his dad comes over and bribes everyone to leave. So that's one version of the story. Now there's another side of the story. And it's Alex Jones aside, and we have the full account of that side because we have the police report that Alex Jones wrote after the altercation. I will be putting a link to this police report up on our website, behindthebastards.com. I recommend reading it because it is a it is a work of art and belongs in a museum, but I'm going to quote liberally from it here. So in the police report, Jones identifies himself as an employee of Castle Dental, which I think he means he was working for his dad. At this time, Jones claims that space Hitler and his friends rolled up in a mix of suits and jogging suits. Quote I said. Why do you call me at home and on the air and say you want to kill me? The leader said. Yeah, jarhead. It is me. I'm not a ******* like you. I don't put myself out in front. I'm hidden. No one knows who I am. I can do what I want and get away with it. 22 year old Alex Jones then claims that a man who was quote a large Latin Anglo mix type hit him with no warning quote. I did nothing because I saw that to his left, the ringleader with the strange eyes had a double edged military type killing knife. Alex claims he. Yeah. Are you all on board so far? You. Oh my God. More than Alex claims that he tried to run away towards the studio, but that the Big Latin Anglo mix type band followed him. He hit Alex once more and our hero Alex was mournfully forced to defend himself. Quote, where's the killing knife in all of this? I'm sorry the ringleader has the killer. Goat eyes has the knife of course as he as he should the military. The man with the goat eyes has the military type killing knife. Yeah. OK, so the big Latin Anglo guy runs after Alex and hits him once and Alex turns around and defends himself. Quote I hit him in the face. He came forward to hit me again and I hit him one more time. I believe he fell to his knees. This is when Alex claims that that Guy Charlie came out and got into a fight with him. Now Alex leaves out anything about his dad coming over to stop the fight and it's very unclear what actually happened. The Austin. Chronicle says that the security footage has long been deleted, but the cops apparently saw it and they didn't see anything serious enough to take further action. My guess is that this was more of a sad schoolyard fistfight type situation than the action scene, Alex Jones recounts. I'm going to guess he didn't knock anyone to their knees. It gives some insight into Alex's head and how I think he interprets the world. So yeah, he had to mournfully defend himself. That's great, I bet at some point he yelled. Do you know who my dad is? Dentists may have just yeah, he may have just killed Dad. Yeah, maybe. Oh, man. This is this is very enlightening. This issues. Wow. OK, so several days after that fight, Alex Jones, because that fight happened in winter of 1997, and within between a couple of days and a couple of weeks after that point, Alex Jones did a Halloween special guest spot on someone else's public access television show. So we're going to watch a video of Alex, and for you listeners who aren't seeing the video, the link will be up on the site. But Alex isn't like a Halloween. Decorated set. There's a severed, a fake severed head and a bucket next to him, and he has a fairly small butcher knife that he is jabbing a pumpkin with as if he's trying to murder it and he's taking calls. His first caller seems to be making fun of him for being on public access TV, which is unpaid work, and he asks Alex what Alex does for a living. So we're going to play the clip now. I come on public access and hang out. I'm on 24 hours a day, they say. Yeah, pretty, pretty close. Well, I can assure you I don't make any money off public access. I can guarantee you that. Well, you guys have a good one. I appreciate that call. Hello, caller, you on the air. Yes, how you doing? Pretty good. I was just kind of curious if it's true, there you go. The police can have laser, laser or infrared beams if you if you want to call it and they can project those into your house that basically, yeah, the Austin Police Department last time I heard that's 20 units with infrared, so. Ohh, wow. And he still looks for everybody listening. Yeah, he still looks pretty good. Yeah, he looks like a normal human being, like he's clearly got a **** going on, but it's fun and you you wanna you wanna watch. So Alex's radio show at KJFK gradually started to pick up steam. His coworkers back then describe a man who was incapable of turning himself off when they would all hang out at bars. Alex would come over with a thick pile of papers and start ranting about globalists or fluoride, Matthew Hobley, who worked at KJFK, told BuzzFeed. Later quote, he'd come over and go into his. Spiel and we tell them to be cool and he'd yell. This is serious stuff. We'd be like, damn Alex, it's our day off. But he'd go on and on, and by the time he was finished, there were papers everywhere. Was he pounding shots, though? Is he a drinker, or was he like a tea totaler think he's always been a drinker, but I don't know. Yeah, yeah. It seems like some of the stuff comes from the drink, comes from the place of drink, and it seems like there's a big need for attention as well. You know? Like he doesn't seem like the kind of person who's comfortable when he's not the topic of the conversation. Or the person speaking. Yeah. And that that seems to Joe with what he did on public access, because one of the things he was famous for was being the guy you could count on to do guest spots on your thing if you were away for a week or whatever. He really seemed to just always want to be on the air. Like that's been a gulf with Alexis since he was a teenager. Really. So interesting. He might like the sound of his own voice. Hard to say. So yeah, tragically, Alex's radio show was not long for this world. The final edition had its final edition in 1999 when the station got bought and the new management fired Alex for his quote Inside terror job stuff. Alex made the best of a bad situation and started his own website, infowars.com. He found ten stations that were willing to buy his new show, and he started broadcasting it from home. While running his website, he made a documentary called America, destroyed by design about a World Bank takeover of public land that Jones assured everyone was imminent. This earned him his first celebrity fan, Richard Linkletter, who cast him as a crazy St Prophet in several of his movies, including a Scanner Darkly. So if you want to see more young Alex Jones, you can find them in a scanner darkly. I just remember waking life, and that was the first time I ever even heard of Alex Jones. He was like the crazy Red faced dude in the cab. That's just like going off. Yeah, he's isn't. I think he is Alex Jones and all of the Linkletter movies he appears in. Yeah, as Alex's fame grew, so did his popularity. He made a deal with Midas Resources, a syndication. Outfit that existed to sell gold to crazy people or sanity disinclined people. Jones started making money of his own and by July of 2001 his show was on nearly 100 local affiliate stations across the country. On July 25th, Alex Jones made his most successful prediction. Please call Congress. Tell them we know the government is planning terrorism. He referenced the 1993 World Trade Center attack and identified Osama bin Laden as, quote, the Boogeyman they need in this Orwellian phony system. So basically, Alex Jones on July 25th, 2001, predicted that there would be an attack, very likely on the World Trade Center, possibly involving planes, and he identified Osama bin Laden as the person who would be blamed for it. Now, I do want to point out right now that his prediction was not entirely accurate, and we're going to play a section of that prediction that. You will not find familiar. We've seen the news stories that you've wanted to blow things up, that you have blown things up and that you're saying that four million of us are going to die and we need martial law and The Associated Press. Yeah. So he wasn't right about everything, but you got to give the guy credit calling in July an attack like that. It's it's close enough that he was able to make a career off of the fact that he predicted the 9/11 attacks. Well surely that like he was able to translate that into listeners that would like follow him to the. Ends of the earth, right? And there's also some confirmation bias there, I think, because if. If people want to believe that he's making accurate predictions, it's very easy to ignore all the inaccurate predictions he made before that. Well, it's like the Nostradamus effect. I mean, Nostradamus predicted 911. You guys come on. Yeah, exactly. Like, if you predict doom and gloom every single day for years, sometimes those predictions will line up with a real attack. And the 1993 World Trade Center attack was a really prominent terror attack. Osama bin Laden was a prominent terrorist. Like, it's not out of nowhere. Yeah. So that's my question. Where Robert, do you think that? Did he claim to have any insider information or was he Privy to something? Yeah, I mean, he claimed to have sources and he claimed to have, like, because he was talking about how, like, we know that the press is going to support martial law and stuff like he he was basing all of this. He always says that he's got like white papers and sources and stuff that he reads all this from, but he claimed to have had inside information that this attack was coming from an anonymous source, from a bunch of anonymous sources and stuff like that. That's classic Alex Jones. Has he always says this has BeenVerified, this has been proven. We have the sources and then he doesn't give them but credit where it's due. He he called a terror attack that sounded like 911, wound up being a couple of months before 911. Here's Alex Jones speaking later about this time quote. I went on the air and said those were controlled demolitions. You just watched the government blow up the World Trade Center. I lost 70% of my affiliates that day. Station managers asked me, do you want to be on this crusade going nowhere? Or do you wanna be a star? I'm proud I never compromised. So Jones got in trouble at first because obviously right after 911 he declared it to have been a government attack and he was probably the first prominent person in the country to declare the 9/11 attacks a government conspiracy. This is like 911 was an inside job. That was sort of the the big buzz phrase that was flying around at the time. And he is the guy who started like he's not. Obviously. I'm going to guess that when that happened, thousands of conspiracy theorists around the world had similar ideas. But Jones? Was the first prominent conspiracy theorist to really Hammer home his belief that 911 was an inside job and gained traction with it too, right? Whether positive or negative, he was the first. He became the face of that, yeah, because he would replay that clip of him predicting it and stuff, and that got him 10s of thousands of followers, probably 1,000,000 by the time. You know, the real height of that conspiracy theory. And I'm not the man to deny anyone they're crowning achievement. Alex is, if nothing else, probably the luckiest conspiracy theorist in history. But like you said. He makes a lot of predictions and I want to make sure that we provide some context here because Alex Jones has predicted one disaster a day for roughly 20 straight years and through. Yeah, yeah. So just so no one thinks he's psychic, I would like to zoom forward real quick to 2010 and the release of the Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo film Machete. Now, Alex was terrified of this movie because it showed Mexicans with machetes attacking mostly white bad guys. So here's a prediction he made about the movie machete, just so we don't think that maybe he is. Magic or whatever. And this is an Austin thing, too. Rodriguez is an Austin guy, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, right. And Rodriguez and Jones know each other, I don't think well, but they met. Yeah, whether he knows it or not. Robert Rodriguez. I would say it's a 90% chance right now is going to trigger. Racial riots and racial killings in the United States with the September release of his film Machete. You guys like, first of all, it's like the most minor Robert Rodriguez film ever. Like, I don't know if anybody saw that movie. I saw it. I saw it. And you know what? 2 Jones's credit here. At least he wasn't trying to say machette or something like that. And also, I want to note, our super producer Casey, is outside the booth with us and he is laughing so hard at some of these that we can hear him in here. Yeah, that's true. Well, well played, Sir. Well, I mean, you guys remember the machete race riots, right? There was a that was a dark time for this country. It really was a real turning point. I didn't think they were gonna come back from that. I'm surprised you could still buy them in stores. Going to say that we, Ben and I, also do another show called stuff. They don't want you to know. That's like, not conspiracy theorists. We call ourselves conspiracy realists, but the idea is like critical thinking applied to conspiracy theories. So it's like we look at them. It's like, why are people talking about this? What are people saying on the Internet? Why is this interesting? Why is this a fascinating thought experiment? And we get so many crazy emails in our e-mail box and and most a lot of them are like these, like group emails that are sent to dozens and dozens of addresses and almost all of them are just predicting a disaster a day. So he set the tone for this, I mean. This is a thing, yeah. And it's a smart thing to do. If you want to be in the business of making conspiracies, you want to make as many prophecies as you can because it moves the same thing that, like an evangelical doom and gloom preacher would do. You know, you make you make so many predictions about the end of the world or whatever, and it doesn't matter that each of them is fake, because what's important is people. Some people want to always be that amped up. They want to feel like the stakes are always that high, and it's about the journey. Yeah. Yeah. About the journey to the end of the world, not whether or not the world ends. So Jones treated his luck as prophecy and his show began to spread like wildfire. At first, he was mostly popular in the moist, weird underground of Internet nerds in the early 2000s, which I'm going to guess everyone on this podcast was a A member of one way or the other. I just. I just cringed at your use of the word moist. But that's that's a personal thing for me. I thought it was a it was evocative and appropriate, but disturbing. Yeah. Yeah. Well, we passed Alex Jones. Around like a joint he was. He was Bill Hicks without the humor. He was Robert Anton Wilson without the humanity. He was a strange and unique little nut screaming into the abyss when we went on strung out red eyed drives across the southwestern wherever you happen to be, driving late at night. But as the Internet spreads, so did Alex Jones, and he would not stay small forever. But. Now it's time for this is not going to be one of my smoother ad breaks, but it's it's time for an ad break. Ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. 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Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know. Now it's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books you know. Started to really drive home the fact that he addicted 911 along with a bunch of **** that never happened anyway. He's making a lot of hay out of that, and his first big break came courtesy of a man you may know, Charlie Sheen. In 2006, Jones interviewed Sheen on Infowars about his belief in 911 conspiracy theories, most of which had of course been spread via Infowars. This video, because Charlie Sheen is a prominent guy, went really, really viral. And that same year Alex Jones published the 9/11 conspiracy Film Loose change. He was a producer on loose change. Which is why a lot of people will still make the joke that jet fuel can't melt steel beams. That's where that comes from. So Alex Jones loose change really, really ignites the 9/11 conspiracy movement. And for the first time in his life, Alex Jones became more than just a local Austin celebrity or a nut. Beloved by truck drivers, he launched the Infowars store in 2006, and he started selling diet supplements in 2013, using his shows as free advertising for his own products. Alex Jones was the first person to really grasp. How much money could be made by being famous and trusted and selling people bogus healthcare products on the Internet? Nowadays, Ben Shapiro, Gwyneth Paltrow, dozens and dozens of different public figures sell various health products using their sort of websites and and podcasts and and media networks as a way to drive sales. But Alex Jones was the guy who invented that. You know, you don't have behind the ******** branded life straws. I think you're missing out on that niche. You know, for just 9995 you can get a bottle of 12. Behind the ********. Iodine tablets. Guaranteed to make sure you have enough iodine to listen to this show. I personally endorse those, by the way, I think you get a price break if you order in bulk. What about cyanide tablets? That's what I want. We also sell cyanide tablets. Yeah, those are cheaper. Yeah, we're trying to really drive the cyanide. But anyway. Yeah. So I just feel it's important to recognize that that Alex Jones was kind of like the like the Steve Jobs of. Sleazily selling people expensive supplements on the Internet. Like, he really like that, huh? Yeah. I mean, he he blazed that trail. He was the first guy I had. I had no idea, seriously, that he was the pioneer there. I thought he was just, you know what it is. It's because it's so ubiquitous. And, like, alarmist conspiratorial shows to, you know, you hear the ads about how the economy is going to collapse, and then it goes to another ad about how you should buy. Gold, you know what I mean? But he got to start with buying gold. Was he, like his first big thing? Yeah, that was, I didn't know he was the 1st. And like in 2014, when Glenn Beck was everywhere on the air, he was always selling, like, gold stuff. And that he was that was very much descendant from Alex Jones. Because he was the first guy to realize that, like, there's a whole constellation of expensive things that people who are scared about the end of the world always want to buy. And if you can keep them convinced that the world is always ending and get them to trust you and then tell them that you're ridiculous. Safety supplies or supplements or whatever will protect them that you can make a **** load of money and that's actually what our second episode is going to be. But I just wanted to make the point that years before Gwyneth Paltrow made Goop, Alex Jones was selling people silver to put up their butts. Now Infowars grew into a major production. No longer was Alex recording a show from his house and filming video in a spare room. Now he had a studio semi, professional production values and a whole staff. One of his producers from this early period was impressed by Alex's ability to talk. For an hour about stories he hadn't read more than the titles of another employee, recalled the BuzzFeed quote. Sometimes he'll say he has sources and he's been told a piece of news that has been confirmed, but we wouldn't have that information later. We'd find out it was because a week earlier we had a caller on air who theorized about something and Alex repeated it as fact. So you mentioned earlier having doing your conspiracy show and getting emails from nuts. I suspect a lot of Alex's sources are emails like that. Like. He's think of the lists Alex Jones must be on, like, Oh yeah, yeah. And he's just like, we we have it confirmed now from the e-mail that it's just like. And he shakes it too. Yeah. Here, he found his shake on. I'm making a bunch of paper right now. Verified. It does feel good. We should be filming this so people can watch me shake at a camera and get all red faced anyway. Yeah. So in September of 2007, Alex Jones interrupted Geraldo Rivera live on Fox News. Rivera was doing what? Sure was a tasteful and informative report on quote the secret world of restroom *** ***. But then Alex showed up too. Get in the middle of it, shouting 911 was an inside job through a megaphone until he was removed by the NYPD, which is like almost a singularity of classlessness. Geraldo Rivera talking about gay restroom sex while Alex Jones rants about 911 conspiracies on the same frame of a television show. That's amazing. Tell me we have a clip of this, because there's got to be a clip. We just have to use our imaginations. Have to use your imaginations for that. I didn't pull that one up because there was other clips, but. Just reenact it, yeah, yeah, yeah. Who wants to be heralded? I'll take one for the team. I I say we we put the kibosh on this and move on. On March 18th, 2008, Alex Jones became an invited guest to Fox News. Judge Andrew Napolitano had him on as quote the Great Alex Jones. They talked about the fact that Alex and Infowars had suddenly become a substantial influence on other conservative media personalities like Glenn Beck. Alex said, I've never seen an awakening this big. I'm seeing Glenn Beck talk about the new World order on Fox. I'm seeing you talk about it, we're seeing Lou Dobbs talk about it, we're seeing mainline. Hosts Limbaugh's even talking about world government, Michael Savage is talking about how Obama may stage crises to bring in martial law. So all the things that I was talking about in the wilderness 10 plus years ago are now hitting mainstream and it's great. So that's OK. I'm sorry. Hold on, hold on. Point of order, Robert. Michael Savage as mainstream. That guy is Looney tunes. You know, I I I hate to argue with you on this, but I grew up in Texas with a very conservative family and I heard Michael Savage. Three or four times a week. And my parents aren't conspiracy theorists. They're just very conservative. He's not that far out. It's like if you're right wing, he's not. He was not in that period of time, far out of the mainstream. You know what it was that I bet it's because I started listening to him later in life, maybe later in his career. And when when I heard him, he was like based in California and talked about how much he hated the commies in California, but he still lived there. Oh, boy. And I don't know what he's doing now, or if he's he's gone further to the fringes now, but when I was a kid, at least I heard him a lot. Wow. He's definitely like like Glenn Beck, one of those voices who was just regularly a part of our lives. So. The first broadcast of the Alex Jones Live Show was in April of 2008. I found a copy of at least a lot of that broadcast. The link will be up on our site, but the first minute and 1/2 is just the ACDC song balls to the wall, then Alex Classic. Yeah, he's got great taste in music. He puts up a lot of obscure, like industrial metal from the 80s. So you something that's always interested me is Alex Jones's musical tastes. Which is why it's interesting that you say he might be a secret DJ. I would kind of love to hear his music. Yeah. Anyway, ACDC song balls to the wall plays for a minute and a half, and then Alex Jones begins ranting about how all of the world religions are controlled by the same group of people. Eventually the footage cuts to Alex Jones wearing a Ron Paul 2008 T-shirt. He's talking with an Irish guest. About Margaret Thatcher Alex allows his guest to speak for a while, occasionally cutting in to move things along. When the show starts to drag, he talks about the Illuminati and they eventually wind up on the subject of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who Alex loves. He goes on a rant about how the Soviet Union was funded by the US Army. So we're gonna play a clip from that, that the army and then our government was funding the Soviets. He was totally destroyed instantly because that was about to expose that communism was just a fake front. Just like we knew from books that were written and inside people that Mao was put into power in 1949. Now it's admitted on The History Channel and they have the old CI section chiefs who are now dead, but videos of them admitting that they put mail into power. Alan Watt. So we're at normal Alex like today. Alex Jones by by 2008 or so. His politics. Are a little bit different, but you hear the voice, right? He's gone all gravelly and dark, so he's definitely there. He's still kind of bipartisan because he's definitely saying that, like the whole government is is engaged in a conspiracy to make people believe communism is real when it's just a front for the US Army. So he's not a partisan hack yet, but he's definitely evolved from beginning. Alex Jones. Yeah, the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States was probably the best thing that ever happened to Alex. It seems to have taken him by surprise, as does the surge of far right sentiment that immediately followed President Obama's election. The podcast knowledge fight is currently going over every post election episode of Alex Jones's show to kind of document Alex's transition from a total political outsider to a dedicated profit of the far right. But they've shown that he didn't see the Tea Party coming the first episode of his show, when the Tea Party got brought up by a caller, he clearly had no idea what it was. Eventually, though, he got on board and realized that this represented a group of people that he could sell stuff to. Alex Jones and Infowars were responsible for spreading that viral poster of Obama as the Joker. If you glanced at a Tea Party protest in 2009, you would have seen that in March of 2009, Alex Jones released the documentary The Obama Deception, A2 Hour movie about how Barack Obama was a grave threat. To quote the hope of free humanity. Jones made the case that President Obama was going to take away America's freedom, a thing that totally happened. You all remember that. Right. One former employee later described the mood and Infowars at the time as quote we were getting more and more calls from people who seemed unwell claiming that the FBI was watching their house. We kept saying we're the underdogs. That was our mantra, but slowly it started to feel more like we were becoming the majority. So. Hmm. Yeah. Which is So what? What, what? Like, what spurred this change in him? I mean, like, he was just so freaked out by Obama in particular. That's like, I don't know. That's a good question because it makes sense. Why he because he obviously he hated on Bush a ton. He believes Bush murdered thousands of Americans to start a war using whatever the hell I don't. I don't want to get into 911 conspiracy theories, but he hated Bush. But he Obama didn't even do anything for him to hate him. I think that's what I'm saying. Yeah, he was just hope. It was just. Let's turn the tide. Let's just do some different stuff and, you know, be good people. I think there's a lot of implicit racism. I think that's yes. And you mentioned that at the top of the show. Yeah. I think there's a lot of implicit racism in the surge of far right sentiment that that sprang up after Obama's election with Jones. I'm not sure. I'm sure some of it's racism. I think a lot of it, though, might just be simple economic sense, knowing if I can scare the **** like bushes out of the White House so I can't scare the left anymore into buying my ****. Right. Because they're guys in office and they think that this war stuff's going to get reduced. So now I have to scare people on the right. Well, how do I scare people on the right? I make Barack Obama look like a demon trying to take their freedom, and he wasted no time doing that immediately. Yeah. And that's something that's pretty easy for him to do. But I appreciate your point. You can't be a showman without a show, you know what I mean? Exactly. So. So do you. Do you think that it was? I know we're speculating here, but do you think it was? The matter of. That cognizant level of calculation, or do you think he was just going with the flow? I think it's probably a mix of both. We'll get into that a little bit more later, but I I see some calculation at the start of it because Obama hadn't done anything yet to justify a freak out, and he engineered the freak out with Bush. Obviously something like 911 happened, something as crazy as planes flying into a tower. People will make conspiracies about it, and he jumped onto that and maybe that was legitimate. They have really believed every conspiracy, he threats. He spread about 911. I do think Obama marks the point where he's just trying to make money. OK Yeah, but that's my theory, so they made a lot of money in early 2009. The early Obama years on good days. Alex would run around yelling you get a bonus. We had a huge sale day. Another former employee, recalled a time when Alex took everyone out to the infowars warehouse and shot at boxes of DVD 's with a bow and arrow apparently in celebration this was. Were called as a fun time. Like all great artists, Alex Stoll in particular, he stole from Rush Limbaugh. Several former employees claimed he nursed an intense jealousy for the right wing radio icon. Jones's signature smokes, 30 packs a day voice is apparently an imitation of Rush Limbaugh's voice. And if you listened again, we listened to his earlier stuff. He's clearly putting on a voice because he doesn't always talk like that, one employee later claimed. Quote, we'd spend weeks getting everything just right in the studio. Then he'd go for a drive and he will rush again and say. I need my voice to sound something like that, and so we'd completely reengineer the sound to make him gruffer. So that's interesting. A key moment in Alex's evolution happened in 2011, because that's the year he got really good at Google bombing. According to that Rolling Stone profile quote asking his audience to stage a mass online search of the phrase revolt against the TSA, a tactic known as Google bombing, Jones instantly manipulated the term to the top of Google search index. As intended. The maneuver caught the sensitive traffic antennae of Matt Drudge, who put the TSA story on the national news. Agenda, our show is The detonator on the cap of the TSA story, and Drudge was the barrel of the gun, says Jones. So this is like early fake news, like, this is like, yes, he's also the ******* Steve Jobs of fake news because he really figured out he's not just putting out fake news stories. He recognizes how to get his listeners to manipulate the algorithms of social media and search engines in order to make his trying to tip the scales to, like, freak people out and to like, start some kind of firestorm of paranoia. That's in his favor to help him sell ********. Exactly. Yeah. Question. Was it phrased as when he when he was telling his audience to do this, was it phrased as, you can go search now to learn more about this or was he telling them, make this the top search term he was telling them to make this a search term he was staging. OK like he like that was the the explicit goal. And he's he says like again like that like are the goal was to get this story to Matt Drudge. I'm going to guess a lot of our listeners. Don't read the Drudge Report regularly, but it is it is currently #119 on Alexa, the 119th most popular website on the entire Internet. There are very few websites in existence larger than the Drudge Report. It is one of the most influential you could call it journalism outlets on the planet, and Drudge and Jones have a mutually parasitic relationship. When Alex was banned from Twitter, that was the top story on the Drudge Report a few minutes later. Drudge regularly will scan Infowars and will put like basically comb the crazy out of his stories and then put them up on his site like that's been going on for years and it started at least as early as 2011. Alex Jones speaks positively of Matt Drudge and regularly cites his website as well. He feels differently about Glenn Beck, so here's that Rolling Stone profile. People inside his company tell Me Beck follows what we do closely, says Jones. It's frustrating that I've never sold out, yet I'm being gobbled up by this giant Pac-Man. Puts my work through his corporate media assembly line. He takes information from me about secret combines and elites and then spins it against big government. But he ignores sold out. Yet I'm being gobbled up by this giant Pac-Man who puts my work through his corporate media assembly line. He takes information from me about secret combines and elites and then spins it against big government. But he ignores big business. He says George Soros is at the top of the New World order power pyramid. Give me a break. I have no love for Soros, but I don't trust Beck. 98% of my audience hates him. New listeners tell me I'm a Beck wannabe. I'm like, no, it's the other way around. O we have Alex Jones to thank for a lot of Glenn Beck. Yeah, easily wounded this this ego. You know he is. And it's it's fun that he talks about. He says George Soros isn't a big deal back in 2011 or so because he does not shut up about George Soros today. George Soros is making our marijuana stronger. He's behind everything bad now. It's just interesting how he's switched over time. But Obama's first term is a great time for Alex Jones. It goes so well, in fact, that people who were. Post to him at the time. Speculate that he voted for Barack Obama in 2012, one employee recalled. Quote he just kept saying, Oh my God, if Obama loses, were out of business. One of the guys in there asked you didn't vote for Obama, did you? And Alex said nothing. Just a grimace. I don't know what it meant. So that's there's a conspiracy for us to start about Alex Jones. I know at least three employees told BuzzFeed stories about how a number of people at Infowars at the time suspected. Jones had voted for Obama. This remains my favorite Alex Jones conspiracy. So he made a bet that drives him insane, man. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised. Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised. If he's cynical enough to do it, then I don't know, and I don't know if he did it. That's proof that this is. I mean, maybe he wasn't lying in his his HIS custody hearing and this is all an act. I don't think it's all an act, but I wouldn't be surprised if he voted for Barack Obama because he wanted millions of dollars. Then, because he wanted to continue being relevant and he attached his relevance to being able to stir up hate against, you know, the system, the President. So Obama won in 2012, obviously, and for a little while, things remained good in Jones land. He made millions of dollars selling supplements, rifle parts, and survival supplies like seeds and body armor. It's possible that during the Obama years, Jones took home, like 20 or $30 million himself, maybe more. In 2013, at an event for the Kennedy assassination, conspiracy theorists Alex Jones met Roger Stone. This was the beginning of what I like to call the likeliest friendship in history, former Paul Manafort, partner and sure to be frequent ******* Podc. Good character, Roger Stone told The Washington Post this. We kind of hit it off. He's fearless, a showman. He likes a drink, a cigar, bounty stories, hunting and fishing. He's a man's man. Roger stone. self-proclaimed. Self. Man's man, yeah, full grown man's man. And Roger Stone now hosts a show on Infowars. We're just last week he defended himself against the Shirley looming indictment that's coming from the Mueller investigation. So that's that's fine, that's fine. It's it is good fun. Roger Stone no one has ever been more ready to be an Infowars guest than Roger Stone. He is was made for that show and it's like they poured him into a mold. What a guy. Anyway, other people around Jones at this time say that as Obama's second term drew to a close, Alex started to change. 1X employee said quote. It became less about affecting change and more about being sensational and making money. It didn't start out that way. He was a lovely person to hang around for a long time, but soon that evaporated. 4 employees. Described Alex Jones to BuzzFeed as quote a tyrant. One person called him Blackbeard meets Hitler one minute just on a high and swashbuckling and calling us to action, the next punching out walls. So when Donald Trump first appeared on the scene, Jones didn't pay him very much mind. He kind of dismissed him as a a plant by the globalist or a fake at first. But then Roger Stone got involved in the Trump campaign and introduced Alex to Donald Trump. In December of 2015, Trump appeared on Infowars for a 30 minute conversation with Alex Jones. In 15 years Alex had gone from running a website out of his spare room to talking with the soon to be president for an audience that numbered in the 10s of 1,000,000. But Alex Jones never lost the common touch. To prove that, here's a video he filmed when Caitlyn Jenner transitioned in 2015. Just so you know listener, in this video he is shirtless. This is the first of many shirtless Alex Jones videos, and he's wearing what he admits are his own dirty gym socks on his ears. So trans zoological I believe is the term I may have to be transcribed and shot my arms and legs off and I've known as a biscuit and live in a box taken care of. And if you don't accept it, you're hateful. In fact, if you don't adopt my lifestyle and wear dirty brown socks on your ears after you work out, you're a racist, you're a homophobe, you're an anti zoological phobe, you're a piece of filth. So now I become my new self. Ohhh yeah, he's pretending to be a dog in that. So yeah, and and just to point out, he had a lower 3rd on the screen that said rough, Rough Jones. Yes, Russell Jones. Is this the first shirtless Alex Jones video was good God, no. I don't think this is the first one. It's the earliest I found. Maybe, but he's there's I have up on the site. We'll have. I think it's like a 16 minute supercut of a I don't even think they're all of the shirtless scenes. We we will be talking about that. But I think at this point his degeneration into modern Jones is finished. Like, it's kind of like watching Danny Devito's character in always sunny from the second season where he's a businessman, to like, where he's eating garbage. Alex Jones. Gone from a charming man in a suit who talks like a normal person to wearing his filthy gym socks on his ears insulting a random woman for no good reason like he's he's completely degenerated now. Anyway, he is full Gollum Jones at this point. He is Schmiegel has died long ago. Yeah, so 2016 went the way we all know it did. Donald Trump gradually defeated his Republican rivals and eventually Hillary Clinton. Alex Jones watched his reach and influence. Growth throughout the campaign. Thanks to the algorithms on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, he had a direct highway into the brains of 10s of millions of people. In 2011, his YouTube channel had some 80 million views. By 2018, that number was more than 1.2 billion now. Donald Trump called Jones after his election victory to thank Jones viewers for their support and Alex Jones for quote standing up for what's right. According to Alex Jones, this is what the president-elect said. I just talked to kings and Queens of the world, world leaders, you name it. But it doesn't matter. I want to talk to you to thank your audience and I'll be on in the next few weeks to thank them. So that didn't happen. He didn't show up on Infowars again. I think the adults around Donald Trump were like, you can't keep showing up on Infowars. Maybe they should minders, the same people who are, rip up his paperwork, hit him on the hit him on the nose of the newspaper. Like, no, no, not go on, Alex Jones. That time has gone for you. Maybe they played a supercut of shirtless Alex Jones for him. And we're just, like, we can't let you do this. He's like, but Putin? Putin doesn't wear a shirt. Come on, he's probably so ****** that he has to wear shirts right now. Ohh God, thank thank God for that. I will legitimately say whoever is keeping a shirt on the president as a hero, if that's a difficult thing to do. Anyway, on November 9th, Alex Jones, in tears, cheered Donald Trump's plan to quote, build a better world. He toasted champagne glasses with Roger Stone. Frank Sinatra's my way, played Alex Jones. Yeah, yeah. I'm sorry. So he turned it on, but he couldn't turn it off again. The tears. Yeah. I mean, he can't turn it off anymore. I think he's. Asked that point in his life now, he's he's always on. He's like when your mom told you not to make that face. You know if you if you stay a racist conspiracy theorist long enough, it'll stick that way. So Alex Jones was after Trump's election, on the surface at least, on top of the world. But like the conspiracies he loved, there were more twists and turns in his journey than were visible on the surface. On Thursday's episode, we're going to talk about Alex's vicious multi year, multi $1,000,000 divorce, his frankly shocking custody battle, and the moment when. Icarus, like he flew too close to the Sun and got banned from all mainstream social media. Tomorrow, though, we're going to talk about Alex Jones's supplement empire and all the people he may have gotten killed along the way. So that's what's coming up. I'd like to thank both of you, Noel Benjamin, for for being on my show, for talking with me about Alex Jones. How are you feeling after part one of this epic three-part thing? A little bit dead inside, a little broken, a little on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but also, you know, kind of chipper and ready to see what comes next. Personally, I'm thrilled. I'm learning a lot and when when it started stuff they don't want you to know, I figured we'd run into Alex Jones, but this, this deep dive is a real eye opener, man. The Steve Jobs stuff alone. Yeah. I I really think that's a fair way to bill him because whatever else he is, and this is something people, if you talk about, like to people who would like study broadcast radio history and like podcasting and how it sort of evolved, he's a Seminole figure in that he's an important figure in the industry. And we're all involved in he is an innovator. He's also the shirtless guy that we saw wearing his own filthy gym socks on his ears for no real good reason. He contains multitudes. Alex Jones. That would also like your Rudyard Kipling reference there earlier with the common touch. Yeah, I have a question. Just no spoilers, Robert. But in the next episode are are we going to learn whether or not Alex Jones sells branded tinfoil? I mean, I've actually haven't run across Jones selling tinfoil, but we are going to talk about the lead based supplements that he sold to people. I mean, all right, no, Benjamin, you guys want to plug your plug cables before we close out this episode? Absolutely. Noel and I are the Co host of a show called Ridiculous History, which examines the strange, bizarre, unusual people, places, events and things throughout the span of human civilization. It's a little shallower dive. But it's it's a lot of fun, and the episodes are like, you know, 3045 minutes and pretty easy to get through and binge nice Snackable podcast episodes. We do those, and we also do a show called something I want to know, which applies critical thinking to conspiracy theories. And I think we we did one on Alex Jones turning the frogs gay pretty recently, and that was that was a lot of fun, but I've I've learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know. And God, it sounds like we're going to learn a lot more still. This is just the beginning of the journey in the meantime, while you're waiting for. The next part of this three-part series on behind the ******** you could check out every podcast we've ever done for either show on our websites. Ridiculous historyshow.com or stuff they don't want you to know.com beautiful. You can find me on Twitter at I write OK, I have a book on Amazon, A brief history of Vice, where I experiment on myself with dangerous ancient drugs, so you can pick that up too if you want. You can find this podcast on the Internet at behindthebastards.com, where we'll have all of the sources and video clips for this ridiculous. Three-part episode and you can find us on social media Instagram, Twitter at at ******* pod. So we will be back tomorrow and Thursday with more **** about Alex Jones. Until then, maybe try buying a T-shirt off of our T public store behind the ********. You can. You can get nachos, not Nazis, Doritos, not dictators, DJ Stalin we got all that stuff. So buy it and and TuneIn for the next episode. And remember I love about 40% of you. Hey there. I'm Scott rank, host of the podcast history unplugged. Now, it really is a dream come true to get paid to talk about history without all the stress while still being able to make a living. And I did it with Spreaker from iheart. Not only did they make it super easy to monetize my podcast, but ad revenue is 3 to four times higher with spreaker than with any other host I've worked with. So if you want to turn your passion into a podcast and give this a try. Visitspreaker.com that's spreaker.com get paid to talk about the things you love. 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