Stateside,  The Right

Alex Jones gains new fans in the Obama era

What does George Galloway (still considered by some to be on the Left) have in common with with rightwing Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas?

Both have not only appeared as guests on the radio show of conspiracy-theorist extraordinaire Alex Jones. They have also agreed with– or at least left unchallenged– some of Jones’s loony beliefs.

From Jones’s 2005 interview with Galloway:

JONES: “What do we do if the military-industrial complex carries out a terror attack to blame it on [Iran]?”

GALLOWAY: “Well that’s another very real danger. There’s no way we can legislate for that but we we must be on guard. We need a vigilant citizenry.”

JONES: “Unbelievable.”

GALLOWAY: “We need a vigilant citizenry that are wise to all the tricks that these monkeys are up to.”

Now Michelle Goldberg writes in The New Republic:

In late July, …Gohmert… appeared on Jones’s show to discuss the “nation-ending” potential of Obama’s policies and the country’s incipient march toward eugenics and fascism. “Did you hear about the White House science czar calling for putting stuff in the water to sterilize us?” Jones asked him. Gohmert allowed that he had not, but he didn’t seem particularly surprised. A few minutes later, Jones asked the congressman for his thoughts about “the youth brigades, national compulsory service,” that the Democrats had in store. “[T]his stuff has been done before,” Gohmert said. “It was done in the 1930s, and that was not the only place it’s been done.”

“Mao did it,” added Jones.

“Well, that’s exactly what I was thinking of,” replied Gohmert.

Goldberg writes that Jones used to be frequently ridiculed by mainstream conservatives.

But, since Obama’s election, the ridicule has died down. On March 15, Jones released a documentary called The Obama Deception, which has been widely advertised in conservative media and viewed more than four million times on YouTube. The Obama Deception is basically a more detailed version of the dystopian scenario promoted night after night on [Glenn] Beck. Arguing that Obama is the front man for an oligarchy working to create a planetary totalitarian state, it is like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion stripped of any reference to Jews.

Three days after The Obama Deception was released, the online Fox News show “Freedom Watch”–hosted by the network’s senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitano–did a joint broadcast with Jones. “I am so happy because we’re doing something different right now,” Napolitano announced at the start of his March 18 program. “We are simulcasting with the one, the only, the great Alex Jones on Alex Jones radio!”
Some conservatives have groaned to see the newfound respect Jones is getting. So far, though, no one has paid a price for associating with him.

Much the same could be said of Noam Chomsky and Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich, as well as celebrity “truther” Charlie Sheen, all of whom have been guests on Jones’s show.

Passionately isolationist and antiZionist, [Jones’s] radio program and websites, and, occupy the shadowy territory where the far right curves around and meets the far left. “People on left-wing blog sites are constantly recommending him,” says Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank that monitors right-wing movements. Berlet says he often gets e-mails from would-be leftists saying, “You’re such an idiot. You should listen to Alex Jones.”

But Goldberg notes:

[L]eft-wing craziness tends to stay sequestered on the fringes of politics, while the right-wing fringe increasingly is the Republican mainstream. According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, only 37 percent of Republicans believe that Obama was born in the United States. Jones has become politically salient because much of the right is as unhinged as he is.

Goldberg may exaggerate, but probably not as much as “respectable” conservatives would like to believe.