Alex Jones has certainly engaged in plenty of bizarre behavior in his constant narcissistic quest for attention for his crackpot ideas and paranoia merchandising. Yet his recent activities have dwarfed past outrages with an air of desperation which suggests that he realizes that fewer and fewer people are taking him seriously. Of course, if that’s a real concern, he has hit on the wrong solution, because getting weirder and more obnoxious is just going to alienate more people.
His latest escapade is to volunteer to become a wide-eyed apologist for Russian imperialism. His ingrained hatred of the Bush administration has led him to take the maxim “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to a dangerous extreme. Instead of applying the same suspicion to others which he applies to Bush and the Neocons, he naively assumes that anyone who is out to get Bush and his cronies must be a good guy. The problem is that your enemy’s enemy can still be an evil bastard, and that’s the truth he’s failed to recognize about Vladimir Putin and his expansionist Russian administration. He has apparently missed one of the big lessons which came out of World War II, that being opposed to the Nazis did not make Stalinist Russia any less evil.
It’s truly bizarre that Jones questions everything to come out of Washington or the Bush administration, but is willing to swallow every bit of Russian disinformation whole and basically let himself be hollowed out and welcome Putin’s controlling hand up his backside and let Putin’s lies spew from his mouth. The height of his irresponsibility came when he decided it was a great idea to appear on Russian propaganda TV to praise Putin and denigrate the United States, reinforcing and lending legitimacy to the Russian administration’s blatant lies about the Georgian conflict.
In the broadcast on Russia Today, Jones compliantly mimics the talking points of the Russian Prime Minister, repeating the lie that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are traditionally Russian possessions. They actually have small Russian minority populations and were made part of Georgia by treaty in 1992. He even repeats Putin’s absurd claim that the Bush administration is heightening tensions with Russia to help McCain’s election bid, a clever twisting of the reality that the Russians are heightening tension to lend credibility to Obama’s anti-war campaign. The line of bull which Russia is slinging to excuse their imperialism happens to fit really well with Jones’ paranoid beliefs about the fictional New World Order, so he has let himself get sucked into helping to promote their grand deception.
Jones makes himself the very portrait of a person driven so hard by irrational hatred and paranoid fantasies that he’s willing to let himself be used by people as evil as any group he opposes without even considering the consequences. It’s troublingly reminiscent of the less well-publicized early career of Lee Harvey Oswald whose resentment of the US government led him to become a willing pawn of the Soviets. Apparently Jones thinks that using his voice to legitimize Russian disinformation so he can get airtime on their propaganda network somehow gives him added prominence and legitimacy, except that anyone but a child can see how he is being used and made a dupe by Putin. Jones complains about people being pawns of the ridiculous New World Order, yet willingly makes himself a pawn of hostile imperialists whose threat is very real. He may fancy himself a master of propaganda and deception, but when playing with the Russians he’s just out of his depth.
Jones’ behavior can be explained away by the fact that he’s a community college dropout with zero experience in foreign affairs who makes his living by spreading misinformation and promoting irrational fear and hatred through his books, movies and radio show, but ignorance and opportunism are really not an acceptable excuse. For Jones it pays to be outrageous and it pays to pander to the fears of the delusional and uneducated. They’re his audience and the sheep he fleeces for a iiving. Yet there has to be some point at which even they draw the line. Becoming an active agent for a hostile foreign power really goes beyond the scope of Jones’ usual self-promotion and destructive behavior. You have to ask if this is the last straw which will finally make his followers see his foolishness and start to wake up.