Maddow slams right-wing mainstreaming of crackpots like Alex Jones
Wednesday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow chided the right for giving credence to the crackpot conspiracy theories of Alex Jones and bringing the most extreme fringe thinking to the front and center of the Republican Party.
Maddow began the segment by talking about the 9/11 Commission Report, a book and graphic novel about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which attempted to spell out exactly what happened that day and in the days leading up to it.
She also recommended the Popular Mechanics volume Debunking 9/11 Myths, which attempted to debunk the misinformation about the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and refute some of the “9/11 truther” theories about the attacks being planned by the U.S. government.
“Of course it didn’t work,” Maddow lamented. “The 9/11 conspiracies have stood up to the facts disproving them. The 9/11 conspiracies have not gone away because they’re too ideologically and, I think, emotionally satisfying to the people who espouse them.”
The same people, apparently, who believe that the 9/11 attacks were engineered by the government are applying the same “false flag” theory to the Aurora, Colorado shooting, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut and now the Boston Marathon bombing. Some have even gone so far as to disrupt press conferences by public officials in Boston.
“This is not a freelance thing,” explained Maddow. It largely centers around Alex Jones and his Internet radio show “Infowars.”
Mostly Jones has been relegated to fringe discussions, but now even Matt Drudge of conservative website The Drudge Report has endorsed Jones by calling 2013 the “year of Alex Jones” on Twitter Wednesday.
Jones not only believes that the government planted the bombs in the crowd in Boston, but that the Oklahoma City bombing was staged, that the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster was a fraud and that there is “overwhelming” evidence that President Barack Obama is the global head of al-Qaeda.
On Tuesday, New Hampshire state Republican Rep. Stella Tremblay left a message endorsing Alex Jones’ theory of the Boston bombings on Glenn Beck’s Facebook page. When her local paper contacted her for clarification, she doubled down, saying, “Are you that blind that you’re not willing to ask questions of your government?”
Now, members of the U.S. Congress are demanding investigations into the canards that the Department of Homeland Security has purchased enough ammunition to wage a “7-year war against the American people” and the theory promulgated by Glenn Beck that a Saudi national with connections to the bombing was briefly detained then released, and that Michelle Obama visited this mysterious person in the hospital.
“The right has always had this to contend with,” said Maddow, “the Alex Joneses of the world and the Glenn Becks of the world,” people who are eager to “decode anything that seems complex or upsetting in the world to make it very simple for you, very simple, so that every story in the world has the same implication, that all of your suspicions and prejudices are true, that the world is in fact a very simple place, that people really are out to get you and that you do understand all of it.”
“And,” she continued, “that you can trust no other source of information about the world than these gentlemen who would like you to please send another $19.95 for another month’s subscription since they are the only people who will tell you the real truth.”
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC: