Alex Jones’ new competition

A controversial former anchorman from Cincinnati is building his own web platform for the Ron Paul movement

Topics: Ben Swann, Ron Paul, Media, conspiracy theories, sandy hook truthers, Ohio, Alex Jones,

Alex Jones' new competition

Call it Ron Paul TV. Ben Swann, the popular and controversial newsman we wrote about in January for flirting with conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook massacare, is striking out on his own, hoping to raise $1.25 million via Kickstarter to fund a series of 100 episodes of his Web series “Ben Swann Full Disclosure.” He calls it “the most ambitious independent journalism project in history.”

After his contract expired in April, the former anchorman left Fox 19 in Cincinnati, where he made a name for himself on the right with hard-hitting segments against gun control and a tough interview with President Obama on drone strikes.

He drew some heat for his dedicated boosterism of Ron Paul, but Swann built a national following out of the libertarian-leaning Paul movement, with his video clips shared widely on Tea Party forums and conservative blogs, as well as on some conspiracy theory sites. And his new project, dubbed “Liberty Is Rising,” is getting a leg up from Ron Paul Forums, the popular webforum, which is hosting a Q&A with Swann on Thursday to raise money.



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Swann said his new series will focus on issues “the mainstream media in America is not covering,” like the “Federal Reserve, CISPA, drone strikes, the drug war, etc.” He says he wants to reach out to people in both Tea Party and Occupy movements who are concerned about government overreach and the accumulation of wealth in the hands of big banks and corporations.

In moving to an online-only format, Swann is following in the footsteps of — and competing for viewers with — people like Glenn Beck and Alex Jones, who has said of Swann: “Basically, he’s like a professional, focused, kind of news-style Alex Jones.”

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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