Last week, I published my latest in a series of articles in Salon about the notorious radio conspiracy peddler Alex Jones. This time around, I described the latest examples of how Jones' easily-debunked theories are slowly gaining traction among A-list Republicans. Specifically, Dr. Ben Carson appeared on a far-right radio program and said he believes Planned Parenthood wants to exterminate African-Americans. Carson cited as evidence a quote by Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, written in 1939, that Carson and Jones consider to be the magic bullet against Sanger: "We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."
As I reported, the quote is presented deceptively out of context. The full paragraph shows that Sanger was describing how best to reach out to African-American women, some of whom believed that contraception was a plot to subvert black people.
“The minister’s work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
To any reasonable human being, the intention of these words is clearly very different from what Jones and Carson posit. But for a guy who's marketing in conspiracies for fun and profit by exploiting the naïveté of an easily-led audience, it's evidence of genocide. This is what Jones does. He takes minuscule quirks in a story and hamfistedly blows them up into monumental schemes by the globalists, the Illuminati, the United Nations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderbergs, the Obama White House, feminists, social justice warriors, or the shapeshifting lizard people from outer space, to both undermine and control the people of America. And his listeners, for all of their condemnations of "sheeple" and the like, uncritically suck it down like the elixir of the gods.
So I called out Jones' anti-woman, anti-choice nincompoopery the other day, and Jones wasn't very happy about it.
During the first hour of his Thursday broadcast, Jones kicked off his show by ballyhooing the fact that Texas governor Greg Abbott is investigating Planned Parenthood officials for allegedly harvesting and selling fetus organs, even though the video claiming to illustrate such things has been entirely debunked by numerous independent sources including FactCheck.org. Jones also emphasized that Rand Paul, who's never afraid to pander, would be introducing yet another bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, even though President Obama will never sign such legislation into law. Then Jones proceeded to attack both Salon and my article because we called him and Ben Carson out for their obvious lies
Jones' claims are so absurd on their face -- absurd enough to not even warrant a second round of debunkery. Regardless, let's go through some of his comments and once again point out how much of an unspooled circus sideshow he is.
"MSNBC, Salon, Media Matters, they are now saying the Planned Parenthood video is a hoax."
That's because it is. The video editing the details of the perfectly legal process of tissue donation to sound like the fetal tissue was being sold in some sort of bargain basement underground network of ghouls and vampires, and even nonpartisan publications have proved the video to be a fraud, just like all of the other videos released by James O'Keefe and his circle of video pranksters.
Also, this statement came from a man who thinks everything is a hoax. The Sandy Hook massacre, the climate crisis, 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing -- all hoaxes, according to Jones, except for this video, that is, even though is provably a hoax. Why is Jones suddenly shy about questioning authority on this video? Why the effusive fealty to leaders like Greg Abbott and Rand Paul? I thought Jones was all about distrusting authority.
"And then get this, they say Margaret Sanger was not racist. [big fake laughter] And I guess Hitler loved Jews, too, right?"
First of all, way to go Full Godwin there. Secondly, I can't speak for Media Matters or MSNBC, but I never once said anything about Margaret Sanger's alleged racism. I wrote about how her widely circulated comment about extermination was not represented accurately by Jones, because it wasn't. Again, the comment, not the person. I also confessed that Sanger was weirdly into fitness eugenics. That aside, it's worth noting that many revered, iconic American leaders have also said racist things in the context of their time. This brutal reality doesn't prevent people like Jones from repeatedly praising the word of slaveowner Thomas Jefferson, nor does it prevent Jones' sidekick Dan Bidondi from quoting slaveowner George Washington.
Next up, Jones repeated the headline from my Planned Parenthood article, then added:
"And then they go in there and say there's no Planned Parenthood baby part sales. [more laughter] And Margaret Sanger's good. [Audio trails off]"
Again, I never wrote that she was a good person, but her work itself was groundbreaking. Planned Parenthood is an important organization that does important work. Also, no, there aren't any baby parts sales. Jones is a liar. Later in the second segment, Jones returned to the issue and said:
"How does 'White House Talking Point Repeater Station' Salon put it? [In a whiny baby voice] 'Conspiracy theorists hijack the GOP: what happens when Trump, Cruz & Carson start following Alex Jones’ lead?' [Sighs] And they go on to say it's a hoax -- there is no Planned Parenthood and that basically Margaret Sanger basically loved black people.
The repeater station thing? So clever. In fact, I laughed so hard when I heard it that I accidentally knocked over my stack of George Soros checks. And I assume he cut himself off mid-sentence when he said "there is no Planned Parenthood." But see, I could borrow Jones' tactic and pull his quote out of context and call him a crackpot for suggesting such a thing.
"This Bob... Cesca is like a dark satire comedy writer. I mean, next he's gonna say the moon is made out of cheese."
How do we know it's not made out of cheese -- after all, we never went to the moon in the first place, right?
"I mean, Margaret Sanger got awards from Hitler, gave awards from Hitler. Her letters in her own hand are public at major universities saying we can't let the blacks know that we want to exterminate the weeds. We gotta hire all the black leaders and call ourselves liberal. And then you sit there saying she's a wonderful fem -- you people are sick."
There's no record of Sanger receiving awards from or giving awards to Hitler. Indeed, contraception was opposed by Nazis, and Sangers books were among those that were burned in pre-war Germany. Jones is delusional, or at least he's pretending to be outraged because he's been incontrovertibly called out on his nonsense. And the Republicans who are following his lead ought to be ashamed for latching onto this fake video and wasting taxpayer money investigating a caught-on-video "confession" that never happened.
Jones is a classic huckster, selling snake oil to fanboys who are too naive to know better, while deflecting in the direction of mysterious plotters responsible for lying to and deceiving us all.
You can listen to his tirade below: