Why Alex Jones MattersPosted: February 22, 2013
The broadcaster Alex Jones is frequently dismissed by skeptics and others, including those who don’t follow conspiracy theory. He is dismissed as a loon, a crazy person, or sometimes, as a fake who hams it up just to line his pockets. I believe Alex Jones is none of these things.
His influence is staggering. His official YouTube channel has 270 million views and 430,000 subscribers, and that is only one of dozens of channels mirroring many of over 12,000 (!) videos he has uploaded. (This is because, according to Jones, many of his uploads are deleted by YouTube because they are controversial, and critical of global warming, Google’s policies, or the government.) His radio show, The Alex Jones Show, is heard by millions of weekly listeners on around a hundred terrestrial stations, and also on Sirius XM Channel 166 every day. He is considered by the broadcasting industry to be one of the most influential radio hosts today.
Over the years, he has produced thousands of broadcasts, and dozens of documentaries. The documentaries are on topics ranging from 9-11 conspiracy theories, The New World Order and the “global elite,” the “real” agenda of the United Nations, how to prepare for “doomsday,” and President Barack Obama.
His online archive of shows makes available nearly 1700 recordings in their entirety since 2008.
He matters. He matters not only because he is widely heard and very influential, but because what he says, so often only almost-true, is dangerous when widely believed. He matters to skeptics because he promotes pseudoscientific Complementary and Alternative Medicine, in contrast to science-based medicine, with a bigger megaphone than almost any other broadcaster. And he matters because his passions and suspicions are contagious, like the ones that lead him to all but call for a revolution against the U.S. government.
There is an infinite amount of purveyors of nonsense in this world, whether that’s in the form of radical suspicion of received knowledge, or promotion of “alternative knowledge,” and skeptics are right to focus on each and all of them. But to my lights, the ones that deserve our most critical attention are the likes of Alex Jones. They matter more than most. I think that among them, Alex Jones matters most of all.