Friday, May 13, 2011

Alex Jones’ hysterical lunacy

Forget world-class liar. Alex Jones is just an idiot

I started watching a tragicomically predictable new Alex Jones video heralding bin Laden’s death as “Another Gov’t Lie” expecting some good meat for a post. Turns out I didn’t even make it that far. The video begins with what skeptics call a “Gish Gallop:” a debate tactic that involves making a series of statements so inane and obviously false that your opponent simply saps his/her allotted time in refuting them. I’m not accusing Jones of that level of cleverness; rather, I think he is both so stupid and so visibly intoxicated on the Kool-Aid that he just can’t help himself. As always Jones would rather float stupid statements rather than make evidence-based claims, and here they come:

-Initial media reports about Jessica were the doing of “the government.”

Except that it was The Pentagon that first spoke out against the initial, farcical Washington Post story that began the firestorm. And whose investigation was finally reported by WaPo in their self-praise-showered retraction. So this is just Jones being stupid about the who’s who: he’s confused “the government” with “the media,” one journalist from some sort of black ops media whiteout operation, and one shitty newspaper with a fictional government fraud campaign.

-…And those reports were scripted by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Okay, this one is clearly a lie on Jones’ part, so I guess there’s room for that, too. He outright says that Bruckheimer was “called in to script the story” about Lynch’s rescue. The admittedly hype-happy Guardian clarifies:

Back in 2001, the man behind Black Hawk Down, Jerry Bruckheimer, had visited the Pentagon to pitch an idea. Bruckheimer and fellow producer Bertram van Munster, who masterminded the reality show Cops, suggested Profiles from the Front Line, a primetime television series following US forces in Afghanistan. They were after human stories told through the eyes of the soldiers. Van Munster's aim was to get close and personal. He said: "You can only get accepted by these people through chemistry. You have to have a bond with somebody. Only then will they let you in. What these guys are doing out there, these men and women, is just extraordinary. If you're a cheerleader of our point of view - that we deserve peace and that we deal with human dignity - then these guys are really going out on a limb and risking their own lives."

It was perfect reality TV, made with the active cooperation of Donald Rumsfeld and aired just before the Iraqi war. The Pentagon liked what it saw. "What Profiles does is given another in depth look at what forces are doing from the ground," says Whitman. "It provides a very human look at challenges that are presented when you are dealing in these very difficult situations." That approached was taken on and developed on the field of battle in Iraq.

The Pentagon has none of the British misgivings about its media operation. It is convinced that what worked with Jessica Lynch and with other episodes of this war will work even better in the future.

So Jones’ timeline is backwards, his claim seems to be lifted from a metaphor being made in a Guardian piece and – oh, forget it. He wasn’t stupid here; he was dishonest.

-…And members of her unit who “blabbed” were killed by the government

Oh, did I mention that it was an active-duty deputy commander at CentCom who first called out the media on their story? Jones seems to be basing this point on the notion that members of Lynch’s unit began “dying in car crashes” and “getting shot in the head.” You know, classic government black ops. This seems to be Jones simply being stupid about statistics, as he fails to realize that returning veterans tend to have a higher young-life death rate than the general population. It may also be him being stupid about history, as many of those “outspoken” members of her unit were showered in awards and accolades by the military, even as they were speaking out about the media treatment of Lynch. This could also involve Jones being stupid about simple logic: Not only did members of her unit seem to pass away with no correlation to their speaking to the media, but they seemed to do so well after “the damage” was already done (again, “damage” direct at the media, not the military).

-…And “the government” told Lynch to lie about her story.

And it obviously didn’t work, due to, you know, that time she called out both the media for their horrific reporting and the military for later promoting the rescue operation, not the reports about Lynch herself. Oh, also that memoir she wrote.

-…Just like Pat Tillman, who “they” killed because he “was about to go home and speak out against the war.”

And without even giving Jones time to further raise my blood pressure on this one, let’s just make sure to point out that Tillman was an active and vocal critic of Iraq before he died. Hell, Jones had to have known that one – he had to lift Tillman’s own anti-Iraq invasion quotes from somewhere. And hell, afterwards, “the government” was pretty terrible at taking out the members of Tillman’s unit, the friends of Tillman, and Tillman’s family members who actively spoke out about what really happened to him. To say nothing about how bad “the government” is at covering up cases for which it dutifully hands out self-damning evidence. Okay, there’s little room for Jones’s defense there. I guess he’s a liar, too.

Jones is not known for subtlety; neither are his fellow stupid people. I think if he were pressed to discuss the obvious fraud he spews on a daily basis he would admit that he has no interest in reality, for he has already spun his own. It is one in which everyone who doesn't follow him religiously is his enemy, everyone who disagrees with his politics is a Satanic monster and there is no room for facts in a war of volume. This is a small blog representing a small community of dedicated skeptics; Alex Jones is a loud, aggressive blowhard with a horde of gullible followers at his back. It's time to stop pretending that all nonsense is equally worth serious inquiry. Jones's viewers are stupid enough to believe him, and that's their own fault. Until they start making an actual case that goes somewhere, they have given the rest of us nothing to address.

1 comment:

Papa Giorgio said...

I agree with everything herein, but take offense to the "Gish Gallop." I assume this is in reference to Duane Gish and his debates? Hahaha... i am not sure many -- but myself -- would have gotten this.