When I’m not convinced, Jones softens his argument a bit, saying the elites, as powerful as they are, are also ham-fisted and might not pull it off. “They’re only able to wreck things and dominate things like a 10,000-pound gorilla,” he says, “and the world is sinking because they’re jumping around on top of it.”
Jones is undoubtedly a new kind of talent, using cinematic imagery drawn from science fiction, informed by a deep knowledge of history, and grafting it all to a Google News feed. The show is a kind of poetry with an epic sweep. It’s his theatrical certainty, his ability to not blink, that glues the fiction to the facts. “In the general scope of history and common sense, and studying how humans operate, we’re Rome in 407,” says Jones. “A few years before Alaric sacking it.”
Perhaps. Or maybe that’s just what reality looks like in the Internet age, when information has broken the levees of mainstream interpretation and no one knows whom or what to believe anymore. Sometimes Jones seems like a pro wrestler, making a grandiose faux spectacle of global upheaval, political corruption, and natural disaster that was dangerous enough on its own. If Jones believes there’s fantasy in his presentation, he never lets on. But he does make one statement that pretty much everyone, wherever in the politico-cultural universe they may reside, can agree on: “The fact that Alex Jones is becoming widely accepted,” says Alex Jones, “that’s prima facie evidence right there that we’re in deep crap.”
Alex Jones tells a story: He was in the greenroom at CNN, waiting to go on The Joy Behar Show, when he ran into Fareed Zakaria, the Time magazine columnist and foreign-affairs analyst. Jones buttonholed him about the Bilderberg Group, the yearly conference of select leaders whom Jones believes to be an elite cabal of globalist conspirators.
“He knew exactly who I was,” says Jones of Zakaria. “I said, ‘I want to talk to you about the Bilderberg Group,’ and he actually shuddered. Like, with his imperial conditioning, he said, ‘Oh, it’s no big deal; other journalists go there, not just me.’ ”
In this anecdote, Jones was confronting the elites, calling them on their B.S. But if Jones can help it, he’s going to be hanging out in a lot more greenrooms soon. Ted Anderson sees Jones getting his own TV show any moment now. And the programming of Fox News, he believes, is moving in Jones’s direction.
“They’re loosening up a little bit about the types of things you can talk about,” says Anderson. “You are hearing about 9/11 conspiracies on Fox. There’s no doubt about it. One of these cable channels is going to come up with a bona fide offer with no gag on him and say, ‘Go get ’em,’ and Alex Jones will become popular on television.”
Jones calls Fox News “alternative media for old people,” which is why he believes Fox has begun aping his edgy take on the world, especially on the Fox Business Network, where libertarian views have more traction. “They’re taking the nomenclature I’ve used,” he says, “as they move toward the transition to more of what I’m doing. And I have that from inside. I’m not going to say any names, but I have multiple sources.”
Jones and Anderson are friends of Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox Business Network host who is a frequent guest on Jones’s program, not to mention a popular substitute for Glenn Beck. “And now Fox, more and more, if you watch Andrew Napolitano’s show—‘Fighting the Tyranny,’ ‘Restoring the Republic,’ ‘The Rebellion Is Here’—they’re trying to duplicate that,” says Jones. “Beck was the test, and now they’re bringing it all online. They know that’s the wave of the future.” (This is a wave Jones may not be riding. “I’m sure Alex, like many others, wishes he had a platform on Fox News,” said Fox News programming executive vice-president Bill Shine. “That’s not going to happen, so he should stick with trying to locate the black helicopters.”)
Jones is careful to give Roger Ailes, the Fox News chief, an out on the whole “globalist” agenda. “He actually knows all about this stuff,” says Jones. “His bodyguards keep him safe from the New World Order. And that’s a fact. Navy SEALS. Retired Navy SEALS.”
Jones isn’t a man for understatement. At one point in our conversation, he claims the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, told “a high-powered political strategist, very well known, you know him from national TV,” that “ ‘there’s two people that I fear: Alex Jones and Ron Paul.’ ”
Perry’s people say that’s not true, of course. But it makes some sense. Perry, like many Republicans, has courted the tea party and tacked right of the mainstream GOP, trying to get ahead of political currents in his own state. And Jones is tacking that way, too, following the audience, talking about Obama’s birth certificate, selling gold bricks. Advertisements on his site ask, “Is this the end of America?,” which is pretty much the same anxiety-producing message that Sarah Palin, if she runs in 2012, or Mitt Romney, for that matter, will try to exploit.
The difference between Jones and the rest of these people, says Jones, is, “I’m consciously trying to tell the truth.”
You can see why he might believe this. The more history unfolds, the more successful he seems to become. The scales, he says, have simply fallen from our eyes.
“And there’s more scales under those,” says Alex Jones.