Long before he inadvertently brought an end to a popular sitcom by hosting last week’s mega-viral interview with Charlie Sheen, talk-radio host Alex Jones established himself as a giant in America’s conspiracy subculture. The godfather of the 9/11 Truth Movement, Jones is the most popular chronicler of what he believes is a New World Order plot to enslave the global population.
Until recently, he was a lonely and little-known voice in the short wave and Internet radio wilderness. But as his audience has grown, other talk show hosts have taken notice — and cues. Among his most ardent imitators is Glenn Beck, whom Jones has accused of stealing his ideas, guests, and research. Last week, Jones posted a video clip on his site, InfoWars, offering evidence of this theft.
“He rips me off and spins the information, often injecting lies into the truth,” says Jones.
So, is Alex Jones really the invisible senior writer of Beck’s TV and radio shows? If the below is any indication, the answer is “Yes.”
1. “Inside-Job” Terror
Alex Jones was the first 9/11 Truther. Two months before the attacks took place, in July of 2001, Jones warned that the U.S. government was planning to blow up the World Trade Center and blame Osama bin Laden. More recently, Jones and his websites have been sounding the alarm, based on mainstream press clippings, that the Obama Administration might find political gain in the tragedy of a “new Oklahoma City Bombing” or a 9/11-style attack. Jones had been making this argument for several months when Beck began to hit a very similar note shortly after the midterms last year. “They are setting up an Oklahoma City. They are claiming that one is coming and they’re already marked the one who caused it,” Beck said in November, referring to himself. Unlike Jones, however, Beck continues to harshly criticize those who entertain or believe similar actions could have occurred during the Bush Administration or past governments.
Scorecard: Rip-off and redirection. Beck takes a page from Jones in discussing state-sponsored terror, but twists it for use against Democrats — ignoring Jones’ more radical theory that both parties are historically capable of heinous acts against their own people.
2. Martial Law, Food Riots & Pentagon Planning for Domestic Unrest
For the past several years, Glenn Beck echoed Alex Jones on the Doomsday themes of looming economic disaster and subsequent societal collapse. What’s more, Beck often relies heavily on guests who first appeared on the Alex Jones Show to discuss the same topics. For example, on October 13, 2008, Beck discussed the “threat of martial law” with frequent Alex Jones guest and former Senate candidate Peter Schiff. During the same program, Beck went on to discuss what he considered “coercive” and “manufactured fear” — classic Jones themes. Similar echoes can be found on Beck’s website, The Blaze, which often cover subjects shortly after Jones, such as the Pentagon’s plans for civil unrest and a possible food crisis triggering martial law.
Scorecard: Beck is caught red-handed here — stealing ideas, language and guests. Incidentally, the more Beck has incorporated themes of social collapse into his show, the more his online advertising roster resembles that found on Jones’ site, which has featured survivalist gear and products for more than a decade.
3. New World Order & Global Currency
If any one term defines the career of Alex Jones, it is the New World Order. Beck, who used to make fun of N.W.O conspiracy, now covers it frequently and has incorporated the term into his show. This began while Beck was still on CNN. On Oct 9, 2008 he declared, “New world Order is the endgame.” That February, he hosted longtime Alex Jones guest Ron Paul on his Fox News show to discuss world government. He has also borrowed language from Jones when expressing his fears about the creation of a global currency and sterilants in the water.
Beck’s Scorecard: The mother of all rip-offs by Beck. He again leans heavily on Jones’ trademark New World Order language, but deemphasizes or ignores the role played by corporations, which are prominent in Jones’ more sweeping critique.
4. Fabian Socialists, Eugenics and George Bernard Shaw
Alex Jones and his guests have long covered the history of eugenics, including the role of George Bernard Shaw, the playwright and unabashed eugenicist. Alex’s 2007 documentary film Endgame takes an in-depth look at Shaw, who has been discussed on-air many times, including here. In January, 2010, Glenn Beck’s documentary The Revolutionary Holocaust included the exact same clips of Shaw as those discussed or shown on The Alex Jones Show. Later, Beck would revisit the subject to link eugenics and Fabian Socialists to the London School of Economics and his favorite new target, George Soros.
Scorecard: Classic example of Beck stealing material from Jones and stripping it of context so as to better attack Beck’s progressive straw-men — in this case George Soros and other usual suspects found on Beck’s chalk board.
5. Egypt Revolution Staged Destabilization of Mideast Region
From the beginning of the recent unrest in Egypt, frequent Alex Jones guest Dr. Webster Tarpley was often on-air discussing the destabilization of Egypt and other nations in the region. In these interviews, Tarpley and Jones discussed the role of U.S., British and Israeli intelligence agencies in the creation and backing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Glenn Beck was soon on TV and the radio giving a similar explanation for the Egyptian protest, with one key and all-too typical twist: In Beck’s telling, it was a leftist-oriented and -inspired revolution led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Scorecard: A textbook example of Beck echoing information recently aired on Jones’ show, but with the information narrowly deployed to provide ballast for Beck’s nakedly partisan politics.
6. Google Boycott & Google’s Ties to U.S. Government
Alex Jones has been calling out Google as a front and ally to the NSA and other U.S.- backed intelligence since at least 2006, when he had expert Robert Steele on to discuss Google’s founding and funding. Lately, in an offshoot of his theory regarding tumult in the Mideast, Beck has begun to blast Google’s ties to the government, as well as alleged leftist ties to the revolution. But he has not condemned systematic, universal spying and cataloguing of data by Google. This quickly drew Jones’ ire.
Scorecard: Once again, Beck seems to be taking a critique from Jones and reverse engineering it as a weapon to attack the left, ignoring its more sweeping condemnation of Google or its activities under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
7. The Google Bomb
On Feb. 3, 2011 Beck told viewers to search “caliphate.” They did, and the term went to No. 3 on Google Trends. Where did Beck get the idea? Likely its innovator, Alex Jones, who has initiated more than 50-60 Google Trends that have become #1 search terms.
Scorecard: Innovation begets imitation. Beck saw Jones’ successful Google Bombing initiatives and decided to borrow the idea to drive traffic to his own websites — where Beck’s fans can digest bastardized versions of theories and facts originally found on the Alex Jones Show.