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I dropped out of film school to edit video for the conspiracy theorist because I believed in his worldview. Then I saw what it did to people. Illustration by Eric Yahnker. By Josh Alex jones young pictures. As Jones punched the gas pedal to the floor, the smell of vodka, like paint thinner, wafted up from the white Dixie cup anchored in the console. My stomach churned as the phone I held streamed live video to Facebook: Jones rambling about voter fraud and rigged elections while I stared at the screen, holding the camera at an angle to hide his double chin.
Four years earlier, Jones — wanting to expand his website, Infowars, into a full-blown guerrilla news operation and hoping to scout new hires from his growing fan base — held an online contest. At 23, I was vulnerable, angry and searching for direction, so I decided to give it a shot.
Out of what Infowars said were hundreds of submissions, my video — a half-witted, conspiratorial glance at the creation and function of the Federal Reserve — made it to the final round. Unconvinced I could cut it as a reporter, Jones offered me a full-time position as a video editor.
I quit film school and moved nearly a thousand miles to Austin, Tex. By the time I found myself seated next to Jones speeding down the highway, I had seen enough of the inner workings of Infowars to know better. Rather, he hoped to turn this into a spectacle, an insult to him personally, another opportunity to play the self-aggrandizing victim.
As soon as I pulled the camera off him, he reached for the white Dixie cup. I thought to myself, imagining the scene: Jones veering too close to the guardrail, ranting about George Soros and Hillary Clinton.
Years earlier, I would have believed it. A line stretched out the door of the polling place, in a local strip mall, by the time we arrived. Walking back to the car, still taking sips from his white cup, he began noticeably slurring his words. Jones revved his engine, tires squealing as he sped out of the parking lot.
The American public had been sold a war through outright fabrications; the economy was in free fall thanks to Wall Street greed and the failure of Washington regulators. Most of the mainstream media was caught flat-footed by these developments, but Jones seemed to have an explanation for everything.
He railed against government corruption and secrecy, the militarization of police. He confronted those in power, traipsed through the California redwoods to expose the secretive all-male meeting of elites at Bohemian Grove and even appeared in two Richard Linklater films as himself, screaming Alex jones young pictures a megaphone.
Jones had a way of imbuing the world with mystery, adding a layer of cinematic verisimilitude that caught my attention. Suddenly, I was no longer a bored kid attending an overpriced art school. I believed that the world was strategically run by a shadowy, organized cabal, and that Jones was a hero for exposing it. I had my limits. Once I started working there, however, it became obvious that one was impossible to separate one from the other. Still learning the ropes, I was tasked with creating video advertisements for the supplement, which he ran on his online TV show.
One of these started with a shot of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear Alex jones young pictures plant as it exploded. I doubled the sound of the explosion, adding a glitch filter and sirens in the background for dramatic effect. Jones stood over my shoulder as I edited. Shortly after Jones began selling the supplements, someone posted a video on YouTube holding a Geiger counter displaying high radiation readings on a beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
The video went viral, stoking fears that radiation from Fukushima was drifting across the Pacific Ocean. Jones saw an opportunity and sent me, along with a reporter, a writer and another cameraman, to California. We had multiple Geiger counters shipped overnight, unaware of how to read or work them, and drove up the West Coast, frequently stopping to check radiation levels. Other than a small spike in Half Moon Bay — which the California Department of Public Health said was from naturally occurring radioactive materials, not Fukushima — we found nothing.
Jones was furious. On some of these calls, I could hear Jones screaming in the background. One of the producers told me they had never seen him so angry. We scrambled to find something, anything we could report on. We tested freshly caught crab from a dock in Crescent City, Calif.
We even tried to locate a small nuclear-waste facility just so we could capture the Geiger counter displaying a high. Jones did not respond to detailed queries sent before publication by The Times Magazine. Over time, I came to learn that keeping Jones from getting angry was a big part of the job, though it was impossible to predict his outbursts.
Stories abounded among my co-workers: The blinds stuck, so he ripped them off the wall. A water cooler had mold in it, so he grabbed a large knife, stabbed the plastic base wildly and smashed it on the ground. Once a co-worker stopped by the office with a pet fish he was taking home to his niece. It swam in circles in a small, transparent bag.
When Jones saw the bag balanced upright on a desk in the conference room, he emptied it into a garbage can. On one occasion, he threatened to send out a memo banning laughter in the office. I also saw Jones give an employee the Rolex off his own wrist, simply because he thought the employee was mad at him. A few times I came close to quitting, and like clockwork, just before I pulled the plug, I received a bonus or ificant raise. Jones often told his employees that working for him would leave a black mark on our records. To him, it was the price that must be paid for boldly confronting those in power — what he called the New World Order or, later, the deep state.
Once my beliefs began to shift, I saw the virulent nature of his world, the emptiness and loathing in many of those impassioned claims. But I was certain that after four Alex jones young pictures working for Jones, I would never be able to get another job — banished into poverty as penance for my transgressions, and rightly so.
When Jones wanted to blow off steam, we would travel to a private ranch outside Austin to shoot guns. Among other firearms, we would bring the two Barrett. Because we never missed an opportunity to create more content, we also brought along cameras to turn whatever happened into a segment for his show. I remember one trip in particular. A few of us left early in the morning, arriving before Jones to film B-roll and load magazines; he had no patience for preparation.
The bullet hit the ground about 10 feet away from me. One employee, who was already uncomfortable around firearms, lost it, accusing Jones Alex jones young pictures being careless and flippant. He claimed he had intentionally fired the gun as a joke — as if this were any better.
I stood by silently, considering what might have happened if the gun had been pointed a little to the right. After a while the upset employee let it go, and no one brought it up again. We cracked open a few more beers, filled an old television with Tannerite and blew it up. One weekend, a few people from the office went hunting at a game reserve. On the following Monday, I was handed a hard drive full of video files and told to edit them for Jones to air on his show later in the week. The first video I clicked on came from a cellphone. The camera pans across a blood-covered floor in what looked like a garage.
Dead animals were scattered about: eyes lifeless, tongues hanging from their mouths, crimson streaks splashed on their fur. In another video, a bison grazed quietly in the shade of a large tree; it reminded me of a tableau at the American Museum of Natural History. Then the camera panned over to Jones, maybe 20 yards away, holding what looked like a handgun.
Jones began firing at the bison, tufts of hair flying with every hit. The animal remained standing as Jones shot round after round. Finally, the hunting guide yelled at Jones to stop and handed him a high-caliber rifle. Jones took a moment to make sure the cameras were still recording and fired a few more rounds as the animal finally collapsed. I shared a large room with three other employees, and Jones often walked into our office after he wrapped for the day. What did you like about it? Working for Jones was a balancing act.
You had to determine where he was emotionally and match his tone quickly. If he was angry, then you had better get angry. If he was joking around, then you could relax, sort of, always looking out of the corner of your eye for his mood to turn at any moment.
Late one night, after an extended live broadcast, Jones walked into my office shirtless. This was normal; he removed his shirt frequently around us. He pulled out a bottle of Grey Goose from a storage cabinet and filled his cup. He stumbled into his private restroom, changed into a clean black polo shirt and stepped back into our office. When the employee refused, Jones got louder, his face redder. Finally, knowing Jones would never relent, the employee gave him a weak tap on the shoulder. The employee punched him hard in the shoulder.
Jones grunted on impact, seeming to enjoy the pain. Then, it was his turn. I could hear the dull thud of impact, then a wincing sigh. They traded a few more punches, each time seeming less playful. Jones became wild-eyed, spit flying from his clenched teeth as he exhaled. On his last hit, the sound was different. Jones roared as he punched a cabinet, denting the door in. Having aligned himself with Donald Trump during the presidential race, Jones might now be considered a version of a conservative, but his perspective is much more complicated than Alex jones young pictures.
Infowars was like a lot of digital-media outlets, in that we reported on the things our top editor thought would go viral. But because our boss was Alex Jones, this was a peculiar process.
Asments were often handed down live on the air during his show. We were to have it playing throughout the office, always listening for directives. Ideas for stories mostly came from what other news outlets reported. If it fit into the Infowars narrative, it played. I inhaled the tear gas in Ferguson, Mo. I had dinner with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhanat his home in Phoenix and spent a weekend at the compound of Jim Bakker, the televangelist who spent time in prison for fraud.
In Decemberthe day before Jones interviewed Donald Trump, still a candidate at the time, on his radio show, I made my way to upstate New York on asment, along with a reporter and second cameraman. We landed in Newark at p. The first stop was Islamberg, a Muslim community three hours Alex jones young pictures of Manhattan. It was founded in the s by mostly African-American followers of a Pakistani cleric named Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, who encouraged devotees of his conservative brand of Sufi Islam to establish small settlements across the rural United States.
Gilani was suspected of association with the organization Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which was briefly deated as a terrorist group by the State Department in the s; Gilani has denied any connection to the group. But unfounded rumors circulated around far-right corners of the internet that this community was a potential terrorist-training center.
Jones, who thought the media consistently ingratiated themselves with Islamic extremists, believed them. We pulled in, unannounced, to a dirt drive leading to the community, stopping at a flimsy cattle gate guarded by two men. The reporter, wearing a hidden camera, approached the entrance as we filmed the interaction from the vehicle.
The men were calm and polite, if a little suspicious — reasonable given the circumstances. They denied our entry into Islamberg but took our and told us we could return after they verified who we were.Alex jones young pictures
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