by Bob Cesca
One of the most bizarre stories during a truly bizarre era in American history has been Alex Jones' child custody proceedings. For the uninitiated, Jones is a radio and internet conspiracy theorist with millions of weekly listeners and millions more online.
Some of his greatest hits include a theory that President Obama guided a super-tornado toward an Oklahoma town in order to distract the media from Benghazi. He also deals in the theory that the U.S. government is deliberately lacing beverages, specifically juice boxes, with chemicals that will turn heterosexual boys gay. And chemtrails -- Jones thinks the government is poisoning us with chemicals sprayed from jet airplanes traveling at 35,000 feet.
The list goes on an on, but perhaps the most despicable of Jones' kooky conspiracy theories is one in which the horrifying 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook was, in fact, a hoax involving child actors and grieving performers. The purpose of the hoax? Obviously, it was all part of Obama's plan to confiscate firearms. Of course, the theory is easily debunkable for many reasons, including the reality that Obama never proposed a single ban on any firearms at all. Indeed, the only legislation to emerge following Sandy Hook, an expanded background check amendment brought by Senators Toomey and Manchin, died a whimpering death nearly five months after the shooting.
The existence of Jones' horrendous theory about Sandy Hook is made worse by two things. First, there now exist hundreds or more disciples of the theory -- people like Andrew David Truelove, a Sandy Hook "truther" who, with the help of yours truly, was exposed by my late friend, Chez Pazienza, here at The Daily Banter. Truelove eventually went to prison -- due in part to Chez's predictably stellar reporting. But scratching Truelove from the active duty list was merely a drop in the bucket compared with others who are still at large, stalking the families of the victims with impunity while heartlessly questioning the very existence of their murdered children.
The second awful fact about Jones and his gruesome Sandy Hook tall tale is this: Jones might actually be a performance artist, doing all of this conspiracy theory crapola as part of a highly lucrative act. How do we know this? This week, both Jones and his lawyer said so in court and under penalty of perjury.
Jones himself claimed a recent rant in which he called Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) a "cocksucker" who'd better "fill [his] hand" (with a gun) was merely “performance art,” telling the court it was “clearly tongue-in-cheek and basically art performance, as I do in my rants, which I admit I do, as a form of art.”
Then Jones’ attorney, Randall Wilhite, told the court, “He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist.” It’s unclear whether Wilhite was referencing the Schiff clip or Jones’ act in general, but it appears to be a broader confirmation of what Jones does for a living. Specifically, it appears as if both Jones and his lawyer have stated that the persona we hear on the radio and in countless online videos is, in fact, only an act.
Making matters worse, if that's even possible, is the harsh reality that our current president, Mr. Trump, is a devoted fan of Jones. Trump has appeared on Jones’ radio program numerous times. In December 2015 Trump told Jones, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” This should terrify everyone that the President of the United States vouched for a known con-artist -- an confessed "performance artist" who not only thinks 9/11 was an "inside job," but also that Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon Bombing were both "false flags."
ABC News reported this week that the parents of the Sandy Hook victims wrote to Trump nearly two months ago, asking the new president to speak out against the conspiracy theorists and especially the incessant stalking and harassment of the families. Two months have gone by since the letter was sent and, in those two months, Trump has spent 21 days vacationing at Mar-a-lago, while also spending 25 hours of his first month on the golf course and 13 hours tweeting. Yes, 13 hours tweeting. Surely there's time to respond to the families one way or another, especially given Trump's copious free time.
So far, however, Trump has ignored the Sandy Hook families and their requests. It should be obvious as to why: would any of us be at all shocked to learn Trump was a Sandy Hook truther? I don't know whether he is, but it wouldn't shock me in the slightest given his penchant for conspiracy theories like the thing about Obama's birth certificate, the thing about three million illegal voters and the other thing about wire-tapping Trump Tower. We don't know because Trump hasn't said a damn thing about the massacre or the conspiracy industry that's sprung up in its wake. Jesus, at a minimum, Trump could take a few seconds and fire off a tweet about it -- at the very least, he could tell these theorists to leave the families alone.
Instead... nothing. And yet he wastes hours of his time whining about "fake news" and the minuscule size of his Electoral College victory. What's so difficult -- in the span of two months, no less -- about showing solidarity with parents whose kindergarten-aged children, along with several of their teachers, were gunned down in cold blood by a mad man with an AR15?
What's more than clear by now is this basic fact: Donald Trump is an asshole. Donald Trump is only capable of feeling jealously, vindictiveness, greed, pettiness, vulgarity and gluttony. Nowhere in his DNA will we find sympathy, regret or, generally speaking, a conscience. This is a ghoulish, monstrous man who abuses women, lies about his enemies, demonizes minorities, mocks disabled people, and, yes, colludes with a foreign government to undermine the integrity of the very thing that makes America truly great -- our elections.
But, you know, he should at least pretend to give a shit. Yet he's not even capable of that.
Let's hope the karma is swift and appropriate.