[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]
Two of America’s best-known and most prolific conspiracy theorists, Infowars founder Alex Jones and author Jerome Corsi, who tirelessly pursued the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not an American citizen, announced this week they would be combining forces.
Jones told viewers that Corsi would be joining Infowars as its Washington bureau chief, moving his family to the Beltway from New York and heading up a planned news crew.
“We have a responsibility to be cities on the hill, broadcasting the truth,” Jones claimed during a weekend broadcast.
But Corsi’s hiring comes amid substantial confusion, as Jones claims the White House has offered Infowars press credentials despite White House denials.
“I know I can get White House credentials. We’ve already been offered them. We’re going to get them. But I’ve just got to spend the money to send somebody there,” Jones said last week.
On Monday, Corsi went on air with Jones and told him that the “White House press office today didn’t think there would be any problem in Infowars and Alex Jones and me getting press credentials.”
The alliance with Corsi is a marriage made in conspiracy-theorist heaven. Corsi is most famous for his bestselling 2004 book attacking then-presidential candidate John Kerry as a fraudulent Purple Heart recipient, a set of eventually disproven claims known as the “Swift Boat” theories. In his long career, most of it with the World Net Daily, Corsi also has played a prominent role promoting claims that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate from Hawaii was faked in order to cover up his foreign birth, popularly known as the “Birther” conspiracy theories.
Over the years, Corsi has been prolific in promoting a variety of far-right extremist claims, many of them based in John Birch Society-style Red-baiting. These include an “expose” on the so-called “North American Union,” a dominant antigovernment conspiracy theory described as a plot to surrender American sovereignty in a planned merger with Canada and Mexico, as well as his book and reporting for WND that Obama planned to intern Americans in concentration camps. White nationalist radio host James Edwards also claimed to have helped Corsi with his birther reporting.
After writing Unfit for Command, Corsi’s “Swift Boat book,” he went on to co-author a book with Jim Gilchrist, one of the co-founders of the nativist border-vigilante Minuteman movement. One chapter of that book was devoted to extolling the virtues of then-Orange County, Calif., Sheriff Mike Carona, who called himself “America’s Sheriff” until he resigned amid allegations he tampered with a jury.
During their broadcast, Jones defended Infowars’ right to join the White House Press Corps on Tuesday, alleging that mainstream news outlets were afraid to brush shoulders with his. "Freaking out over the fact that we’re going to set up a Washington bureau, and saying, ‘Infowars isn’t real. You can’t have that. You can’t do that. Stop them. Don’t compete with us. Don’t get in the boxing ring with us. Don’t get on the field with us. No, no, no, no, no, no," Jones said. "It reminds me of the '30s and '40s saying don’t let black baseball players on the baseball field. Because that’s basically what this is."
He continued, "Prepare to be completely dominated. You know everybody likes Babe Ruth, O.K., and I grew up liking baseball. He was a great baseball player, but it’s easy to have unbreakable records when he was only playing against white guys. I mean, it’s kind of like, that’s the allegory: Get ready for competition in media, okay?”
Corsi then joked that the process to get a White House press credential required paperwork. "I have to have a birth certificate. Of course, Barack Obama doesn’t," he said. The effects of letting Infowars into the White House press pool are real.
As Eric Hananoki at Media Matters observed:
Letting Infowars into the White House would provide the Trump administration an ally -- if a volatile one -- in the press room, one it could count on not to push stories damaging to the president. Jones himself has indicated that this is part of the plan, saying yesterday that “just by being there” in the White House they would be able to move news organizations that publish mainstream news stories “out of the way."