Alex Jones, the bombastic commentator who traffics in false stories and wild conspiracy theories as a form of “entertainment,” is finally being call out by the biggest purveyor of his dreck–YouTube.
Jones and his program, Infowars, were slapped for posting a video promoting a conspiracy theory about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Seventeen people were killed and dozens were wounded by a lone shooter with an AR-15 assault rifle.
Jones attacked student and shooting survivor David Hogg, who emerged as a leading advocate of saner gun control laws.
In another false report, Gateway Pundit, another far-right propaganda site, claimed that Hogg was trying to deflect criticism of the FBI, because his father is a retired FBI agent.
But Jones claimed in a piece, titled “David Hogg Can’t Remember His Lines In TV Interview,” that Hogg is a “crisis actor,” someone who is paid to show up at “staged” events to promote gun control.
That’s far from the worst hard-right theory Jones has advanced, but it’s finally the one that pushed him one step closer to being banned from YouTube.
The video site docked him with a “strike” and pulled down the video. Three strikes in three months results in a permanent ban.
A YouTube spokesperson had this to say to CNN:
“Last summer we updated the application of our harassment policy to include hoax videos that target the victims of these tragedies,” a YouTube spokesperson told CNN. “Any video flagged to us that violates this policy is reviewed and then removed.”
Jones made similar vile claims in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Hogg criticized those spreading conspiracy theories in an interview on CNN.
“The fact that these people refuse to believe something like this could happen is something that all of us don’t want to believe, but that said truth is that it is,” he said. “These people saying this is absolutely disturbing.”
Jones has advanced some of the most outrageious fake news stories, like the so-called “Pizzagate” scandal. He alleged Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta were operating a child sex ring out of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor.
As outrageous and false as the claims were, his exhortations almost ended in tragedy.
A North Carolina man, thinking the story was true, showed up at the pizza parlor with an assault rifle to “rescue” the children. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Lawyers for Jones claim that his on-air persona is not really him. Rather, it’s a “character” he made up. He say’s he’s merely an “entertainer.”