Advanced conspiracy theoretician and herbal tincture entrepreneur Alex Jones has had two of his reporters and one cameraman live on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri since last week. The results—predictably insane, punctuated by long intervals of horrible sanity—defy easy categorization. "Difficult" is a start.
In the above video, Jakari Jackson, an Oklahoma native who has been with Infowars since winning a journalism submission contest in 2012, can be seen covering last Wednesday night's police assault on protestors. It is quite simply an amazing video. You can watch Jakari fleeing from flash-bang grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullet fire, then stopping to criticize a man for tossing a molotov cocktail into a trashcan. Jackson then harangues another person (or the same person?) for re-throwing that molotov at a nearby residence. He basically stays on the issue, until a like-minded protestor puts the fire out and they share a nice moment of solidarity.
Then, an Infowars bumper says that all American media is "state-run" and your swelling heart starts sinking back into despair.
By turns useful, amusingly moronic, gut-wrenching, offensively moronic, life-affirming, and infuriating, the footage produced by Jones' Infowars team in Ferguson evokes something like the range of emotions one might feel watching a new Jurassic Park where half the main characters are Creationists.
These people, on-screen, are not your kind of person. Their beliefs are risible to you, provoking a derisive laughter that slides easily into octaves of contempt and outrage. Then, suddenly they are in mortal danger and their humanity overwhelms you. You want them to be OK. In the heat of the moment, their flashes of Christian charity and pious selflessness endears them to you.
Then one blurts out, "Satan is testing us. These velociraptors are his work."
Part of this thorny entanglement stems from the fact that Ferguson's police force, and lately the Missouri state police, have really brought the Big Totalitarian Mountain to Alex Jones' Paranoid Loon Mohammed.
"I've been the police state guy," Jones says in a remote segment, "and notice now that everyone is getting concerned, even mainline conservatives, libertarians, you name it: Wall Street Journal, New York Times."
Well. That is true. It's interesting certainly.
Then, of course, because he's Alex Jones, he says that those shadowy Globalists are "trying to sell the police state right now [...] and trying to get a civil war going" by allowing the looters to loot, and by demonizing the protestors—prima facie a pretty stupid thing to say, much less believe. (However, if true, it'd actually be pretty great. No one in America seems to be buying the police state after Ferguson, after all. The cabal's evil scheme has failed! Hooray!)
Riffing on that theme, repellently, Jones continues, "We're watching Fox News here, and they're basically saying that you [the rhetorical African American protestor] are a New Black Panther which is literally—literally—as bad or worse than the Klan, as bad or worse as La Raza [which, trust this Mexican-American commentator at the L.A. Times, La Raza is just not racist.]" rant, rant, "horrible, horrible, horrible" gravel-voice demagoguery, somehow the New Black Panthers have "major Justice Department connections." Eric Holder. Obama. Doggie whistle.
As the curfew approached late Saturday night, New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz roamed the street with a bullhorn, encouraging people to leave for their own safety. Many appeared to follow his suggestion.
"C'mon you all, let's roll out," Shabazz said through his bullhorn. "Let's roll out of here, get some rest and come back tomorrow."
Crowds that were in the hundreds prior to the curfew had dwindled significantly in the final hour.
Let's submit, then, that Shabazz's actions Saturday night were, in fact, the exact opposite of the kind of racial fomenting one would presume of Alex Jones' nightmare vision of the New Black Panthers.
It goes on like this. These Infowars Ferguson videos.
Here is a totally sane interview with an Al-Jazeera reporter, Ash-har Quraish, whose obviously journalistic video remote segment, complete with spotlights and large cameras, was tear gassed by police.
Then, when the police very brazenly released information about an alleged robbery involving Michael Brown, Lee Ann McAdoo, an Infowars Nightly News anchor (they have those now) said, "It's this huge PSYOP to basically try and justify for the world now, who is watching this scene unfold, [to say to the world] 'This is why we need this militarized police force.'" Few things in the world right now, could be more unhelpful than conflating shitty public relations tactics with a military-grade organized PSYOP, and it is beyond frustrating to watch Infowars do this during a national tragedy of this scope. (And, yeah, they do this sort of thing regularly to everything. Noted.)
Ugh, but then agian, here below is harrowing, newsworthy footage from the CS riot gas incident this past Saturday night, in which you can see Jakari Jackson struggle to breathe as he runs away from the police tear gas bombs.
The viewer's emotional roller-coaster continues: In a follow up, a few minutes later, Infowars correspondent Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs ruins the video below with some idiotic grandstanding about how CNN lied to the public about the police use of tear gas.
Somehow, maybe just because this Jakari Jackson guy seems relatively sane, Infowars has not been the absolute stupidest news media outlet reporting on the ground in Ferguson, when by rights it really and truly should have been.
That honor goes to the Huffington Post, thanks to this guy:
I retract that suggestion, they are earplugs. Apologies.— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 17, 2014