As regular readers are now doubt aware, we’ve had a lot of fun lately at the expense of Alex Jones of “InfoWars” fame.
Alex is of course batshit crazy. Or maybe he’s not. And see that’s what’s so interesting about the ongoing custody battle between Jones and his ex-wife Kelly, who’s been using clips from InfoWars in court to prove Jones isn’t a fit parent.
Jone’s lawyers, on the other hand, argue that what you see on InfoWars isn’t the real Alex. Rather, Jones is simply “playing a character.” He is, to quote his attorneys, “a performance artist.”
This isn’t unique to Alex Jones. A lot of what emanates from the (irritable) bowels of the alt-Right is nothing but clickbait propaganda pushed out conveyor-belt style by would-be populist “heroes” who, in reality, are actually millionaires living a glitzy life funded by your clicks.
What is amusing about Jone’s case however, is that he does seem to be the “real article” on some counts. That is, he did testify that he smokes weed once a year in order to “monitor its strength” because he says George Soros is enhancing its potency, and he also declared his love for eating zebras. So you know, maybe he’s not all “character” and no “crazy” after all.
But the point is, we should all be wary of the bullshit that spills constantly from the virtual pens of alt-Right conspiracy nuts because at the end of the day, a whole lot of them are actors and don’t believe a word of what they say.
Well as it turns out, the same may be at least partially true of the alt-Right godfather himself: Steve Bannon.
Consider the following from The New Yorker and draw your own conclusions…
Via The New Yorker
Stephen K. Bannon, who maintains a precarious hold over the nativist wing of the Trump White House, honed his skills in the art of conservative persuasion in the most liberal precinct of the American imagination, Hollywood. He became himself in the byways of the movie business. These days, Bannon is a dishevelled presence in the Oval Office, but he cut a different figure in Beverly Hills, where he looked the part of a Hollywood executive–fast-talking, smartly dressed, aggressively fit, carrying himself with what one former colleague described as an “alpha swagger.” He worked out of an impressive office on Canon Drive. He was passionate and knowledgeable about film, and boasted about his connections, his production credits, and his background in mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. He was a Republican, but not dogmatic, and he tried not to let his political beliefs get in the way of his work.
The first major profile of Steve Bannon appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, in October, 2015, after he had become the chairman of the conservative Web site Breitbart News and moved to Washington. He was working out of a Capitol Hill town house, which he called the Breitbart Embassy, and the image he had cultivated years earlier in Hollywood was gone. In a photograph for the story, he sits slumped on a couch in the house. Wearing an open-necked striped shirt that bulges around his ample middle, and cargo shorts that ride up his thighs, he looks at the camera with a baleful gaze.
People in Hollywood were bewildered by Bannon’s story of himself as a major dealmaker. “I never heard of him, prior to Trumpism,” the media mogul Barry Diller told me. “And no one I know knew him in his so-called Hollywood period.” Another longtime entertainment executive said, “The barriers in Hollywood are simple. First, you have to have talent. And, second, you have to know how to get along with people. It’s a small club.”
Many who did have dealings with Bannon were unwilling to be interviewed. Others would not speak for attribution, saying that they feared what he might do with the instruments of government–one spoke of a possible I.R.S. audit. He worked hard to join the Hollywood establishment, and several people who knew him said that they were startled by his conversion to what one called “conservative political jihad.” Another said, “All the years I knew him, he just wanted to make a buck.”
“He just wanted to make a buck.”
A populist crusader in character only.