Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Alex Jones of the U.S. Senate: Why Rand Paul is still just a conspiracist nut

The likely presidential candidate's scaremongering about Ebola is a reminder of his ties to the paranoiac fringe

Elias Isquith / Salon.com

Alex Jones, Rand Paul (Credit: Reuters/Jim Bourg/AP/Timothy D. Easley)

Google’s algorithm is a mysterious and capricious overlord, so by the time you read this piece the results may have changed, but here’s what I just got when I searched for “Rand Paul” and “Ebola” to learn more about the senator’s controversial Thursday remarks. Note the very first result:



For those lucky enough not to know, Infowars is part of the media empire presided over by radio host and conspiracy theory connoisseur Alex Jones. Along with Infowars, his radio show and a few other conspiracy-focused websites, Jones is responsible for some of the ugliest, dumbest and silliest moments in our recent political history. Whether it’s claiming the U.S. government secretly perpetrated the mass killings in Aurora and Sandy Hook, or insisting that immigrants were engaged in a massive plot to enslave home-grown Americans, if you can think of a moment from the last few years when you began to doubt that humans were truly capable of rational self-government, Alex Jones was probably to blame.

Putting it lightly, Jones is not quite the type of person you’d expect to associate with a mainstream politician, much less one with serious plans to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. Then again, the Kentucky senator and his devoted supporters are well-known for telling us how Rand Paul is not like a normal politician. The implication, of course, is that this is a good thing. Often it is. But as his Ebola comments — which were rather consistent with other previous Jones-like statements — reminded us, sometimes it’s definitely not.

(More here.)

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