When I lived in San Marcos, I used to listen to a radio show during mid day called “The Charlie Hodge Rock and Roll Halftime show” starring Charlie Hodge and Matt “The Chicken Wing” Sadler. They played no music for two hours and the show was abjectly hilarious, with off the wall callers, wacky games involving answering math questions while hitting a bong, and a woman named “Dragon Lady” Basically the perfect show for a college student who would be driving to work as the show was coming on at 10 am. But one of my favorite bits was the “Alex Jones Freedom Nugget”. For years, Alex Jones was a conservative foil to the deeply blue Austin, TX. Was he little off the wall? Absolutely. But his website was hilarious, and the freedom nuggets on the Halftime Show were always gold – with Charlie goading Alex into saying some pretty hilarious stuff. He was harmlessly nuts.
Fast forward to 2012. In Newtown Connecticut 27 people – 20 young children, 6 staff members, and the shooter’s mother – were gunned down by a seriously mentally disturbed young man who then killed himself. I want you to imagine the pain of being the family members of one of those killed, and then imagine a man with a platform to speak from starts telling people the shooting is a hoax and that your children were either not murdered at all, and the entire thing was an elaborate ruse carried out by actors or that the government perpetrated the shootings of your children simply to “take guns.” Let me unequivocally state this: if you are a person who believes that the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School were not killed by a man who was seriously deranged simply because he was disturbed you are stupider than the people who believe the Democratic Party is running a child prostitution ring out of a pizza parlor. You’re an absolute idiot and I hope that you never breed. Alex Jones had completed his descent into full blown madness. Here are a couple of Alex Jones tidbits:
He thinks the government has put “gay bombs” into the tap water which is turning frogs gay:
He says that Hillary Clinton is a demon from hell who smells of sulphur and has flies landing on her:
Now that Jones is eponymous with “rage filled psychopath” Megyn Kelly formerly of Fox news fame has interviewed him for Sunday’s show. On Father’s Day no less – which is hilarious. That’s like interviewing the Hamburglar on National Hot Dog day or David Duke any time during the month of February. A huge part of people’s anger over this decision lies with his constant harping over the alleged “Sandy Hook hoax.” This man has damaged so many people with his narrative. A woman who follows Jones was just recently sentenced to five years in prison for harassing Leonard Pozner, the father of one of the murdered children. For every person out there who watches clips of him and laughs there is a person out there who believes him, or follows him, or worse a person that he has hurt with the rhetoric he spews. My biggest problem with this is news programs have abandoned journalistic integrity in the name of viewers. And of course this is happening. NBC has no problem normalizing this type of behavior and minimizing the pain of bereft parents because they know this story will be a ratings bonanza. And Lord knows they need it as Kelly’s show has extremely low ratings. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution allows freedom of speech for individuals. Freedom of Speech means you cannot be prosecuted by law for the things you say. It does not mean that we have to listen to your crap or that a major news network has to air your incoherent ramblings for the world.
The right thing to do is obviously for NBC to not air this interview with Alex Jones. But NBC is going to air the interview so if you think Alex Jones is a crazy person (he is), or you’re angry like I am that they would give him a place to speak simply for ratings sake then you have a responsibility to not watch. This decision is greed plain and simple, and sometimes greed is NOT good.
Editor’s note: Lamont Mann is part of the weekly update team (Fridays) and also weighs in on a variety of subjects during the week. He is former military and a UH grad. Follow him on Twitter: @sportsmedialm