3 min read

Infowars needs to unionize

This is the closing piece in the Alex Jones series and I honestly hope I don't have to write about this fucking guy ever again until the day I die. That is hard to imagine given my career. At the very least, I hope I write about him much, much less.

Just fade into obscurity, Alex Jones. For my sake.

My colleague Megan Squire did the heavy lifting on the research for this and has been nailing Jones on his money for a long time. It is "absolutely bonkers" how much money Jones has made from his operation. He is charging mark ups of at least 900%:

‘Absolutely Bonkers’: Inside Infowars’ Money Machine
The text messages from Alex Jones’ phone show how Infowars sowed hatred, fear and lies, while also selling products to its audience, some at markups as high as 900%.

Beyond the customers, Jones's employees also have what I would colloquially call a "rough go." Jones is drinking early in the day over there. He's asking people to fetch him vodka and set it up in the conference room. Jones's employees know about his practice of surveilling his wife's whereabouts (see Part 1), and some of them are apparently looped in on it. Jones appears to be late handing out certain payments to staff. The shop seems dysfunctional, and a dysfunctional shop needs a union.

Quick message to Infowars staff

I know there are a few Infowars employees who have followed this series closely to learn more about their boss. You may be reading this now.

I know that we do not share the same political views. Just hear me on this one thing, please. I'm a shop steward for SPLC Union, organizing some of the folks in our Intelligence Project. You guys need a union. You do not need to do things outside of your job description, much less do things that could potentially get you thrown in jail. You deserve to be paid on time for your labor.

Not everyone who collaborates with extremists is a dead-eyed sociopath, just as not every "conspiracy theory" is totally false. Some of you have families and can't quit at the drop of a hat. I know that.

All I am saying is you don't have to take this shit from Jones.

"Alt-right" poster heads to trial

Next up, I'm covering the trial of Douglass Mackey. Mackey and I used to chat quite a bit on the white supremacist social media website Gab back in 2017 and 2018 when he went by the moniker "Ricky Vaughn."

I'm going to put updates about the trial on here, as it goes along.

Mackey stands accused of trying to disenfranchise voters in 2016 through a targeted disinformation campaign. Here's a summary of the charges:

Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign
A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.

Tucker Carlson and other bigots have publicly supported Mackey, portraying him as a free speech hero. For that reason, I think the case has the potential to be landmark, along the lines of the SPLC-backed lawsuit against Andrew Anglin on behalf of Tanya Gersh.

The Mackey case to me represents the battlefield of the internet era: How far can people go to weaponize this fake world against people in the real world? In Gersh's civil case, she fought back her harassers and won. Legit hero, IMO.

Me and Tanya Gersh in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia in November 2022

Anyway. I look forward to bringing you updates on the Mackey trial.