The Alex Jones who told his legions of "Infowars" listeners that bogus stories about the US government being behind the 9/11 attacks and about Hillary Clinton operating a pedophile ring out of a Washington D.C. pizza joint is really "a performance artist".
The real Alex Jones is not his bombastic, conspiratorial InfoWars persona, his lawyer is hoping to convince a Texas jury in the radio host's child custody battle.
Attorney Randall Wilhite said at a recent pretrial hearing that evaluating Jones based on his on-air comments is like judging Jack Nicholson based on his role as the Joker in "Batman". Well, his lawyer is now arguing in court that Jones is simply "playing a character" just like "a performance artist". And she doesn't buy the argument that his InfoWars persona is an act.
She added, "I'm concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress".
Over the next two weeks, a Texas jury will decide whether Jones's "performance" reflects who he is in private life, and whether that has any bearing on his fitness as a parent. "He broadcasts from home".
"He's playing a character", Wilhite said, according to the Statesman.
Well, the Austin American-Statesman reminds everyone that Jones caters to a massive audience - he can boast of 7.6 million unique visitors per month on the InfoWars site and over 2 million YouTube subscribers.
It's overly generous to take Alex Jones or his attorney at their word, but to indulge them briefly, any reasonable consumer of media would have no valid reason to doubt that Jones believes what he preaches.
Jones promotes the theory that "globalist" forces, including politicians and big business, are out to rob the USA of its sovereignty, and that Trump will save the nation from this conspiracy. In one from 2015, he told his then-12-year-old son that "you're a good little knight who's going to grow up, I know, to be a great fighter against the enemy". "The children are there, watching him broadcast".
Then, they played a video of a conversation between Jones and Republican strategist and Trump associate Roger Stone that, according to the Statesman, "quickly escalated into an expletive-studded, gay-bashing rant by Jones directed at Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee investigation of Trump's Russian Federation ties".