AUSTIN, Texas ― Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones called a press conference Friday to explain to reporters just how deceptive they are, whether covering his contentious child custody trial or dismissing what he views as urgent public health issues, like the cross-breeding of pigs with humans.
Referring to reporters as “fops” and “fake news,” the radio host and famed Donald Trump-whisperer flogged journalists for questioning whether his political views were authentic. His lawyers had argued in court that the vitriolic comments he makes on his InfoWars show amounted to little more than “satire,” comparing him with comedian Stephen Colbert or radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.
That argument succeeded in keeping some of Jones’ more offensive on-air comments away from the ears of the jury, which on Thursday night awarded Jones and his ex-wife joint custody of their three children. Travis County judge Orlinda Naranjo said from the first day of trial that she wouldn’t make the case about Jones’ politics or his radio show.
But the self-described Libertarian pundit’s legally expedient rebranding as a part-time political humorist fundamentally undermined his credibility. He clung to the argument, even while raging against it. In the news conference, as in the courtroom, Jones described roughly one-tenth of what he says on air as humor or satire.
“Thank you all,” Jones told the crowd in front of the courthouse where his custody trial took place. “Your mainstream media deception here only increased the power of InfoWars.”
Even as he criticized the journalists who flocked to the trial, he thanked them for portraying him as a loving father ― an assessment provided by the dozens of therapists charged with providing expert judgment in the custody case.
But Jones also digressed. He attacked journalists for willfully misinterpreting his reports on InfoWars and failing to emphasize issues close to his heart, like the fact that scientists have experimented with injecting human cells into pigs.
“Do you have any idea how dangerous these human-animal chimeras are?” Jones said, asking the reporters to “Google it.” A few minutes earlier, he accused Google of trying to keep people from finding his show on the internet. The chimeras, he said, “are going to affect our children.”
He offered reporters a few words of commiseration, speculating that “corporate masters” had interfered with their news reports filed from the courthouse. His overall characterization of the trial’s news coverage, however, was resoundingly negative.
“You are dehumanizing me and my children,” Jones said. “You are dehumanizing yourselves.”
Jones’ accusations belied the cordial mood. He clearly enjoyed the attention, and reporters often giggled at his responses, when they centered on topics other than his hard-fought custody trial. Jones had held sole custody of his three children for the last three years, while his former wife saw the kids at infrequent and often supervised visits.
Courts will determine future arrangements for the children based on the jury’s verdict.
Despite the anguish that Jones must have passed through as a father during the two-week ordeal, neither his politics nor his sense of humor changed. Asked whether he still believes the Sandy Hook massacre was a “false flag” operation, Jones demurred, saying that every lead should be investigated because the federal government doesn’t deserve our trust.
And when asked whether he still doubts that former President Barack Obama is really the father of his two daughters, Jones said that was an obvious example of his sense of satire.
“I was sitting there with [Mike] Cernovich,” Jones told HuffPost. “It was clearly a joke. We were laughing.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated Jones has held sole custody of his children for the last three weeks. In fact, it was the last three years.