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MSNBC Works with Alex Jones to Discredit Tea Party Movement

June 21, 2010

Radio host Alex Jones, who believes that 9/11 was a U.S. government plot and “inside job” conspiracy, is featured in Chris Matthews’ recent documentary on MSNBC as a leader of the “New Right” and the Tea Party movement. But Jones has absolutely nothing to do with the conservative or Tea Party movements.

In the advance promotional advertisements for the program, Jones is shown saying that the U.S. has entered the phase of “deep tyranny.” The promos make Jones appear to be the undisputed leader of the “New Right” and the Tea Party movement.

But in fact, a video shows Jones disrupting a Tea Party rally in Texas by shouting at organizers and speakers with a bullhorn. This performance woke up many Tea Party members to the real Jones agenda and he has been anathema to them ever since.

“HARDBALL Looks at Conservative Movement,” the MSNBC website says, referring to the Chris Matthews program which aired last week.

But Jones is not and never has been a conservative. Jones has much more in common with the left than the right. He is, for example, a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement, as was Van Jones, the Obama official fired after evidence of his communist background began to surface. The 9/11 Truth Movement was originally designed to undercut evidence that Muslims were behind the attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans. Leftists joined the movement and used it to undermine the Bush Administration drive for a military response to Islamic terrorism and its base of operations in the Middle East. 

On MSNBC, it seems clear that the “Rise of the New Right” program is an outgrowth of fear that the Tea Party movement could threaten liberal control of Washington, D.C.

The key to the MSNBC assault is the use of Jones.

As Accuracy in Media has documented, Jones postures as a “patriot” with inside information about various plots but appears regularly on the Russia Today television propaganda channel, where he has defended Russian foreign policy. One of his themes is that the U.S. is the greatest instigator of terrorism in the world today. He also promotes legalization of marijuana as a solution to our economic woes.

These are hardly “conservative” or Tea Party positions.

Adopting its own conspiracy theory, MSNBC throws out the names of Sarah Palin, Scott Brown, Dick Armey, Rand Paul, Joe McCarthy, Glenn Beck, Father Coughlin, Pat Buchanan, and the John Birch Society, as if they are all somehow linked or share something in common.

It is classic guilt by association, with no evidence of association being presented. 

But for Alex Jones, the attention serves his purposes. Having cooperated with Matthews, a former Democratic Party operative, and his producers, Jones’ associates are now claiming that the script is biased to make the Tea Party movement look bad. This was the obvious intention all along, of course, and Alex Jones played his part. 

Matthews and his “sources” in the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Media Matters group should understand that, rather than being any kind of right-wing political figure, Jones works openly and closely with such “progressive” figures as Webster Tarpley, a former high-level associate of political opportunist and extremist Lyndon LaRouche, one of the first fringe political figures to question whether Muslims were behind the 9/11 attacks. Tarpley wrote 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in the USA, blaming the U.S. for the attacks.

LaRouche, who has been on the fringes of the political scene for decades, began his career as a Marxist and his National Caucus of Labor Committees was a faction of the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society at Columbia University. During the late 1970s and 1980s, LaRouche and his operatives suddenly adopted a “conservative” posture. After that, however, LaRouche ran for president as a Franklin Roosevelt Democrat. He served prison time on financial fraud charges before re-emerging and running a movement that today is attempting to co-opt the Tea Party message. 

Tarpley, who, like Jones, is a prominent figure in the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement, is a regular guest on the Jones radio show and appears in Jones documentaries that purport to expose the Obama Administration and the forces behind it. One of Tarpley’s books on Obama, published by Progressive Press, whitewashes Obama’s Marxist connections. He advertises himself as “one of the most incisive critics of Anglo-American hegemony,” demonstrating how he views the world. 

One of the common themes of both Jones and Tarpley is that Muslims are being unfairly blamed for terrorist attacks such as 9/11 and that the U.S. and/or Israel are really behind them.

The problem of LaRouche operatives in the Tea Party movement is a real one and has been recognized as such. Members of the LaRouche movement have been waving the signs that are sometimes seen at Tea Party gatherings that depict President Obama as Hitler. The words “LaRouche PAC,” referring to the cult leader’s political action committee, are actually visible on some of the signs and banners.

The Matthews documentary mentions the Nazi charge against Obama, in order to discredit the Tea Party movement, without noting its LaRouche origins. It is another example of the program’s basic dishonest approach.

Conservative activist Tom DeWeese of the American Policy Center, who began his conservative career in Young Americans for Freedom decades ago, has written that, “Forces led by Lyndon LaRouche and, in my opinion, Alex Jones, are working deep inside our movement to see it implode into fights, caused by distrust and hatred. I believe they are manipulating the media to show the freedom movement as simply a band of nuts not to be taken seriously.”

It’s hard to tell who is manipulating whom. In any case, the Matthews agenda is clear: to use Jones in an unfair effort to smear the ordinary Americans and conservatives associated with the Tea Party movement as kooks following dangerous and unstable personalities. By extension, this reasoning goes, any candidate receiving their support is questionable.

All of this is supposed to benefit Democrats such as Harry Reid running against Tea Party-backed candidates like Sharron Angle in Nevada.

Another theme of the Matthews program, which we have seen before, is that the Tea Party movement includes racists. Matthews is a member of an all-white line-up of hosted shows on MSNBC-TV that has been determined to ignore black speakers and black leaders of the Tea Party movement.

If Matthews had wanted to present the facts, rather than his own conspiracy theories, he could have mentioned that Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, a leader of the Tea Party movement, has appeared several times on the Alex Jones radio show and that Jones has even raised money for him. These are facts that any objective journalist on the right or left would agree that Paul has to account for.

Incredibly, Rand Paul recently bypassed NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in order to avoid being questioned about his libertarian views, and instead went on the Russia Today propaganda channel, where he talked about immigration and other matters. For someone who wants to be elected to a national office with influence over national security affairs, it is shocking that Paul would go on a channel financed by the Kremlin that not only promotes Russian foreign policy but also the 9/11 “inside job” conspiracy theory.

In one segment that seems largely untainted by the political motives or conspiracies advanced by Matthews and his producers, the MSNBC program features a legitimate Tea Party member by the name of Ana Puig, a stay-at-home mother of four who got involved in the “Kitchen table patriots” because of the Marxist threat she saw developing from the Obama Administration.  “I like to call it 21st Century Marxism, a camouflage statement for Communism since we are not fighting a bloody battle,” she has written. “Instead, we are fighting an ideological one.”

This is the real voice of the Tea Party movement. And this is why liberals like Matthews are so scared of it. The Tea Party movement has emerged because of recognition of what Obama and his backers truly represent.

One motive for the weak and slanted Matthews documentary is clearly disgust over the fact that Fox News, which is killing MSNBC in the ratings, has been a platform for Ana Puig and others like her. The role of Fox News in promoting the movement is mentioned several times.

By attacking the Tea Party movement, Matthews is really attacking his nemesis Fox News.

But if the transcript that is being made available by Jones is the final one, Matthews will have demonstrated that, in addition to being a hatchet man for the Democratic Party, he is also a bad journalist. He could have mentioned a real issue—how Andrew Napolitano of FBN has praised Alex Jones and has appeared repeatedly on his radio show.

The “Rise of the New Right” will be quickly forgotten because of its serious inattention to the facts. But you can bet that Jones will use it to make himself into a media martyr.  

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