Good morning Austin:
I was sitting on a bench yesterday in the Travis County Courthouse where the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones child custody trial was in its fourth day, my head down looking at my laptop, when I heard a low muttered growl and something about â€œfamous fiction writer.â€
I looked up and saw it was Alex Jones, breezing past me on the way back into the courtroom.
Narcissist that I am, I thought Jones was talking about me.
Until I read Charlie Warzelâ€™s report on the Day in Jones in the Daily Beast:
Earlier in the hallway, he referred to a group of reporters as â€œfamous fiction writersâ€ and told another reporter â€œman you must be so desperate.â€
OK.Â Famous Fiction Writers, plural.
Oh well, so he wasnâ€™t talking about me, he was talking about we, the collective that could be called the Alex Jones Famous Fiction Writers School.
Even before the Great Age of Fake News, it has always, of course, been a problem, separating fact from fiction.
And I fully understand that Family Court is not place to let you freak flag fly.
But my distinct impression of the Alex Jones I have observed on Infowars and in every bit of his public persona is that he is a manâ€™s man, or really a cavemanâ€™s caveman.
By all rights his theme song ought to be courtesy Ian Dury.
Gray is such a pity.
But the Jones presented by his lawyers is just Good Old Dad, filing the breach when his wife freaks out, not letting his day job as the most influential conspiracy theorist in American history get in the way of just being Dad, who likes to make dinner and, as he testified under oath, â€œwatch .Gilliganâ€™s Island.â€
â€œI donâ€™t think about work at home. I like to swim in the pool and eat hamburgers.â€
Sure, he acknowledged on the witness stand, â€œI think I do provocateur some things,â€ but â€œnot to the extent of the media editing it to make it more provocative.â€
In fact, Jones said yesterday that he considers himself to be â€œkind and gentleâ€ 95 percent of the time on Infowars.
Itâ€™s just that â€œthatâ€™s not what gets cherry-pickedâ€ by his critics.
Yes, he said, he is a performance artist at times, but not â€œthe media interpretation of that.â€
Meet Alex Jones, sketch artist.
But, some of the best moments of the trial have come when the real Alex Jones has come into conflict with the Bob Newhart Alex Jones. (Once upon a time I would have said Bill Cosby, but that obviously doesnâ€™t work so well anymore.)
So, for example, Kelly Jonesâ€™ lawyers showed the jury a video of Jones appearing quite drunk in Washington for Donald Trumpâ€™s inauguration.
Now, Alex Jones would have you believe he wasnâ€™t drunk.
But, really why shouldnâ€™t he be drunk.
It seems to me if youâ€™re Alex Jones and you have gone from doing a cable access show in Austin to really and truly playing an instrumental role in electing a president of the United States, and that presidential candidate has courted you and that president pays attention to you and takes you maybe more seriously than you may have taken yourself, and his narcissism makes you look like the Dalai Lama, well, you have a right, a duty, to tie one on for his inauguration.
Jonesâ€™ wee inaugural inebriation also led to one of my favorite all-time Alex Jones riffs, what I referred to in a previous First Reading as Alex Jonesâ€™s Night(cap) at the Newseum.
The premise here is that Jones, who was broadcasting from Washington for inaugural week, visits the Newseum â€“ the museum of news â€“ treating it as a museum of dinosaurs, with its line of newspaper front pages displayed out front, papers like, as Jones puts it, the Los Stegosaurus Times
Oh dear. Shades of Elvis.
It would, it seems to me, be better if Jones followed the lead of his mentor-in-Trump and this week his sometime Infowars guest host while is in court â€“ Roger Stone.
When you smoke it you become very paranoid and want to got to a Chinese restaurant.
From The Stone Cold Truth on March 31:
When President Trump was still Candidate Donald J. Trump, he made many remarks regarding honoring States Rights when it came to the individual States to decide on the issue of marijuana.
In the now famous November 23, 2015 GQ video, then Candidate Trump talks about legalized marijuana, and in it he said â€œLegalized marijuana is always a very difficult question . . . for medicinal purposes, for medical purposes . . . absolutely, its fineâ€.
Tens of millions of Liberty minded Americans believed him when he said this and took his message to heart, fully expecting him to end the ineffectual and wasteful War on Weed.Â Americans were not wrong to believe President Trump, as he was also on record a month earlier in the Washington Post, on October 29, 2015, being quoted as saying â€œâ€In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.â€
These voters were relieved that is, until the position of Attorney General Jeff Sessions reached the public domain.Â While Jeff Sessions is an excellent jurist and an astute politician, he unfortunately is also an adherent to outmoded thinking on marijuana.Â As a product of the Religious South, it is natural that AG Sessions would take the dimmest view of marijuana, but there is little room left for debate as to the origin of the marijuana prohibition laws and how they were formulated as a tool to bludgeon both the poor and minorities, the largest consumers of the formerly legal plant. Perhaps Attorney General Sessions has forgotten his Genesis from the Old Testament:
â€œI give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.â€Â Â Â Â Genesis 1:29
Or perhaps he was never familiar with some of the lessor known quotes of Thomas Jefferson:
â€œIf the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.â€Â Â Â Thomas Jefferson
But, instead of what ought to be Jonesâ€™ libertarianism on marijuana, what we got out of Alex Jones in court yesterday was some aspiring Junior G-Man, a la Elvis.
And yet, read this from Smithsonian Magazine:
From my story today:
(Kelly Jones attorney Bobby) Newman used the March deposition testimony to tie Jones up in knots about whether he had acknowledged having sex with a woman, who remains a friend, even after his new wife, Erika â€” who is now eight-plus months pregnant â€” moved into his home after their engagement in November 2015.
In the deposition, Jones acknowledged that he continued having sex with the other woman until about March 2016. But, when Newman pressed Jones to confirm his previous testimony, Jones offered a befuddled look and said, â€œIâ€™d have to see a calendar.â€
He later denied that he had sex with the other woman after his engagement.
All this gets confusing.
I donâ€™t have a calendar in front of me.
I told her all about that.
I mean it seems like if you were sleeping with another woman after your fiance moved in with you, you would remember that.
And if a calendar would help, well, what else, who else, is on that calendar?
And then there was Newman asking Jones about an ad Newman said Jonesâ€™ new wife, then a massage therapist (â€œyoga instructor,â€ said Jones), ran six years ago seeking hotel clients in search ofÂ a â€œsensual, sophisticated and intelligent companion.â€
To which, Alex Jones offered the ultimate Infowars reply.
Weâ€™ve done a forensic investigation. This is an identity theft issue.
But wait, Newman told Jones his wife acknowledges all this in her deposition.
Hadnâ€™t he read her deposition?
â€œI scanned it,â€ Jones said in the not the most ringing terms.
â€œYou didnâ€™t have a conversation about services she provided to men in hotel rooms?â€ Newman asked.
â€œI know all about her house getting broken into and a lot of stuff planted,â€ Jones said.
And then, â€œI just donâ€™t trust you man.â€