Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Season 4 Episode 19
Aired on July 30, 2017
Main segment: Alex Jones and InfoWars
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JOHN: We’re gonna talk about the media, specifically, one increasingly influential member of it, Alex Jones, the Walter Cronkite of shrieking batshit gorilla clowns.
And I know you may be thinking, there is nothing more I need to know about Alex Jones. Because you’ve probably seen crazy clips like this.
ALEX JONES: What do you think tap water is? It’s a gay bomb, baby. And I’m not saying people didn’t naturally have homosexual feelings. I’m not even getting into it. You think I– (GUFFAWS) I’m like shocked by it, so I’m up here bashing it because I don’t like gay people? (YELLS) I don’t like ’em putting chemicals in the water that turn the friggin’ frogs gay! Do you understand that? (GRUNTS) Crap!
JOHN: Wow. If he is that upset about a government conspiracy that is not happening, just imagine how upset he’s gonna be when he finds out about one that is actually is. Like the fact that the government is turning raccoons bi-lingual. Oh, that’s right, they’re all fluent in French now and they will be working that into conversation. And that famous clip is by no means and outlier. Jones is a charismatic performer who gets charged up on a regular basis, so there are plenty of lesser known outbursts like this…
ALEX JONES: My spirit is close than evil and I feel it and my whole spirit just goes… (SCREAMS) They call that crazy, that’s not crazy, that’s my will, my human spirit saying, “Crush those that would hurt the innocent! Go after the enemy, build a civilization, be honorable! Crush the snakes under your feet!”
JOHN: Well, at least now we know what Friday Night Lights would’ve looked like if they’d given Coach Taylor a nasty PCP habit.
Go after the enemy! Crush the snakes under your feet! (SNIFFS) Clear ice, full house. I’ve got the snakes everywhere! Stop those snakes, motherfuckers. (SCREAMS)
(CROWD CLAPPING AND CHEERING)
Now look, ideally, ideally, the first thing you should know about The Alex Jones Show, is nothing. But, unfortunately, it is an important part of a lot of people’s media diets. An estimated six million people listen to his radio show or watch it online every week, and we know at least one Jones fan seems to be current Russian Ambassador to the United States, Donald Trump.
He– he supposedly called Jones after the election, has tweeted content from Infowars and one of its editors and just a year and a half ago, even appeared on his show.
TRUMP: I just wanna finish by saying, your reputation’s amazing. I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed, I hope and I think we’ll be speaking a lot.
JOHN: The only thing that could’ve made that moment any grosser is if Nigel Farage, Bill Cosby and Phil Spector were all on the same call.
So look, it is no wonder that Jones has been getting a lot of coverage, recently. We even mentioned him on our first show of the season, back in February and in his response to it, he seemed a little annoyed with me.
ALEX JONES: Your ratings are in the toilet, you’re a joke, they brought you back, revamped… out of the gate, to attack yours truly. After you lectured us that Donald Trump could never win, over and over again, as you know, you’re the intellectual, everybody knows a British accent is intellectual.
You know, there’s no facts behind it. And now, you make fun of me out of context, and I’ll go, “Look at this loon!” Hey boy, people want legitimacy, they want real. They want to hear somebody that can speak to ’em and touch ’em inside.
JOHN: Okay, okay, I– A few things there. One, don’t call me boy. And two, my British accent does not sound intellectual. Believe me, I sound like a chimney sweep passing through a wood chipper. But– but I will give him this, Jones is right, that too often, people don’t present him in his full context. So tonight, we are going to do that, and let’s first set aside the key context, that Alex Jones has repeatedly used his show to fuel speculation that the Sandy Hook Massacre was staged by the government, which has been deeply hurtful for the parents of those children over the years. That is disgusting and should be disqualifying in terms of ever taking him seriously. Sadly, doing things that disqualify you from being taken seriously, doesn’t really seem to be much of a thing anymore. But– but there is a piece of context, you may be less aware of and that concerns the nature of Jones’ show itself. It is four hours long, and if you tune into the whole thing, your most shocking discovery might be how frequently and shamelessly he pitches products that he sells. In fact, remember that clip from him earlier, yelling about snakes? Let’s just go back to that and play it out a bit.
ALEX JONES: Be honorable! Crush the snakes under your feet! (SIGHS) Get behind me, Satan! (PANTING) Now before I go any further… before I go any further… we gotta fund this operation, we got the very best nutraceuticals out there. I don’t know if I can run this for another week or so, we wanna run this through the end of the month, that’s like 11 days. ‘Cause I don’t want it to sell out before more gets in Twenty percent off infowarslive.com, infowarslive.com.
JOHN: Woah! That is a hard turn to have to make. (YELLS) The Satan-worshiping deep state globalists are gonna murder you and your entire family! Open your eyes, sheeple, they are coming for you, they’re coming for all of us! (CLEARS THROAT) But first… McGillicuddy’s Oatmeal.
(CROWD LAUGHING AND CLAPPING)
The perfect way to start your day. And look, that clip is not an anomaly. In one week of recent broadcast on his sight, we found he spent nearly a quarter of the time, either talking about or playing ads for his products, or pointing you to the Infowars store. And if you have never gone shopping on Infowars, you are in for whatever the exact opposite of a treat is. Because there’s the kind of survival gear that you would expect alongside more surprising items like organic shampoo, body wash and deodorant as well as products like Combat One Tactical Bath Wipes a ten-dollar pack of moist towelettes that can be used anywhere needed, including the perineal area. Which, if you’re wondering, is this region, right here.
That’s right, Alex Jones is trying to sell you sloppy wet rags for your tait. And– and when you are done wiping down the area between your genitals and anus with a glorified wet nap… why not pick up a Bill Clinton Rape Whistle? Which, according to Infowars, should be used to let Bill know you’re in the crowd and that you know the truth. That truth, by the way… You just spent six dollars on a whistle. Oh, that’s right we bought this and by the way our order came with a free “9-11 was an inside job” bumper sticker…
…that we most assuredly did not ask for. And look… radio hosts doing ads is not inherently unusual, but since 2013, Jones has increasingly focused on promoting his own products, which he sells on his site under his Infowars Life brand, particularly, vitamins and nutraceuticals, which I believe are the result of the word, “nutrition” fucking the word “pharmaceutical” from behind. (BED CREAKING) I’m pretty sure that’s what it is, but this– this is a big part of Jones’ business. Two thirds of his funding reportedly comes from selling his products and they are a lot of them. And the reason I know that is we bought a whole bunch. Now, let me break them down for you. There is a Super Male Vitality, a Super Female Vitality, “Wake Up America Patriot Blend” coffee, Lung Cleanse, Brain Force Plus, something called DNA Force that cost 120 dollars a bottle, and Child Ease, a herbal blend, which, according to Infowars, is “designed to sooth the mind and bodies of children” which is a profoundly, creepy phase. And then, there is Caveman True Paleo Formula with bone broth, a chocolate flavored drink mix, made from bee pollen, stevia and the dust of chicken skeletons. Now, according to Infowars, it is one of the most popular new health trend in the world today. And by the look on Jones’ face, it tastes exactly as good as it sounds.
ALEX JONES: You pour that in on a couple of ice cubes. And folks, it tastes… when it’s creamy and thick, I think, better than Ovaltine. And it has got all the bone broth and so much more. This is why, the ancients, they believe were– had such better bones, were so much healthier, you can look it up. This– you could freeze this and this will be better than, like, bluebell chocolate ice cream. Mm!
JOHN: (LAUGHING) Okay! Okay, I know for a fact that Alex Jones did not enjoy drinking that glass of Caveman. Because, I have got a glass of Caveman, right here. And I can confirm to you that it tastes… (COUGHING) It taste exactly how you imagine a drink would taste that’s made from chocolate and domesticated bird corpses. It– it comes at you in waves. And that is not the only time that Jones has used himself as a guinea pig to sell his own products. And a warning, now, to our younger viewers, the following footage of a man graphically too comfortable with his own body, may be disturbing.
ALEX JONES: Just ten minutes before we taped this, I decided to do this ’cause I haven’t done this in a while. We took photos… a year ago, And then again about six months ago and the weight loss is dramatic, already from what happened before.
JOHN: Okay, so you’re redder… and you’re wearing a belt. The only thing I can discern happened between those two photos is that you walked shirtless in the sun for two hours to a belt store. You– you could flip those two photos around and the effect would be exactly the same. Also… And look, to be fair to Jones, he does have a medical expert, who consults on many of his supplements, Doctor Edward Group III, who looks like the lead in a Director DVD Kato Kaelin biopic. But he’s actually even less impressive than that. Here he is in an Infowars ad explaining the importance of one of the products.
GROUP: If you’re suffering from abdominal pain, allergies, even like headaches, anemia, weakened immune system, gut problems, depression, hair loss, uh… excess gas, muscle pain, nervousness, I mean, all of these things, if you look at some of these conditions and then us opening up our borders and all the other countries opening up our– their borders, you’re just dealing with a mass amount of parasites or are harmful organisms. You can type in “refugees spreading disease” I mean, the CDC is going crazy right now.
JOHN: Actually, I’m pretty sure that if you type, “refugee spreading disease” into Google and press enter, it just takes you right to the Wikipedia page for xenophobia, which, at the end of the day, is a real time saver for you. But despite the fact that Doctor Group looks like what would happen if Tom Petty was machine washed instead of dry cleaned…
… Alex Jones swears by him. In fact, he’s been pretty defensive about Doctor Group’s credentials.
ALEX JONES: It doesn’t matter you’ve got degrees from MIT and everywhere else and a bunch of other degrees, the media makes fun of you and says that you’re an idiot.
GROUP: (SIGHS) That’s right.
ALEX JONES: I mean literally they say we cannot sell coffee, it’s a fraud.
GROUP: That’s right, that’s right. I– I’ve been a research scientist for a long time, I do have– I am MIT alumni and I can tell you that I do research all the time–
JOHN: Okay, stop. A– Look, let’s break down that “bunch of degrees” Jones mentioned. Group does have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Texas Chiropractic College, but, while he listed– lists all these other schools on LinkedIn we checked and he didn’t graduate from any of them. In fact, we asked him and he admits, he does not have an undergraduate degree. And as for whether he’s an “MIT alumni,” he only completed a non-degree certificate program there, in fact, just to be sure, we contacted MIT, and according to them, “It is not accurate to say he has a degree from MIT… and calling him an alumni would be inaccurate and misleading.”
Which does make sense when you think about it. Because this man doesn’t look like an MIT alumnus. He looks like a fifth-year senior at the University of Falling Off a Surfboard. So– so just to clarify Alex, that is what we are making fun of, when we make fun of Doctor Group. Well that, and, the fact that he looks like what would happen if Iggy Pop got “The Rachel.”
And look! Jones can inflate Doctor Group’s credentials all he wants. He says a lot of crazy shit on his show. But it is noticeable that when it comes to selling his supplements, he can sometimes show a caution that is pretty out of character. Just watch him bend over backwards to repeatedly qualify what he says, seconds after he said it.
ALEX JONES: Maybe you’ve had back pain before, maybe you’ve had nerves that were cut off. This creates tingling, this– A lot of people have their feeling come back. I’m not gonna make claims if this research is true. Organically based bio PQQ, but it’s not technically organic.
The other stuff’s synthetic, (INDISTINCT) are lab-made. This is made from organic sources… but the bacteria is GMO. I’ll just tell ya up front… but it’s not like the super high-tech stuff. It’s a bacteria that’s just been bred, to be able to then secrete and produce. It’s just like beer is bacteria, it’s a lot of good bacteria, obviously, but this one– that’s how the Japanese do it. But it’s bio-identical. This stuff is only found in comets. And in trace amounts in blueberries.
(CROWD LAUGHING AND CLAPPING)
JOHN: Wait. Wait. OK, so let’s break that down. It repairs nerves but maybe doesn’t. It’s organic but not really. It contains GMOs, which is bad, except for when he’s selling you something and you can only find its ingredients in comets. Oh, and blueberries. And it’s the drop off after that last one that is really incredible. You can only find this stuff in dinosaur bones and in trace amounts in Ritz bits. And look, Jones’s products don’t come cheap. For instance, he sells this one fluid ounce bottle of Vitamin D3 for 29.95. But consumerlab.com, a supplement watchdog, points out that you can buy the same amount of D3, from other sources, for less than four dollars. But Jones will often give you a hard sell. Sometimes, he’ll tell you his products are different than the ones that you can find in stores, and sometimes, he’ll go even bigger.
ALEX JONES: It is absolutely in the crystalline form, the strongest, you absorb it. So, folks, don’t go out to the store and get iodine from, say, one of the big chains. It’ll kill you!
JOHN: Woah! Wow! I honestly did not know that you could imply your competition kills people. Four out of five dentists prefer Trident gum and the fifth dentist is dead because he put a piece of Wrigleys in his mouth and that’s basically suicide! And to hear Jones tell it… to hear Jones tell it, his products are marked up just enough to keep his business going. As he explained in his recent appearance on, Rationalizing Low Ratings with Megyn Kelly.
ALEX JONES: It may cost 45, 50 million dollars a year, around that.
How much money is being made?
ALEX JONES: Well, the money that’s made is pretty much put back into things.
JOHN: Okay, so that is remarkable for two reasons. First, 45 to 50 million dollars is a lot of money. And second, Jones would have you believe that every penny they earn is being plowed back into a show that looks like it was filmed on the set of a low-budget porn parody of itself. In fact, as he frequently tells is audience, he needs them to buy more to keep his truth telling crusades solvent and growing.
ALEX JONES: We need to fund ourselves, and we find ourselves by you buying the products. We’re at a shortfall now because of the massive, sustained economic attacks we’re under, but the listeners in just two weeks have almost narrowed that gap. I could have to sell my house… to keep this place running three, four months. I could have sponsors every segment. I don’t do it. I plug enough to fund things. Fund us, give me the energy and I will attack the enemy.
JOHN: Exactly! It’s like an NPR pledge drive for people who hate NPR. Because to listen to Jones, Infowars is perpetually on the edge of disaster. He even has a link on the Infowars store, where you can just give him money, to help fund the fight against tyranny. And contributors have left comments like, “Twenty-five dollars may not be much, but I know every little bit helps.” But Jones seems to be doing a bit more than just keeping his head above water. Ex-employees describe a thriving business with one saying, “He can sell 500 supplements in an hour… It’s like QVC for conspiracy.” And in one of those clips we showed earlier, we noticed he’s wearing what looks like a Rolex watch worth around 8000 dollars. Which… cool. And, y’know, as we looked around, we noticed he also seems to have another two different Rolexes. And you know… cooler. And here’s the thing, that is honestly fine. He can have fancy watches. There is nothing wrong with him getting paid. I get paid to make this show. But it does fight with his message that he needs you to buy products to help keep his show going. And even Alex Jones seems to be a little self-conscious about that disconnect. But don’t worry, he’s reconciled it in a truly amazing way.
ALEX JONES: I wear a blue sports coat and a Rolex because it’s a symbol of middle-class and humanity having prosperity and promoting human prosperity for respect of empowering humanity and stealing the image of a man in a sports jacket with a Rolex, that is the satanic image. So, I dress as a Satanist, so that I can enter their world and show you that none of it means anything.
JOHN: Oh bullshit! How stupid do you think your audience is? Okay, you bought a Rolex so you could dress up like a Satanist. What are the other two for? And incidentally tormenting the parents of Sandy Hooke should comfortably get you into the satanic club. I believe that’s the easy pass to whatever hell’s version of the champagne room is. And look, so, at the start of this piece, I promised Alex Jones that I would put his statements in context, because he is right that if you place small clips in isolation, he looks like a loon. But if you play them in context, he looks like a skilled salesman spending hours a day frightening you about problems like refugees spreading disease and then selling you an answer. Remember that gay frog clip at the start? He did a follow-up show, explaining how chemicals were being placed in the water to feminize society and reduce the population, and then immediately segued to this…
ALEX JONES: We shell five different brands of the very best water– water filtration systems out there. They’re amazing, they cut out 99.99 percent of the glyphosate, the herbicides, the pesticides, the fluoride.
JOHN: I mean to an untrained eye, it sure seems like he was using the idea of a gay frog to sell his products, which, incidentally is the same mistake the WB network made.
And– and listen, listen! I’m not saying– I’m not saying the only reason Jones is talking about the globalist, systematically feminizing us, is to sell over-priced nutraceuticals so he can buy luxury watches, but if I were saying that, it certainly wouldn’t be the stupidest conspiracy theory that you’ve heard so far, tonight. So, if Alex Jones wants his words in context, this is it. The fact that he happens to sell so many solutions should really re-contextualize how you think about what he is claiming are problems. Think about it like this. How would you feel, if at the end of this segment that may well have made you feel a little dirty, I tried to sell you something to wipe that gross feeling away? Would you question my motives? Well, I certainly hope not, because that’s what we are doing right now.
Come with me. Come with me because I’m proud to say that we’ve been working with a leading medical expert, and I would like you to meet him right now. Please, please welcome Doctor Ted Group III.
Ah, so happy to be here.
JOHN: We– we’re so happy to have you, doctor. A– and we are– we are here, the doctor and I, to offer you the John Oliver Moisture Armored Tactical Assault Wipe. The first tactical wipe for use, exclusively, on the perineal.
That’s right. Uh, for goodness sake, don’t use this anywhere else. You’re gonna wanna just focus…
…on this area right here.
DOCTOR: Right here.
JOHN: Now… now… now Doctor, Doctor, how is this going to make people feel better about what they’ve seen tonight? How…
DOCTOR: Well my studies show that when you vigorously apply this taint wipe, it causes a sensation that distracts the brain from whatever it had previously been thinking about.
JOHN: OK, and again, you’ve got degrees from MIT, and everywhere else, and a bunch of other degrees. The media makes fun of you and says that you’re an idiot.
DOCTOR: They do.
JOHN: Just– just for the record, you did go to MIT, right?
DOCTOR: Well I’ve definitely physically been there.
JOHN: That’s… that’s essentially the same.
DOCTOR: That’s what I’ve been telling everybody.
JOHN: Now– now you can actually buy one of these wipes at infowipes.com for one million dollars. This is real. They are actually available for a million dollars apiece, and don’t even think about buying a similar wipe in a store, because those wipes will kill you.
DOCTOR: Yeah, also, these wipes have the power to heterosexualize frogs. So uh, that’s very nice to have, ’cause that’s been a real problem what with all the refugees.
(CROWD GROANS AND LAUGHS)
JOHN: Right. And look– look, this tactical taint wipe has demonstrated incredible results, hasn’t it, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Absolutely, it sure has. Look at this photo of me. And now look at this photo of me forty-five minutes later… after applying the taint wipe.
(CROWD LAUGHING AND CLAPPING)
JOHN: You– you’re much redder there.
DOCTOR: I’m so much redder!
JOHN: So much redder!
DOCTOR: So disturbingly red!
JOHN: So much… So, if you want to spend a million dollars on a taint wipe, go to infowipes.com, and if you’re thinking, “Well, no one’s going to do that,” all I will say is, people pay Alex Jones 45 dollars for a jar of chocolate flavored chicken juice, so anything is fucking possible.