BOSTON (CBS) – We all wear masks of some kind, I guess, but far-right talk show screamer Alex Jones’ mask is more spectacular than most.
Jones is in a custody battle with his ex-wife. At a pre-trial hearing, his own lawyer told the court Jones’ on-air rantings – mostly wild, incendiary conspiracy theories from the fever swamps – and their often-unhinged delivery shouldn’t imply an unfitness as a father.
Because it’s… fake news!
“He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist,” said the lawyer, who claimed judging Jones by the stuff he peddles to his millions of followers would be like believing Jack Nicholson is really like the role he played as The Joker in the Batman movie.
Not the best analogy, but point made.
Jones is a con artist, dealing grievance politics, paranoia and anger like it was so much cheap heroin.
It’s enough to make you wonder – is the political or media demagogue you like to listen to, if any, a complete phony as well?
There are some common tells.
* Most of the people I know with really strong values don’t advertise it much because they don’t need to – the way they treat people tells the story;
* If your demagogue keeps trying to pit you against others, it’s a sign he or she is not much of a peacemaker;
* And if you sense a lack of shame in that screamer you follow, keep in mind what that says about its customers – the shame is on you.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: