Columnist Gideon Rachman credits Alex Jones with his success (sort of), in the Financial Times:
To this day, the most successful article I have ever written was a column called “And now for a world government“. By successful, I don’t mean that it was a particularly good article – this is “success” defined in terms of internet hits.
I noticed the other day that if I type my name into Google, one of the first popular searches suggested is “Gideon Rachman world government” which yields over 40,000 results. Gideon Rachman and new world order produces 844,000 results. Slightly weirdly, another popular search seems to be “Gideon Rachman, Jewish”, which produces over 15,000 hits.
The common thread, I think, is that my world government piece was picked up by the loony right in America as grist for their conspiracy theory that there is a secret plot to create a world government and to deprive Americans of their freedom. At the time the article was published, there was a particularly persistent radio host who kept trying to interview me, by the name of Alex Jones. Something about him made me decide to steer clear. Maybe it was the crazed tone of the messages left on my answering machine. Maybe it was the fact that his programme is called “Prison Planet“. I had a vision of a shaven-headed nutcase speed-dialling me from a cell in San Quentin.
But it seems I was wrong. Alex Jones is at large and broadcasting from a radio station in Texas. He is, according to this article, the host of the “most popular conspiracy talk radio programme” in America. This may sound like rather a small niche. But it isn’t. Jones has a big following. He also feels a lively sense of rivalry with the much more famous right-wing ranter, Glenn Beck. Jones simultaneously denounces Beck as a sell-out, and accuses him of plagarising all his own best ideas.
The rivalry is telling. For Jones’s rantings are not that far removed from the anti-government, anti-Obama conspiracy theories peddled by much more famous media personalities, like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. And the theories of Jones himself are not that far removed from those of the militia movement that came to prominence after the Oklahoma bombing…
[continues in the Financial Times]
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