Paul Joseph Watson is a long-time employee of InfoWars, who has risen all the way up the ranks to being the “editor-at-large” of the print operations. He is deeply obsessed with defending masculinity and is intensely afraid of Islam. He also has a popular YouTube channel of his own, where he sits in front of a map, consistently looking like he’s on the brink of tears.
Paul As Editor-At-Large
Paul began working for Alex Jones at the age of 20, around 2002. Initially, he was reluctant to be an on-air personality, though Alex claims he was constantly pushing Paul that he should be a performer.
Until he became a breakout star in his own right with his offensively fast-cut YouTube videos, Paul served an incredibly important role at InfoWars. It was his job to find innocuous news articles and write sensational, dishonest articles about them on Prison Planet’s or InfoWars’ own site. Alex Jones would then take this story that Paul had written, and report that as if it were the unbiased actual reporting.
Throughout his career, Paul Joseph Watson has been a walking embodiment of what it means to not practice due diligence, of what it looks like to be unprofessional.
There was the case of Markus Muir, a Scottish man who decided to send Paul a private message on Twitter to see if he could trick him into publishing a completely fake story on InfoWars’ website. Long story short, Paul did zero fact-checking and published a story that he’d heard about from a fake Twitter message.
Not only that, the story got all the way to Alex, who was on vacation, but still called into his show to cover said fake story and do preemptive damage control about the idea that a tape of Trump saying the N-word was about to be released:
Suffice it to say that this is not how a legitimate journalistic outlet would behave, and the precise point where this situation was mishandled was Paul Joseph Watson not even seeing fit to do the first step of journalism.
That is an example of Paul Joseph Watson getting fooled because he’s lazy, but there are far more examples of him actively working to distort the truth. The most clear-cut is the 2009 case of him reporting something he found on a message board called 9/11 Blogger as if it was a foreign newspaper, in order to help Alex lie about the Bird Flu.
That instance very clearly demonstrates the propaganda pipeline that is behind most of InfoWars narratives and content. A kernel of reality is warped into a salacious conspiracy by an InfoWars writer, like Paul, which is then presented as well-researched and accurate reporting, which Alex further embellishes (lies) about on air.
Paul’s YouTube Videos
There is not a lot to say about Paul’s YouTube videos.
Each one seems to start with some petty grievance that Paul has with the world, generally about the “left” or “SJWs,” and riffs on said grievance for a while, in the style of a snarky, youthful Dennis Miller. They are edited so spasmodically, with such rapid cuts, that the viewer has little time to process the arguments Paul is making and notice how they often don’t make any sense. This seems like an intentional strategy less than a stylistic choice.
There’s often an attempt at comedy, which is possibly more similar to a snarky, late-career Dennis Miller. Paul likes to cherry-pick tweets that he pretends represent all the “left” or the imaginary “SJWs” that seem to haunt him, which he then reads in the voice of a playground bully trying to ask you why you’re hitting yourself. It’s all very see-through, and honestly, very boring.
It’s not even just a theory that Paul intentionally behaves like a bully, because he likes to experience the bullying victim’s reaction. He is pretty up-front about that in his own videos:
He’s pretty clear about how little he cares about how true something is, or if he’s hurting people’s feeling just to make himself feel better, which makes him the perfect acolyte for Alex Jones.
As a general guideline, we don’t care about people’s personal lives too much, outside of how they may be relevant to their involvement in a propaganda outlet. As such, Paul’s private business is his business.
That being said, more than anyone else involved in InfoWars, Paul Joseph Watson has a deep track record of publicly lying about his life.
One notable example was the time he claimed that he was born on a council estate, or the British equivalent of public housing. However, a Daily Beast examination of public records showed that his family absolutely did not live in public housing during his childhood, pretty much always lived in nice suburbs, and they had bought a three-bedroom home just before Paul’s 10th birthday.
It’s a strange thing to lie about, but it kind of makes sense that if you were a propagandist working for an outlet that largely trades in trying to inflame the passions of the lower and middle-class white population, you’d want to do your best to make yourself appear similar to them.
Then, there was the confusing case in June 2017, when Paul told Vice that he suffered from pica and had a habit of eating books. After Vice posted the article, Mediaite wrote a post about it, which wasn’t making fun of him in any way, and actually gave a very insightful note to the readers: “Now, a caveat that the good folks at InfoWars have been known to spread misinformation in an attempt to stoke media coverage, so it’s maybe worth taking Watson’s claims with a grain of bark.”
In response, Paul took to Twitter, and launched a trial balloon to see if he could credibly play the victim on this one:
When this bit didn’t really evolve any further, and Paul realized he’d kind of hit a dead-end, he changed approaches and came out saying that he doesn’t eat books, and the fact that the “mainstream media” reported that he did (because he told them he did) was proof that they are “fake news.”
Looked at from a wider prospective, it does not appear that you can really derive any meaning from this dumb publicity stunt. It doesn’t demonstrate that Vice is “fake news” because they accurately quote you in a piece that you agree to answer questions for. It doesn’t prove that the “mainstream media” is gullible when they reported on the story with the caveat that InfoWars often lies to get attention.
Ultimately, the only thing you really can take away from this is that Paul Joseph Watson is not adept at playing the media. That’s probably the one lesson Alex is smart enough not to teach him.