January 18, 2009


  • None. There are a few dumb callers though. One makes an argument that Obama is ineligible to be president, which is something that comes up way less than I would have expected on this show back in 2009.


Alex is finally back from vacation, and he is gearing up emotionally for Barack Obama's impending inauguration. Alex is working overtime to maintain the illusion that he is a political non-partisan, while at the same time completely freaking out about how Obama is going to destroy the USA and bring in a fascist hell-scape.

It's a hard line for him to walk, and it falls apart almost immediately after the inauguration.

For now, though, Alex is satisfied to just do what he does best: lie about stuff.

The first big lie that Alex injects into the show is about how the "Globalists," by way of David Rockefeller, just went to the boardrooms of all the oil companies that sell in America (that are all secretly still owned by the Rockefellers, who secretly never broke up Standard Oil, even though they did) and made a severe demand of them:

There are a lot of problems with the plot that Alex is laying out here. The first problem is that he is just making stuff up.

I'm not particularly concerned about the BP and Shell issues he's bringing up, because that just seems like a bunch of nonsense. BP's largest shareholder list doesn't include the Queen of England or the Netherlands. Royalty is really goofy though, so Alex could be right in some meaningless technicality kind of way. What I mean is that, technically, Queen Elizabeth owns all the land in England and Canada and everything in it. Functionally, she doesn't, but because royalty is a stupid system, she technically does.

As for Dutch Royal Shell, it does appear that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands does have some stock in the company, but it appears to be quite a bit less than Alex is saying:

Most of the wealth comes from the family’s longstanding stake in the U.K. and Netherlands-based oil company, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group . At one time, the royals reportedly owned as much as 25% of the oil company; their stake is now estimated at a minimum of 2%, worth $2.7 billion
— Forbes

At very least, Alex is engaging in really stupid over-simplification here. Where he really drifts into trouble though is as it relates to the Rockefeller family controlling all the oil companies that sell oil in America (other than Shell and BP, that is).

This is a crazy lie that doesn't stand up to even the most minimal investigation.

First of all, what are the 12 American oil companies that David Rockefeller allegedly shook down for carbon taxes? Once you get past the top 8 or so American oil companies, you are no longer dealing with giant companies, definitely not ones that would have a big say in implementing "carbon taxes."

What Alex wants the audience to think is that John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil never actually got broken up, and that the Rockefellers have secretly been running literally all non-Queen related oil in America since forever. This is not true, for a number of reasons.

In 1911, the Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil was an illegal monopoly, and it was busted up into companies that would become a bunch of other large oil companies: Chevron, ExxonMobil, Amoco, Texaco, and Marathon, most notably. This is what Alex hopes to misrepresent to his listeners, he wants them to be suspicious that all these companies come from the former monopoly company, Standard Oil, and of course it never really broke up. Why would the Rockefellers be so dumb as to really break up just because a pesky little think like the Supreme Court telling them they have to?

Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States did happen, and the end result was that Standard Oil was split up into 34 different competing companies, with separate board members, completely autonomous from each other. That is what history shows us, and if Alex can prove otherwise, he needs to do that, instead of just make vague accusations on air.

The further problem is, even beyond this historical revisionism, Alex just doesn't know what he's talking about. For instance, the second largest American oil company (when this episode came out. They have since slipped down the list to #7), Valero Energy was founded in 1980 and was never a part of Standard Oil or any Rockefeller business (in fact, over the years, Valero has been the one buying up oil interests from former Standard Oil companies like Chevron or Exxon, not the other way around). Also, the fifth largest American oil company, Occidental Petroleum, also has nothing to do with Standard Oil or the Rockefeller family. The fourth largest, EOG Resources, has nothing to do with Standard Oil, but does come from the ashes of Enron, so fuck them. The third largest, ConocoPhillips, came from a merger of two companies, Conoco and Phillips 66, neither of which came from Standard Oil (however, Phillips did merge their chemical division with Standard Oil remnant Chevron in 2000, but that's not what Alex is talking about).

I know that's a lot, but the third, fourth, fifth, and seventh largest American oil companies have nothing to do with the companies left after the break up of Standard Oil. There is no way that David Rockefeller could assert ownership of them, which is something he couldn't do even with ExxonMobil or Chevron on the basis that came from Standard Oil. This is all an unsupported delusional fiction that Alex is spinning as proof that carbon taxes are evil and they're coming.

The bottom line is that this is very stupid, and Alex is praying that his listeners never look anything up.

The next big lie that Alex Jones engages in is to talk about Barack Obama's alleged cousin, "Odinga:"

It pains me to say "let's ignore for now that this caller is suggesting that Obama is a clone," but there are bigger issues to deal with.

For years after this episode, up to current day in 2018, Alex Jones often makes vague references to Obama's cousin "Odinga," who Obama supposedly advised on how to foment a race war with the goal of Odinga could securing power in Kenya. It's something so dumb that it's really never ranked in terms of being something to look into. I finally did, and to my great surprise, it's all a load of bullshit.

Alex is talking about Kenyan politician Raila Odinga, and most of what he is reporting as news comes from a "grandma-style fear-based chain email" sent out by Celeste and Loren Davis, a couple of very much insane missionaries in Africa. In the email, they claim that Obama is a secret Muslim, he gave tons of money to help Raila Odinga sow social unrest, and that "we are sure that whatever happens, he will use the same tactic, crying rigged election if he doesn’t win and possibly cause a race war in America."

It's incredibly poorly written, the basic facts are contradicted by actual evidence, and when reached for comment about the email, Loren Davis claimed "this was a personal letter 'never intended to be forwarded or sent out to the Web.'" If you don't speak Race-Baiting Fuck Head language, this more or less translates to "we didn't realize our name was on that and could be traced back to us."

In a 2007 interview with the BBC, Raila Odinga did claim to be related to Obama, but researchers have been able to find no familial link, and Obama's uncle has said that there is no relation. Mr. Odinga undoubtedly made this claim because he was in the middle of a hotly-contested election, and associating himself with Obama (then a very exciting politician on the rise) would give him political clout. This theory is strengthened by the fact that a few months earlier, Kenyan politician Nicholas Owino Rajula made the exact same claim of relation to Obama, but we don't hear Alex acting like this one was true. Probably because Alex mostly gets his news from lunatic missionary chain emails, and no one wrote one of those about Rajula.

Interestingly, most of the middle portion of this episode involves Alex getting super defensive about getting a call or two from people who feel like he is not really proving any of the things he's claiming. These callers are completely correct in their feelings, Alex is proving none of the things he's claiming, but as it turns out, Alex does not feel that "proving things" is his job:

I believe that the opposite is true, and that when a person makes outrageous claims, they are behooved to cite their evidence, and provide reasonable links or a bibliography so people can check up on their claims and evaluate them. You don't get to pretend you're some arch truth-teller if you staunchly refuse to prove any of the things you say, and just instead insist that it's your audience's job to do the leg-work.

As Alex continues down this "that's not my job" line of thinking, he gets increasingly defensive about how right he always is:

This is particularly fun as a quote from this episode where, on top of all the little lies we've just ignored, we see two prime examples of complete falsehoods being pushed by Alex to serve his ideological interests. 

The only other two things worth pointing out about this episode are as follows:

1) Alex Freaks Out About A House Resolution

This is the beginning of a trend I'm starting to notice: Alex does not understand how the government works. I suspect this may be because he got sent to a farm for an entire year during high school for fighting too much and then promptly dropped out of junior college and has since gotten most of his "education" and "information" from lore and patriot/militia themed blogs and message boards.

He either does not know how things work, or equally likely, he knows that his listeners have no idea how things work, and he knows he can use that against them.

The first thing is that a House Resolution, even if passed, cannot overturn an amendment to the constitution without going through the process to become an amendment itself. We've done this before in America, when we had to undo the 18th Amendment (which created prohibition) by passing the 21st Amendment (which got rid of prohibition). This is how amendments work, largely because once an amendment is passed, it is considered no longer just an amendment, but a part of the full Constitution.

If Alex does not understand that process, there is literally no reason to listen to anything he's saying, since this points to a dreadfully deficient awareness of our system of government.

The other problem is that HR 1022 was introduced in the 2007-2008 session of Congress, and has nothing to do with Obama. If Alex knows anything at all about this resolution past scary headlines he's read on blogs, then he has to know that it was sent to subcommittee on March 19, 2007 and literally no action was taken on it and it died there without even having a vote. For some context, that dying in subcommittee happened 672 days before Alex got on air on Jan. 18, 2009 and tried to make his audience scared of this failed House Resolution by acting like it is current.

[Note: HR 1022 in the 2009 session of Congress, the next time that bill title would be used, was not a gun ban bill, it was about tightening laws regarding street gangs. It had nothing to do with gun regulation or registration, but even if it did, it too died in subcommittee without a vote. You would expect Alex to know these things.]

He does this a lot, most likely because his world-view is unsupported by facts and the real world, so in order to appear at all rational, his only choice is to manipulate and twist history in order to suit his purposes.

2) Alex Used To Be Pro-Net Neutrality

Not much to discuss from this, it's just a rational position for someone who works primarily as an online media purveyor. The only thing that is interesting about this clip and makes it worth mentioning is that Alex Jones is currently very anti-Net Neutrality. Something happened that made him change his mind, much like his position on Israel/Palestine, and police brutality.

Could the rise of the Tea Party have something to do with these pivots on pretty fundamental issues? Only time will tell.