Thursday, September 10, 2009
The Fall of Alex Jones and the End of Free Speech at Prison Planet and Infowars
Liar and hypocrite Alex Jones has fallen. He has angered scores of supporters and even colleague George Noory. Free speech on his websites...dead
by Larry Simons
September 10, 2009
How ironic that Alex Jones’ next film [due for release on October 21, 2009] is titled, “The Fall of the Republic: The Presidency of Barack Obama”. In light of recent events at Jones’ two most popular websites, Prison Planet and Infowars, Jones should re-title it, “The Fall of Alex Jones: The End of Free Speech”.
As I informed my readers yesterday, the fallout from the damage Alex Jones has caused, due to his “big announcement” of Charlie Sheen writing a mock interview for President Obama [that never actually took place], has reached unprecedented levels at Prison Planet and Infowars.
The truth of the matter is, we may never know how catastrophic the damage really is since Alex Jones has ended free speech on his websites. A listener of his radio show commented yesterday on one of only two [of the usual approximately 35-40 stories that display daily on the front page] remaining stories in which people could still post comments, that the reason Jones disabled the comment threads is because of a bandwidth issue.
The listener/commenter said that Jones told his listeners on his radio show that he spends roughly $25,000-$30,000 a month on bandwidth alone, and that the traffic on the comment threads [to the Charlie Sheen story] was getting so hammered that it was using too much bandwidth; so Jones had to disable it.
Many commenters cried, “BULLSHIT!” and told Jones that it’s not a bandwidth issue at all, it’s because the comment boards were getting flooded with very negative and nasty comments directed at Jones for his fake Charlie Sheen story and for shutting down the commenting boards.
One commenter, named “The Inquisitor”, said:
“Alex states during the show that his servers shut down and had to cut off comments due to lack of bandwidth….bullshit I say…total bullshit.” “The Inquisitor” said in another post:
“He stated that his servers went down from the inflow from the Sheen story and that he pays $25,000-$30,000 a month on bandwidth, but the flow was so heavy that he had to shut down the comments section.”
The commenters are correct. As I reported yesterday, Prison Planet closed the comment threads at 9:30 a.m. [I have no idea what time zone that is. I am only referring to the very time displayed on the actual site] When I was on the site at roughly 9 a.m., 95% of the comments were very negative and personal toward Jones and already, even at that early hour, there were over 200 comments.
When I went back on the site at 2 a.m., there were only 225 comments. I discovered it was because all the negative comments directed at Jones for pulling this ridiculous stunt were removed. Most comments were now positive, saying Sheen was a hero and he did a great job. The ironic thing is, the positive comments indicated that the people had not read the disclaimer at the bottom of Sheen’s mock interview, stating that the “interview hasn’t actually happened…yet”.
So, one question is obvious: If it was an issue of bandwidth [as Jones claimed it was], why weren’t the scores of negative comments that I personally saw at 9 a.m. still there since the Prison Planet moderators disabled commenting at 9:30 a.m.?
If the moderators simply just ended commenting at 9:30 a.m., it stands to reason that all comments made prior to 9:30 a.m. would still be there. But, that wasn’t the case. When I went on the site at 2 a.m. the next day, nearly every negative comment directed at Jones himself was gone and the majority of negative comments only centered on reminding those who left positive comments about the Sheen story that they had missed reading the disclaimer.
Another reason to doubt the "bandwidth card" that Jones is playing is the fact that yesterday, September 9, roughly 40 new stories were posted and 5 of those stories [here, here, here, here and here] featured videos in the story. If Prison Planet was short on bandwidth, how could they post 40 more stories and 5 videos?
“The Inquisitor” said this yesterday:
“I see the comments sections are still turned off. Yet more articles being posted. Thank God for saving the bandwidth. Soon this topic will vanish into the archives. Wonder what kind of rhetoric Alex will use to save his ass on this one. So far anyone that doesn’t like the Sheen bit is co-intel-pro. Let us see what other labels he has for free thinking free speakers.”
Others were even more angry at Jones. “woftam-hunter” said this:
“Wups slight mistake :
AJ the ASS-WIPE
What’s with the comments OFF on majority of articles
Scared are we: ???? Government got your tongue ???
Where is the supposed great leader of free speech ????????
The supposed AJ the mouth:
You caved in didn’t you.
You fucking coward:!!
Looks like your true colors` are showing now:
AJ the ASS-Wipe
It’s all boiled down to money: the very thing that has fucked the world has finally Fucked you.
Your greed for the shit has, turned you into one of the animals that lie, and deceive us. How could any sane person ever trust an ass-wipe like you again?
“Joe” said this:
“I find it absolutely hilarious that he has fallen on his sword and acted just like the MSM he loves to blast. Blinded by celebrity worship, just like the rest of America!
BREAKING NEWS READERS: Tune in Tuesday! I’m going to LIE to you and MISLEAD you!
Wow. Alex, face the public you coward. No one believes this bandwidth bull. If you don’t come clean, you are doomed. Face it. You totally miscalculated. Now you are being a complete tool. Its actually surprising.”
The comments I have posted seem to be coming from genuine Alex Jones supporters who are incredibly angry right now, rather than from the anti-Alex Jones trolls who occasionally frequent the comment boards.
Even radio talk show host [and colleague of Jones], George Noory, who hosts the popular Coast to Coast with George Noory, was sickened by Jones’ stunt. Here’s the clip of Noory talking about it
Jones tells Noory in the above clip, “We should have had a more detailed disclaimer at the top instead of the bottom.” [referring to the Editor’s Note by Sheen that said: “What you have just read didn’t actually happen… yet”], but what is interesting is that, as of right this minute as I type, the disclaimer is still at the bottom of the interview. Jones called the disclaimer issue a “glitch” and “confusion”, yet the disclaimer still remains in the exact same spot it was originally.
Also, Jones apologized on Noory’s show, yet Jones couldn’t muster the strength or decency to issue an apology on his own website, but rather on someone else's show. It also appeared as if Noory was justifying for Jones, but Noory or Jones did not say one word about the censorship on Jones’ sites.
The most amazing aspect of this whole censorship issue at Prison Planet and Infowars is that Jones has always claimed to be the champion of free speech and has even been angered in the past about being the victim of censorship.
Just this past May, Prison Planet did numerous stories here and here, of Alex Jones and his supporters being angry when YouTube shut down The Alex Jones Channel on the popular video viewing site.
In a story about the YouTube censorship from May 4, writer Paul Joseph Watson said, “YouTube, the emerging Hulu-ized version, has no use for Alex Jones and has specifically targeted him because his videos invariably draw a large (in the millions) number of people.” I find this point interesting, because there can be no doubt that it is this same “large (in the millions) number of people” who are now angry at Jones and expressing their outrage and dissent at this ridiculous Charlie Sheen story and for now being silenced themselves. This is exactly the reason why Jones and his website moderators have shut down the message boards.
Here comes the most amazing part of this story: After Jones had claimed that bandwidth was the reason why the comment boards were shut down [despite the fact that nobody believes it and it has been thoroughly debunked], I go to Prison Planet today and see that under each story, it no longer says “No Comments”, but now says “No comments yet, your thoughts are welcome.”
Everything back to normal at Prison Planet? Hardly. Before this whole Charlie Sheen incident happened, that’s what it used to say when no one had left a comment yet: “No comments yet, your thoughts are welcome.” But there’s now a catch. When you click on the story to post a comment, it says “You must be logged in to post a comment.” Just when you think it has appeared that Jones has restored comment posting again, he hasn’t, or at least, not without a catch. See pic below
Now, readers have to LOGIN to post a comment. But, that’s not all. When you click the words “logged in”, it takes you to a page that looks like this:
So, basically, you now have to have a Word Press account to comment on Prison Planet. Unbelievable. Brought to you from the “champion” of free speech himself; Alex Jones.
The ironic thing is, this action will, no doubt, increase the already insurmountable anger that is already aimed at Jones by his supporters. Dissenters will also increase in number as well. Jones will lose many supporters completely. Those who do not completely abandon him will never fully trust him again. Very few will sit back and blindly continue to follow him and be gatekeepers for him. No matter what outcome emerges from this, one thing is for certain: Things will never be the same again with Alex Jones and his support base. We may be witnessing the fall of Alex Jones.
I’ve already seen others say on Prison Planet and other blogs, “where will we get our news now?” and some have suggested starting their own blogs/sites. It seems Jones has hit an iceberg and many are jumping ship before it completely sinks and takes them under.
There are three things that have disappeared in the last 3 days: Alex Jones’ credibility, many of his supporters and free speech on his websites.
The only question that remains is: Which, if any, can be restored?
It appeared that Prison Planet had lifted the ban on commenting because now under many of the stories, it actually says people have posted comments….BUT when I just went and posted a comment on one of the stories, I saw this: (click to enlarge)
It now says “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. Can you believe this shit? Alex Jones is now MODERATING comments at his sites!! This explains why there are no negative comments under the stories where comments are posted at right now. This is also confirms that Jones lied when he claimed the comment restriction was a bandwidth issue. If comments are allowed now [even by moderation] that proves lack of bandwidth was not the issue.
What in the holy hell is happening at Prison Planet? Is it being taken over by Nazis?
My above comment was REJECTED. Notice my above comment posted at 1:28 p.m. is GONE and I posted a new one at 2:00 p.m. See here (click to enlarge)
It appears something very interesting is going on at Prison Planet. I just had a friend of mine send 2 different messages under 2 different screen names under 2 different stories on PP [and by the way, they are only allowing comments now on some stories, not all of them; all of the Charlie Sheen stories are still fully restricted...you can't comment at all on those]. He said the comments appeared on the screen instantaneously but after clicking refresh a few seconds later, the comments were gone.
What is interesting is that the comments did not violate any of the PP policies, but the comments were damning to the censorship game they are playing. One comment that was posted said "Still no free speech here?", and the other was a link to this story on my site, both of which are comments that PP mods would not want others to see.
They are either running a very tight ship over at PP and are having the mods work a lot of overtime, or they are restricting comments by IP address after the first comment they don't like. Either way, can you say "Joseph Goebbels?"
As I showed earlier [above with picture], Prison Planet has changed to Word Press for their commenting feature. I personally have been blocked from commenting by someone with a wordpress.com blog in the recent past, so I know for a fact that with the wordpress commenting system, you can be banned from posting, no matter what screen name you use. This is apparently what Prison Planet has done.
For anyone who has been to Prison Planet recently, you may see under each story that people are commenting and all may seem back to normal. It's not. They are still blocking you [if they don't approve of what you're saying]. I have posted 5 comments tonight on PP. The comment appears right away, but after refreshing the screen, the comment is gone. I'm hoping not many are being fooled by this at PP.
I'm now convinced, that during this whole "bandwidth/no comment" downtime, Prison Planet was actually switching commenting systems from what they had previously to wordpress, a commenting system that allows users to be deleted by IP address and not requiring the web host to inform the user they have been banned.
Free speech.....DEAD at Prison Planet