If you had your money on “before the body was even cool” in the over-under on how long it would take for Alex Jones to descend on the carcass of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia following his death — congratulations, you win. Even more predictable than the immediate implosion of the Republican party as it distanced itselffrom the mandates of the Constitution it normally masturbates to, there was the arrival on-scene of America’s lunatic conspiracy theorist contingent, ready for action.
It began, unsurprisingly, with Jones, the patient zero behind almost every outbreak of nonsensical, evidence-proof paranoia across the right-wing internet these days. Jones issued an “emergency transmission” to his idiot followers on Saturday night — yes, he actually called it that — declaring that “this is the season of treason, this is the time of betrayal and we would be fools not to ask the question” whether Scalia had actually been assassinated by, of course, President Obama. Jones cites both his “gut” and the “intellectual evidence” — two words that no one every associates with Alex Jones — as proof that Scalia’s death was the beginning of the contamination of our precious bodily fluids. Or the end of the Constitution. Or something. Whatever the fuck. “Obama is one vote away from being able to ban guns, open the borders and actually have the court engage in its agenda and now Scalia dies,” Jones declared with furrowed brow. “I mean, this is hardcore.” Yes, this is hardcore. Hardcore stupid.
Calling Scalia’s death “the canary in the coal mine” and a sign that the tyrannical government is finally “dropping the hammer,” Jones asked whether Clarence Thomas will die of a heart attack this week. He later expressed fear for the lives of Donald Trump and Ron Paul (because at least where the latter is concerned, the first thing the government would want to do when it finally became a full-on junta was eliminate an 80-year-old crank with no authority whatsoever and whose existence most people weren’t aware of in the first place). For Jones and his acolytes, this is obviously go-time. The time when the Shit Hits the Fan, in “prepper” parlance. Those FEMA camps will be opening any day now — as usual.
While it’s always a cheap move to cite Twitter as an example of public thought, given that barring a global or nationwide top trending topic a few tweets in any one direction are meaningless, The New Republic and Raw Story have thrown together just a small sampling of the tweets that followed the double-barrel bang of Scalia’s “mysterious” death and Jones’s emergency transmission and they’re everything you’d expect. The consensus, often expressed in frenzied tones with misspelled words, is that if no autopsy is being done, it’s a clear sign of murder. It’s of course impossible to imagine an overweight 79-year-old who regularly drank and smoked cigars and who had one of the most stressful — and for Scalia, stress-inducing — jobs on the planet would have a heart attack at some point. Easier to picture a government cabal to kill him and install a Sharia law-loving Marxist liberal onto the court to help Obama immediately impose martial law.
This is how it always works with these clowns. Fuck Occam’s Razor; the simplest explanation not only can’t be the correct one, but the most absurdly Gordian of explanations, those that require a mental Rube-Goldberg device to get from point-a to point-b, are somehow completely sensible and therefore right on the money. It’s a reminder of why even though we have a Constitutional right to free speech, there’s an argument to be made that not everyone deserves a worldwide platform from which to speak to literally everyone. As with the unintended consequences of the Second Amendment, in which the Founders couldn’t have possibly fathomed a time where weapons could fire dozens of rounds in just a few seconds and wouldn’t require a minute to reload, it’s doubtful they had the imagination to picture every lunatic with a fact-free proclamation to make being able to do so from a corner soapbox that reaches the entire globe.
Put simply, Alex Jones doesn’t deserve his forum. His batshit myrmidons don’t deserve theirs either. Jones is the furthest thing from a responsible broadcaster, stoking as he does the paranoid night terrors of America’s barely lucid off-its-meds demographic, people generally armed to the teeth and edgy about a tyrannical crackdown that will never come. And that’s the thing: In the age of Facebook and Twitter, those followers of Jones often have their own mini-media empires they can use to amplify the signal around the world, making a bad situation that much worse. So now every tragedy is a conspiracy. Every conspiracy calls for an immediate armed uprising. Every armed uprising will bring a full-on revolution that’s always right around the corner. The wheel of hoseshit spins on and on and on.
Justice Antonin Scalia died of a heart attack. He wasn’t murdered and he damn sure wasn’t “assassinated.” Motherfucker died the way most 79-year-old overweight guys do. Get over it.