Pittsburgh Cop Killer Egged on by Alex Jones, Right Wing Conspiracy Media

Alex Jones broadcasting from Austin’s KLBJ.

Richard Poplawski’s photo from MySpace.

Poplawski was a neo-Nazi wannabe who railed against blacks, Jews, ‘Zionists,’ and gun control. And like many members of the far-right fringe, he allegedly visited Jones’ Web sites and posted alarming reports by Jones’ writers on the white supremacist message board, Stormfront.

By Max Blumenthal / April 8, 2009

Richard Poplawski, the man who allegedly murdered three Pittsburgh cops, was clearly influenced by Fox News’s Glenn Beck and right-wing radio.

On April 6, two days after the 22-year-old Richard Poplawski allegedly murdered three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a radio host named Alex Jones settled in before a microphone in his studio in Austin, Texas to do some damage control. “The mainstream media has certainly enjoyed tying me into this story,” Jones complained. “They’re attacking me and saying I’m delusional and there’s no New World Order The Second Amendment, what the country’s founded on–it’s all my fault!”

Poplawski was a neo-Nazi wannabe who railed against blacks, Jews, “Zionists,” and gun control. And like many members of the far-right fringe, he allegedly visited Jones’ Web sites and posted alarming reports by Jones’ writers on the white supremacist message board, Stormfront. (Poplawski’s posts are here, authored under the handle, “Braced For Fate.”) While Alex Jones generally avoids overt racism, he has found an eager audience on Stormfront by conjuring dark visions of an impending New World Order, claiming FEMA is secretly building a national concentration camp network, and announcing that President Barack Obama has planned mass gun seizures on his way to establishing a leftist dictatorship. “Remember, the first step in establishing a dictatorship is to disarm the citizens,” warned a March 13 commentary on Jones’ website, Prison Planet.

In the wake of Poplawski’s alleged murder spree, the killer’s friends and family members painted a portrait of a paranoid young man whose worldview was informed almost totally by the kind of conspiratorial themes entertained by Jones. Poplawski’s best friend, Edward Perkovic, who also spouted white supremacist rhetoric, Source” target=_blank>told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his friend “grew angry recently over fears Obama would outlaw guns.” Poplawski’s mother remarked to police investigators that her son targeted cops “because he believed that as a result of economic collapse, the police were no longer able to protect society.”

But hysterical warnings of government gun grabs and a socialist takeover of the U.S. are no longer the sole proprietary interest of fringe players like Jones. In the Obama era, Jones’ conspiracy theories have graduated to primetime on Fox News. And radicals like Poplawski are tuning in. Indeed, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the alleged killer posted a YouTube clip to Stormfront of top-rated Fox News host Glenn Beck contemplating the existence of FEMA-managed concentration camps. (“He backed out,” Poplawski wrote cryptically beside the video.) Three weeks later, Poplawski posted another Youtube clip to Stormfront, this time of a video blogger advocating “Tea Parties,” or grassroots conservative protests organized by Beck and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich (see here and here) against President Barack Obama’s bailout plan.

Jones has gradually come to be accepted by the right-wing media. In September 2007, Jones interrupted a live broadcast by Fox News host Geraldo Rivera (Rivera was reporting at the time on “the secret world of restroom gay sex”) by shouting into a megaphone, “9-11 was an inside job!” He was hauled away by NYPD officers soon after. On March 18, however, Jones became a guest of honor inside Fox studios, introduced as “the great Alex Jones” by Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano during a lengthy segment on the online show, The Strategy Room. Towards the end of his spot, Jones celebrated his sudden and dramatic influence on the conservative movement’s biggest media personalities.

“I’ve never seen an awakening this big. I’m seeing Glenn Beck talk about the New World Order on Fox, I’m seeing you talk about it,” Jones told Napolitano. “We’re seeing Lou Dobbs talk about it, we’re seeing mainline hosts–Limbaugh’s even talking about global government. Michael Savage is talking about how Obama may stage crises to bring in martial law. So all the things that I was talking about in the wilderness ten plus years ago are now hitting mainstream, and it is great!”

David Neiwert, a veteran reporter on right-wing militia movements and author of the forthcoming book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, explained that by co-opting conspiratorial rhetoric from the farthest shores of the right, mainstream conservative talkers can inflame the passions of paranoiacs like Poplawski to a dangerous degree. “It’s always been a problem when major league demagogues start promulgating false information for political gain,” Neiwert told me. “What it does is unhinge fringe players from reality and dislodges them even further. When someone like Poplawski hears Glenn Beck touting One World Government and they’re gonna take your gun theories, they believe then that it must be true. And that’s when they really become crazy.”

For Jones, whatever bad publicity he incurred from a fan’s alleged killing spree paled in significance to the sudden cachet he has gained among conservative media bigwigs. During his April 6 broadcast, two days after the murders, he boasted, “Now, if you listen to [Sean] Hannity’s show, if you listen to Savage; you listen to Limbaugh, it’s almost like Alex Jones is hosting the show.”

[Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and writing fellow at The Nation Institute, whose book, Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books), is forthcoming in Spring 2009. Contact him at maxblumenthal3000@yahoo.com.]

Source / Daily Beast / AlterNet

Thanks to David Hamilton / The Rag Blog

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8 Responses to Pittsburgh Cop Killer Egged on by Alex Jones, Right Wing Conspiracy Media

  1. Anonymous says:

    progressive front? a front is right. alex jones has the far right for an audience? you sound like the republicans always have, in suggesting fault of video games and celebrities for one’s actions. how do you control such a thing? get alex jones off the air? censorship? very progressive. nice “front”.

  2. Mariann says:

    Lord-a-mercy, since when is Michael Savage part of the mainstream??? He is a right-wing nut case!

    Here’s the thing: Alex Jones cannot be discredited, because too many people, of generally left, generally right, and generally great apathetic middle-of-the-road politics, believe in their hearts that 9-11 WAS an inside job.

    Why that perception is allowed to linger is the more interesting issue, in view of the 45 years of activism co-opted by conspiracy theories about who killed JFK. Does anyone believe that our government doesn’t study that kind of thing, or hope to learn how to use it? Or in fact to use it?

    btw, I’m really getting tired of all the anonymous posts on The Rag Blog! It’s not like anyone is checking IDs, ya know; have the initiative to at least adopt a colorful moniker to hide behind!

  3. Deva says:

    I live in British Columbia, and since I was introduced to the Rag Blog several weeks ago, I have been reading it everyday. I always look at the comments sections. I agree that the ‘anonymous’ postings seem too paranoid for the mainstream society that most of us live in. The contributors and the editors of the Rag Blog don’t get paid for their efforts, but put their own identities and feelings out because we, the individual readers, can effect changes in our own thinking, in our lifestyle choices, and in the political climates that we live in. So, thank you, Mariann, for expressing your annoyance. It’s inspiring!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dude, you need t update your blog. The Alex Jones stuff was retracked because it isn’t true. The guy was against Alex Jones. Alex Jones calls for non-violent civil resistance (a la Gandhi, Martin Luther King) whereas the killer was for violence and had a tantrum because his mommy told him to leave. Why don’t you give Alex Jones side of the story?

    http://www.infowars.com/poplawski-smear-debunked-cop-killer-held-opposing-views-to-infowars/

  5. Anonymous says:

    I always confuse peaceful non violent promotion when the person is screaming over a microphone with macabre examples of “you’ll be sorry.”

    I’d be happy if someone other than Alex jones proves this as not the case. Otherwise its just him not wanting to loose “truth” marketing empire.

  6. Mary says:

    What bothers me most about the Alex Jones propaganda is his intentional and/or unintentional deceptions. FIRST – that he had the nerve to actually alter Obama’s website in his Obama Deception film to make it say something entirely different from what it said about community service. To try and scare people into thinking Obama was starting “work camps” when it was actually a Peace Corp type opportunity to students to earn college credit or money for college by volunteering (NOT forced servitude, Alex) Isn’t that libel or slander Alex is engaging in by actually altering what is on a website to make a false case fo his own movie – I dont think you can do that ? Alex needs to be sued or prosecuted for it. He ACTUALLY displayed in his film an altered page of the Obama website. You can freeze frame the Alex Jones Obama Deception photo of the website on your TV and then compare it with the actual Obama website page (which by the way has NOT been changed by Obama or scrubbed as they are trying to say now to cover their own deception) How RIDICULOUS and how EVIL Alex is to lie like that. Also, Alex made a fool of himself again with his lack of facts in his “debate” with Noam Chomsky where he tried to say England has recently outlawed guns. Chomsky tried to tell him that guns has been illegal to carry for a long time in England (not even the cops in England carried them) and Alex insisted that he was right (he was WRONG) and then went into a Rush Limbaugh style tirade against Chomsky on his radio show. BEWARE, when you watch or listen to Alex Jones. He mixes lies and non facts with Truth. Sometimes purposely and sometimes I guess just from his own ignorance. Sorry, since I have a Masters in Critical Sociology and work everyday to encourage students to wake up and be vigilant about corruption in our government, business and military industrial prison complex., I like the fact that Alex exposes some of the wrongs in our government HOWEVER his reputation and reliability for honest journalism and honest investigaton, truth telling and fact finding really falters when he deceives truth seekers. The TRUTH is enough and the TRUTH is the only thing that will set people free Alex. Lies and fear mongering will only confust and enslave people further. It’s also really unfortunate that he is attracting so many racists and loons. UGH. My neighbors son in law watches those documentaries and is so angry and confused he doesn’t know what to do. Sometimes I wonder if Alex is subversively trying to lay the ground for some kind of race war or civil war which will ultimately result in a true fascist takeover (the very thing he says he is warning people about) Hitler looked very nationalistic and purely German at first too. Clever – things are not always what they seem. One bad sign is when a lot of racists who think they hold the only true “American” ideals gather around what any person or movement is promoting. A really bad sign. Watch out, be carefuly, unless you are a true hater yourself – if you are not an angry racist and a hater, you need to be very careful of those who are addicted to Alex Jones films. Just take the few truths that he does expose and DISCARD the rest !

  7. Alex Jones’s damage control aside, he does have deep connections to american fascism.

    Alex Jones is surely a crypto-fascist – someone who hides their fascism. Alex Jones is very successful at hiding it, parlaying his “no left/right” libertarian spiel as a cover whilst promoting identical themes and sources found in the more overtly far-right, racist, anti-semitic and nazi sphere.

    A few examples – he publishes articles by AmericanFreePress (AFP). AFP is published by Willis CArto, founder of Liberty Lobby and former publisher of Spotlight.

    Jones uses Jim Tucker in his films, Endgame for example. Tucker is a long-time colleague of Willis Carto, having worked at both The Spotlight and at AFP.

    The AFP is….the spin-off publication of the now defunct domestic neo-fascist organization, The Liberty Lobby, founded by American quasi-Nazi and conspiracist, Willis Carto. Formerly known as The Spotlight, The AFP is a perfect example of the “old wine in new skins” PR campaigns that many neo fascists and Third Positionist organizations have undertaken over the last few decades (perhaps best embodied by the current suit-and-tie public face of former (?) Klansmen and American Nazi, David Duke). While the pages of The AFP do not openly endorse things like Nazi-skinheads, Aryan Nations summerfests, Holocaust denial books and organizations, or sell Third Reich marching music CD’s and Tapes, (unlike its former incarnation, The Spotlight) the fact that they proudly announce that their publication is “brought to you by the former staff of The Spotlight, who are now the publishers.” should be more than enough reason for any serious researcher to keep a light year’s distance between themselves and such a crackpot publication. Well, that and the piss-poor journalism advanced by its roster of rambling, reactionary, closeted and not-so-closeted Swastika-saluting scribes.

  8. Alex Jones not only publishes articles by AFP, but has their correspondents as guests. Whilst castigating democratic politicians for their “fascism”, Alex Jones makes use of publications, organisations and individuals with genuine close ties with organised fascism. However, Jones never informs his audience of such ties – indeed, Prisonplanet frequently delete such facts when posted as comments on their stories or at their forum. ( I know – I have been banned from both for doing so.)

    If Alex Jones is really anti-fascist, why does he delete facts detailing his guests’ connections to genuine fascism? Why does he instead promote their books, websites and articles?

    Carto’s AFP held a conference in 2006, jointly with another of Willis Carto’s outlets, The Barnes Review, which is a holocaust denial publication.

    Present at the meeting were the leading lights of the American far-right movement, including avowed neo-Nazis eg Joe Fields, from Nordwave, and white supremacist John De Nugent . “Highlight” of the conference was a former SS officer (Mr. Theo Junker) who set up a Hitler museum in Wisconsin, and served with Wiking SS – (they supported Einsatgruppe Group A in Eastern campaign)

    Another attendee was Paul Fromm – leading Canadian Nazi.

    Details of the AFP /Barnes Review (holocaust denial) conference are at NORDWAVE (American NAZIS) website.

    LINK

    Another person who attended the conference and regularly appears throughout Alex Jones’ output was Eustace Mullins. The report on Unamerican Activities said of Mullins (who was then working at “Common Sense” magazine”) :

    “Information in the possession of the Committee reveals a significant interchangeability of propagandists working for the allegedly patriotic Common Sense and the avowed fascist National Renaissance Party.

    A good example is provided by Eustace Mullins, who frankly eulogizes Hitler in the pages of the National Renaissance Party’s Bulletin and who has been observed at an NRP street session in New York City last year. Articles written by Mullins have been appearing in Common Sense since at least September 1951 and, last year, he became a writer on the staff of Common Sense.”

    LINK

    Again – Alex Jones will interview and publish Mullins in a fawning manner but never once indicate to his audience Mullins’ long and ongoing association with genuine neo-Nazism. Strange behaviour for someone whom criticises democrats, socialists and ecologists of “fascism”?

    Furthermore, the targets of Jones’ conspiracy are all classic euphemisms for “Jews” – bankers, elites, media barons etc. His vaguely defined and amorphous target is “the New World Order”. IMO this seems a clever rhetorical device to mainstream far-right anti-semitism and conspiracy theories, whilst avoiding the language which would clearly signal its origin in Hitlerite fantasy. His audience certainly understand his euphemism (as is clear from the public comments left at the website.) This euphemism allows Jones access to the mainstream and even “left” discourse, venues prohibited to the more obvious far-right extremism at Stormfront etc.

    More details here

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