What the Alex Jones Trial Means for the Future of Conspiracy Culture

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Two Chicago-based podcast hosts have spent the last 5 years holding Jones and his Infowars network accountable. Her program, Knowledge Fight, has produced more than 700 episodes and uses comedy to “break through crazy lies,” Stelter told Reliable Sources Sunday.

Hosts Dan Friesen and Jordan Holmes traveled to Texas to witness Jones’ trial firsthand. friezes said her strongest moment in the courtroom was watching Jesse Lewis’ mother, Scarlett Lewis, give her testimony and speak directly to Jones.

“I think it’s going to stay with pretty much everyone for the rest of their lives,” Friesen said.

The co-hosts have been covering Jones since 2017, watching his transformation from a seemingly untouchable figure to one who is now in serious legal and financial jeopardy.

“Throughout this period of time, its contents were themselves essentially hollow,” Friesen said. “Watching him from my perspective has become a lot less interesting.”

But despite Jones’ legal troubles, Holmes said the culture he helped create has grown much bigger.

“Conspiracy culture is something that emerges through the cracks of our normal society,” Holmes said.

And although her podcast focuses on questioning Jones and his tactics, Holmes said the trial was really about the victims.

“People would like to focus on Alex being some kind of bombastic character that we can poke fun at, but this isn’t about him,” Holmes said.

The podcast format allows presenters to go beyond Jones as a character and delve into the mechanics of what he does and why these conspiracy narratives exist.

“We approach this with the understanding that this is a serious issue,” said Friesen. “But also, to make it interesting for everyone, we have to make it fun.”

Friesen has listened to countless hours of Jones’ program and calls it an “incredibly boring experience”.

“The reason I do this is because I can endure this boredom,” Friesen said. He endures the task of helping others gain insight into the phenomenon of misinformation. “So they could be in a place where they could better understand what Alex is doing and what he’s bringing to the table.”

Many hope the legal and financial peril Jones now faces will help curb misinformation and conspiracy cultures. But Friesen isn’t convinced it will be a major blow.

“The conspiracy producers and people who engage in the kind of behavior that Alex does end up getting a little bit smarter,” Friesen said. “In the end, they learn where the limits are … what they can do and what they can get away with.”

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