Mind your business.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Time Alex Jones Wanted Me To Be The Face of The "Coffee Party"

"Wesley Messamore, center, leads a chant of 'End the Fed' with protesters as they march through the streets of Nashville on Sunday in opposition to the Federal Reserve Bank. Protesters nationwide have called for an audit of the Federal Reserve. (JOSH ANDERSON / FOR THE TENNESSEAN)"

One Spring morning in 2010 I awoke to emails informing me that my picture (the one above, taken by a photographer for the Tennessean) was being used to promote Alex Jones' "Coffee Party," a very short-lived little ripple of the Tea Party tax protest movement that started back in February of 2009.

In a nutshell: some Democrats tried to put together a Tea Party alternative that fizzled out after about a day, the Coffee Party, and Alex Jones liked the idea so much, that he made his own alternative alternative, "The Real Coffee Party."

His argument, which was largely accurate, was that the Tea Party movement had been hijacked by the Republican establishment and no longer represented its original principles:

"the need to abolish the Federal Reserve, reduce the size of government, lower taxes, and withdraw from unnecessary and unconstitutional foreign wars."

Those ideas were indeed what had drawn many of the early Tea Party supporters to the first round of nationwide protests in February 2009, after Rick Santelli called for a modern day Tea Party in a blistering rant on CNBC and answering the cable news anchors' questions about what he'd be dumping into the harbor with: securitized mortgage derivatives.

But by the time of the Coffee Party and the Real Coffee Party in early 2010, multiple GOP anointed "Tea Party" candidates for the 2010 midterms (like Nikki Haley) were clearly just the same old kind of neocon wolves in sheep's clothing, positioned to ride the Tea Party brand into office to continue business as usual.

There was so much weak tea and counterfeit conservatism in the 2010 midterms, it was a total circus, and proof of how naively credulous most Republican voters are (almost as naively credulous as Democratic voters).

In the end I emailed InfoWars and PrisonPlanet (another of Alex Jones' digital properties at the time) to ask that they remove my face from their Real Coffee Party movement's website and press release on InfoWars. I didn't want to be associated with them because I thought there was enough of something real in the Tea Party movement to ride it out with the teabaggers, and I had no interest in Alex Jones' obsession with "9-11 truth" conspiracies theories. Which is incredibly ironic today.

It's ironic because Alex Jones got banned from Facebook for alleged dehumanizing language toward Muslims, and in the history of Western journalism, there has never been any one man more pro-Muslim than Alex Jones, who made much of his career off of promoting the conspiracy theory that a bunch of Virginians and New Yorkers did 9-11 and framed Muslims for it.