June 13, 2013
Shock jock Alex Jones exploded on Andrew Neil’s “Sunday Politics” show on the BBC and Brits were aghast. This man opined the host, while make circling gestures around his head indicating mental instability, “We have an idiot on the program today.”
24-hours later a video of the appearance surpassed 1million views on YouTube and this is the point. There is a huge audience for Alex Jones and alternative media in general.
Is this just a stunt or is there something more at play here?
In two words: Nigel Farage. Nigel is one of the most radical populists in British politics in years and thanks to shock jocks like Alex Jones, he’s somewhat under a radar while he accumulates – what some now estimate – 15% of the British popular vote; and trending higher. When compared to what Alex Jones is blaring at the top of his lungs to, a huge British audience of millions who tune into his show regularly, an upstart politician like Farage – with a radical agenda – appear highly reasonable. It’s the old ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine played for votes (Ron and Rand Paul have appeared on Alex Jones’ show in the US increasing their political fortunes enormously using the same technique).
Two years ago Nigel Farage of UKIP was destined to be a fringe MEP of a fringe party but then videos of Nigel making impassioned speeches on Youtube attracted a worldwide audience of dissatisfied and disaffected voters and supports around the world. Then Nigel started appearing on major, albeit alternative media outlets like Eric King’s influential “King World News” (with a global base of very educated, very wealthy HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals). Then the Drudge Report picked up the scent, and other influential sites like Peter Schiff’s “Schiff Report.” As a result Nigel Farage is more famous globally than any other UK politician.
RT too started playing videos of Nigel as well as interviewing him, and RT is the first broadcaster to cross 1 billion videos on YouTube for a global TV network; with a global reach approaching 700 million viewers. It’s a reciprocal relationship. Their audience is hungry for honesty and a new wave of journalist, politicians and shock jocks are giving it to them.
Nobody in the Mainstream Media reports on these trends in Britain or in the U.S. and in the case of Alex Jones there is no chance Alex will lead a majority party in the UK but in Farage’s case there is a real possibility that he’ll supplant the Liberal Democrats as Britain’s third biggest party and could very well be on his way to becoming part of the UK’s political duopoly. And this was accomplished under the noses of the BBC and every major outlet in the UK who is playing catch up to other global broadcasters and alternative media who are pushing candidates of Alex Jones into the ‘superstar’ category and possibly the front benches.
Addendum: I sent an email to BBC producer Robbie Gibb who asked me to email him regarding the phenomenon that is Alex Jones and how the BBC might be able to tap into this huge, under served, and politically aware audience – and in typical BBC fashion – the response so far is that they’ll ‘think about it.’ Meanwhile, the media and political landscape beneath Britain’s feat is shifting and those who ignore the significance of Alex Jones’ ranting on “Sunday Politics” will have to take early retirement. But in a country of media laggards and layabouts I’m sure that’s the best possible news they could hope for.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.