HuffPost has revealed a series of text conversations between far-right commentator Alex Jones and Fox host Tucker Carlson, who repeatedly showed affinity for some of the nonsense Jones promoted to him, including about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The duo were among those on the far-right who somehow settled on the apparent belief the virus wasn’t all-that-bad — and was also the focus in a government push for control, even as these figures (seemingly struggling or just refusing to grasp the basic reality unfolding around them) glossed over that Americans and people around the world were dying in large numbers from something potentially preventable but spreading fast. HuffPost got the texts from attorney Mark Bankston, who was infamously — and mistakenly — provided a comprehensive digital copy of Alex Jones’s personal cellphone amid legal disputes in Texas over lies Jones told about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Jones’s legal team failed to take initial and formal legal action to shield the materials.
Among the conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the general response to it that Jones and Carlson discussed was the idea there was a conspiracy on par with the kind of government censorship seen in China to eliminate public conversation about a supposedly effective — but actually experimental and of unclear efficacy — UV light treatment against the virus. Although it’s unclear if Carlson took direct inspiration from Jones, Jones also texted the Fox host about two California doctors downplaying the virus’s impacts, including in a video eventually removed by YouTube. Carlson already covered the doctors but could have been driven to continue that coverage from Jones. Carlson told the latter coverage of the pair would be his Fox show’s lede later that night.
In another text, Carlson promoted conspiracy theories about supposedly looming threats to Fox News and regarding what seems to be that Jones was somehow right all along. “If Democrats win in November, they’re going to crush Fox News just as they’ve crushed the NRA. And we’re going to deeply regret letting it happen,” Carlson said. “Everyone who thought it was fine that they deplatformed Alex Jones will look like a fucking moron.” Obviously, no such push against Fox News has taken place. In other conversations, Jones also claimed he faced potential arrest and asked to talk to Carlson over the phone, which the host did — days after Jones ranted in supposedly satirical comments on one of his broadcasts about eating his neighbors. “I will eat your leftist ass like corn on the cob, I’m ready,” Jones said.
Jones is currently ensnared in personal and business bankruptcy proceedings, facing questions including scrutiny of tens of millions supposedly owed by his company Free Speech Systems to another company involved in procuring the supplements Jones sells — that recently available information indicates is owned by Jones and his parents. Elsewhere, Carlson was among those already deposed in defamation litigation from Dominion Voting Systems over the role Fox had in promoting lies about the company’s role in imaginary 2020 election fraud. That case is moving towards a trial evidently slated for April after a judge allowed the combination of claims against Fox News and a parent company.