John Oliver Rips Into Alex Jones’ Dishonest Funding Tactics

“The Walter Cronkite of shrieking batshit gorilla clowns.”

John Oliver returned to Last Week Tonight on Sunday with a segment dedicated to the president’s favorite conspiracy theorist, Infowars host Alex Jones. But rather than focus on Jones’ promotion of pernicious, baseless claims—a quality viewers are likely familiar with by now thanks to the president—Oliver centered the segment around an often overlooked feature of Infowars: its shady funding tactics. 

As Oliver points out, Jones reliably uses each of his four-hour radio shows to push his own products, which offer a range of questionable items including a “Bill Clinton rape whistle” and dubious diet pills. Jones’ strategy counts on telling his base he desperately needs their funds to keep the broadcasts running—an appeal that doesn’t quite align with the expensive sport jackets and Rolex watches he wears on the show.

“It’s like an NPR pledge drive for people who hate NPR,” Oliver said. 

Watch the segment below to see how Jones blatantly lies to his audience to explain the disconnect:

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.