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:

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

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.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

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

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.