December 6, 2019


"We made it up": Ex-Infowars editor says he published lies about Muslim community to spread hate (IGOR DERYSH, DECEMBER 6, 2019, Salon)

The day before Jones interviewed then-candidate Donald Trump on his show in 2015, Owens wrote that he traveled to Islamberg, a Muslim community in rural upstate New York, where Jones had instructed him to investigate what he called "the American Caliphate."

Though the Muslims that lived in the community had not been connected to any violence and some had publicly denounced ISIS, Jones wanted to push the far-right rumor that the community was a "potential terrorist-training center," Owens wrote.

Owens said he and a reporter tried to lie their way into the settlement but were unable to get in after the community had come under threat. Days before the trip, the FBI had issued an alert for a man named Jon Ritzheimer, who had threatened a terrorist attack against Muslims.

After a law enforcement agent called to confirm their identities, Jones wanted to spin the incident as "an attempt to intimidate us into silence," Owens wrote.

"He even went so far as to include Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, in the purported conspiracy, claiming he wanted to abolish the Second Amendment -- and that somehow intimidating us would achieve that," he added.

Owens and the reporter did speak to a nearby sheriff and mayor, who both told them that the people of Islamberg "were kind, generous neighbors who welcomed the surrounding community into their homes, even celebrating holidays together."

"The information did not meet our expectations, so we made it up, preying on the vulnerable and feeding the prejudices and fears of Jones's audience," he wrote. "We ignored certain facts, fabricated others and took situations out of context to fit our narrative."

Infowars soon published headlines like "Shariah Law Zones Confirmed in America," "Report: Obama's Terror Cells in the U.S.," and "The Rumors Are True: Shariah Law Is Here!"

Posted by at December 6, 2019 12:00 AM