Thursday, January 27, 2011

Roundhouse Roundup: More on the Alex Jones Harrison Schmitt Interview

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 27, 2011

Radio host Alex Jones is a major name in the world of conspiracy theories. His syndicated radio show has featured “truthers” — people who believe that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were an “inside job” by the American government. He’s also discussed President Barack Obama’s plan to sterilize the populace through the water supply and the cloning of human-animal hybrids.

And in July 2009, he did a phone interview with former astronaut and U.S. Sen. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt — Gov. Susana Martinez’s nominee for secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

In fairness, there’s nothing to indicate that Schmitt agrees with Jones on some of his wilder theories. But the former senator had some interesting theories of his own — such as an environmental-movement takeover by “communists” and public schools’ control by “opponents of liberty.”

I can never predict what state senators will or will not ask, but I suspect that some of Schmitt’s statements made on The Alex Jones Show might be brought up during his confirmation hearing. The Senate Rules Committee has yet to schedule hearings for any Cabinet secretary nominees.

Schmitt, who is firmly on record questioning whether climate change is man-made, didn’t dispute Jones when the host called global warming a “government hoax.” Talking about environmentalists, Schmitt said there are individuals. “and a fairly large number, who ... captured the environmental movement and turned it into what previously was considered the communist movement.”

Jones asked him about alleged plans for a “world government,” specifically if Schmitt had heard much talk about that kind of thing when he was in the U.S. Senate.

“It has clearly taken off in recent decades,” Schmitt said. “I think primarily because of the capture of the government school system by the opponents of liberty.”

And now a word from out sponsor: The interview pauses for a commercial for a company called Survival Seed, which begins, “The New World Order beast is genetically modifying your food, mixing vegetables with animals and now experimenting with viruses. Without a long-term food solution, you will have just two options: Starve or surrender.”

Susana: He'll push my agenda: On Wednesday, I asked Gov. Susana Martinez about the interview. She said she hadn’t heard it.

“What’s important here is that (Schmitt) is a NASA scientist,” the governor said. “He is a graduate from Harvard, and what is important is that he is going to perform the agenda of my administration. We are going to ensure that we keep the environment safe, that we provide common sense for decisions that are being made, that we don’t make decisions based on politics and ideology.

“So I am confident that he will be pushing for my agenda and not any personal agenda he might have,” Martinez said.

Asked if she thought the environmental movement contains a large number of communists, the governor said, “No.”

Schmitt himself was out of state and couldn’t be reached for comment, a spokeswoman for the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department said Wednesday.

Stooges for the moon hoax: But it’s not just environmentalists who don’t like Jones’ interview with Schmitt. At least one of Jones’ fellow conspiracy enthusiasts basically accuses Jones of being a running dog of the government, which has perpetrated the “hoax” of manned lunar landings.

 “Schmitt actually blamed the horrible education system in this country for people believing that the Apollo Moon missions were faked,” railed a website called in an article posted in August 2009.

 “In actuality, it is the horrible education system in this country that has led most people to believe that the Apollo Moon missions were real. ... It is sad to see somebody like Jones serving as a gatekeeper and providing credibility to the official story of the Apollo missions by giving a softball interview to Schmitt who like all the other Apollo astronauts are liars and frauds.”

Here's the communist/environmentalist segment of the Jones interview again:

And here's the part where Schmitt defends the reality of the moon landings.