InfoWars, the conspiracy theory multimedia enterprise helmed by Alex Jones, may soon have a reporter in Donald Trump’s White House press corps. Jerome Corsi, who currently writes for the equally batshit website WorldNetDaily, announced both his change of employer and his intent to apply for credentials in a tweet early this morning:
The White House press corps, comprised of reporters at established media outlets from across the political spectrum, represents the front line of journalists covering the president. They’re the ones shouting questions at the press secretary at daily briefings. They file their stories from a specially designated office in the West Wing, and consequently, they have better access to the machinery of the White House than anyone else.
Under an ordinary president, the fact that a fringe organization like InfoWars applied for credentials wouldn’t qualify as news. InfoWars rose to popularity by claiming that 9/11 was an inside job, and today it’s best known as the home of Jones’s internet radio show, on which he regularly broadcasts his heart palpitations over such hard-hitting issues as gay frogs and the literal demons who were supposedly standing in the way of Trump’s presidency. There are probably plenty of similarly harebrained people and organizations that try to get into the press corps all the time. An ordinary president would simply turn them down.
But Trump himself is a conspiracy theorist, and an avowed Alex Jones fan. In 2015, as a presidential candidate, he appeared on the Jones’s radio show and told the host “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” Under Trump, there’s a nonzero chance that an InfoWars reporter will soon brushing shoulders with CNN and the New York Times.
There’s an upside-down quality to all of this, and it only gets more disorienting the longer you think about it. InfoWars operates under the assumption that the people in power are not to be trusted: the government is always conspiring to fuck over ordinary Americans, and the mainstream media is complicit in a cover-up. (A decent enough journalistic principle taken to an illogical extreme.) But against all odds, the fringe candidate that InfoWars supported won the election. In the first ten days of his presidency, Trump and his press secretary have lied through their teeth to the press and the American people about everything from the weather on inauguration day to the purpose of Trump’s executive order banning the immigration of Muslim immigrants and refugees, forcing the mainstream media into Jones’s old territory: The president and his lackeys aren’t giving you the truth, and here’s what’s really going on. Given InfoWars’s continued support of Trump after the election, the role reversal would likely go both ways, putting Jones’s reporter in the unlikely position of explaining to readers that they should place their trust in the official line, despite what all those other wackos are saying.
For more on InfoWars and the influence of conspiracy theories on Trump’s thinking, read our October profile of Alex Jones here.