RAG RADIO: Political Writer Jonathan Tilove Dissects Screaming Conspiracist Alex Jones

We discuss Jones' recent custody trial and the larger story of America's number one alt-right radio personality.

Jonathan Tilove

Jonathan Tilove, chief political writer for the Austin American-Statesman, is Thorne Dreyer’s guest on Rag Radio. Tilove recently covered the custody battle between Austin-based radio personality — the screaming conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — and his wife, Kelly.  Tilove, in fact, broke the story of the custody trial, which otherwise might well have gone unnoticed. The story, based on Jonathan’s reporting, went national and Jonathan was interviewed widely in print and broadcast media.

We discuss the trial — including the central contention by his lawyer that Jones is really just a big ol’ teddy bear and his on-air persona is simply “performance art” — and the larger Alex Jones story, including how he rose to international prominence in the fake news era and, along the way, became something of a “Trump whisperer.” We also address Jones’ self-professed super-virility (150 women by age 16!) and also do a side-by-side on Trump and Jones; Jonathan believes they have a lot in common.

Jonathan Tilove — who was a Washington correspondent for the New Orleans Times-Picayune from 2008 to 2012, and before that covered race and immigration issues for Newhouse News Service for 18 years — was our guest on Rag Radio on Nov. 11, 2016, along with political consultant Glenn Smith. That dynamic duo was scheduled to return on April 7 of this year, but Jonathan called in his last-minute regrets. He had gotten a hot tip and was covering what we would later learn was the pretrial hearing of the battle between the Joneses.

“I’m the only reporter here,” he said, “and I can’t leave.” Incidentally, Jones (Alex) lost primary custody of the two children after a nine-day trial.

ragradio250x250Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, is streamed live at Radio Free America, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: ragradio@koop.org.



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