It has been amply established several times over that InfoWars and Alex Jones are morally bankrupt. After all, they had no qualms whatsoever about smearing the Sandy Hook survivors as “crisis actors,” or continuing to push Pizzagate. But any doubt that this fake news shop has no soul or conscience was put to rest on Friday. We now know that InfoWars finds it perfectly acceptable to commit identity theft in the name of keeping Hillary Clinton from office.
On Friday afternoon, special counsel Robert Mueller announced the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents on charges of computer crime conspiracy, identity theft, and money laundering conspiracy for their role in Russia’s attempt to hack the 2016 presidential election. Among other things, the hackers stole information about 500,000 voters from the database of a state elections board.
The agents also installed horribly invasive malware on Democratic campaign computers that enabled them to steal passwords, take screenshots, and delve into fundraising and voter outreach projects. It was this cabal that was behind the Website DCLeaks, as well as the hacker persona Guccifer 2.0.
From the looks of it, the official line among Trump diehards is that the indictments were intended to embarrass Donald Trump ahead of his summit with Vladimir Putin. After all, at least two Fox News pundits wondered why these indictments were announced just 72 hours before the summit. First came former Bush 43 and Trump State Department adviser Christian Whiton on Fox Business.
Sean Hannity espoused a similar line hours later.
Never mind that Trump was briefed about this impending announcement before he left for the UK.
But those statements were a model of sanity compared to the reaction we saw from InfoWars. On Friday’s edition of “The Alex Jones Show,” guest host Owen Shroyer suggested that we shouldn’t be indicting these agents, but applauding them.
“Now let’s say, let’s say that that is accurate information. Let’s take this report for what it is and say that’s accurate information. Well, I would say, thank you, Russia. How about you? Why would the documents have affected the election so much unless it exposed corruption from inside the Democrat Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign? Which it did.”
Shroyer went on to say that what really matters is that “the documents got out,” and as a result, “we know who the Democrats are.”
I wonder if Shroyer or his boss, Jones, would be willing they be willing to say this to the faces of Roy Cockrum and Eric Schoenberg, two of the thousands of people who were victims of identity theft as a result of this hacking gambit. Was “know(ing) who the Democrats are” really worth putting innocent people’s privacy at risk?
I’m reminded of Grantland’s exposé of Essay Anne Vanderbilt, the inventor of a technologically advanced golf club. Writer Caleb Hannan discovered that Vanderbilt was a complete fraud who had embellished her resumé. But he also discovered that she was a transgender woman, and outed her to an investor. When Vanderbilt found out Hannan had outed her, she committed suicide in October 2013. Despite knowing this, Grantland ran the story anyway in January 2014.
Within days, almost no one was applauding Grantland for exposing a grifter. They were criticizing Grantland for driving a transgender woman to suicide. Even if Vanderbilt had lied about her credentials, it was not a defensible reason to out her. It’s the sort of behavior that gives honest muckrakers a bad name.
This is no different. If you believe that winning an election is so important that you consider it acceptable to expose innocent people to identity theft, your moral compass is severely warped–that is, if it exists at all. The fact that InfoWars found this acceptable is yet more reason that it, and Jones, belong in the basket of deplorables.
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