Kanye West did not appear on Infowars, as Alex Jones claimed he would on Twitter Wednesday. Refinery29 has reached out to West's representatives for comment and will update this post should we hear back.
This story was originally published on May 2, 2018.
No matter how you feel about West's latest tweets or declarations of "free thinking," aligning himself with Jones is a dramatic step that I'm not sure he can come back from. This is not a case of West bridging a political gap: It's him condoning a man who spreads not just false information, but damaging and cruel lies that have directly affected some of the most vulnerable.
Jones is a noted conspiracy theorist who slings his provably false claims around on his show. In America, he has as much right to do this as anyone else does. These "views," unfortunately, include things like that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax orchestrated by the government. In fact, earlier in April, parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones for spreading false information.
"Some thought we shouldn’t broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren't just offensive, they're dangerous. But here’s the thing: Alex Jones isn’t going away. Over the years his YouTube channel has racked up 1.3 billion views. He has millions of listeners and the ear of our current president."
That's specifically the problem here: Jones is not just some troll on Twitter, but a person whose voice is heard by millions. West is a similar voice in our culture, and by going on Jones' show, and using it as a platform for his own speech, he's essentially validating that platform. Or, rather, he's aligning himself — a man who claims to spread love for all — with a man who cruelly dismisses the plight of the parents of murder victims as actors in a government coverup.
Why would West, who believes he has some important truth to share, choose to do it via Jones' platform? I have no answers, and I won't be watching Infowars to find out.