FACT CHECK: Was Kanye West Scheduled To Be On Infowars?
Infowars founder Alex Jones tweeted Wednesday that his show would feature an “exclusive” with rapper Kanye West and Turning Point USA spokeswoman Candace Owens.
Tune in to today’s broadcast for an Infowars exclusive featuring @KanyeWest & @RealCandaceO
Watch the free video streams at: https://t.co/OQtch0tDED https://t.co/fkXRvp2HEg
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) May 2, 2018
“Tune in to today’s broadcast for an Infowars exclusive featuring @KanyeWest & @RealCandaceO,” Jones said.
Many commentators and journalists quickly spread the news on Twitter.
No, @kanyewest. No. NO. https://t.co/O35uL2MeZe
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 2, 2018
“No, @kanyewest. No. NO,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote in response to the announcement.
When Donald Trump went on Infowars, there was a lot of concern expressed that he was elevating and normalizing an organization that spreads malicious conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting, 9/11 and the like.
Kanye West doing the same should prompt the same questions.
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) May 2, 2018
“When Donald Trump went on Infowars, there was a lot of concern expressed that he was elevating and normalizing an organization that spreads malicious conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting, 9/11 and the like,” Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe said. “Kanye West doing the same should prompt the same questions.”
Kanye West is going on InfoWars today. And that’s all I have to say about that.
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) May 2, 2018
“Kanye West is going on InfoWars today. And that’s all I have to say about that,” Business Insider reporter John Haltiwanger tweeted.
Entertainment websites Refinery29 and Uproxx reported that West was set to appear on Infowars Wednesday.
“Why would West, who believes he has some important truth to share, choose to do it via Jones’ platform?” the Refinery29 story asked.
West was not scheduled to be on InfoWars Wednesday. The false promotion was a ploy by Jones to get attention.
Jones promoted the “exclusive” following West’s interview with TMZ Tuesday where he said that 400 years of slavery was a “choice.” Last week, Jones publicly invited West to join his show after the rapper tweeted, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.”
“Watch LIVE As @KanyeWest Clarifies His 400 Years Of Slavery Comment,” Jones teased.
Owens responded to Shapiro’s tweet and clarified that she did not have an Infowars interview scheduled for Wednesday.
1) I am not on Infowars today.
2) Disrespecting any platform watched by millions is silly.
3) Please stop telling me and/or Kanye “no”, “can’t” or “shouldn’t”.
Advice appreciated. Commands shut down. https://t.co/2jVNIpzS4k
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) May 2, 2018
“1) I am not on Infowars today. 2) Disrespecting any platform watched by millions is silly,” she said.
Jones, however, continued to promote an “exclusive” featuring Owens and West airing that day. Infowars staffer Rob Dew proceeded to tweet a photo of Owens on Infowars. “This is on our feed right now,” he said.
Infowars did broadcast an interview with Owens Wednesday – an old in-studio interview from October. West did not join the show. Jones and Owens did discuss the rapper in the re-aired interview, though.
“It’s called trolling,” Dew tweeted in response to users who noted that the interview was old.
Jones admitted that the false promotion was a strategy to get attention.
“I went, wait a minute, let’s doll it up and add some of the new clips and stuff and not say it’s new … and just say Candace Owens coming up on the show,” he explained. “I bet somebody like [Ben Shapiro] and others jump on it and say, ‘Don’t come on the show’ … It’ll cause a big hubbub and it’ll be about free speech.”
Infowars achieved its goal. In addition to criticism from Shapiro and journalists on Twitter, the false announcement prompted a column from Washington Examiner commentary writer Philip Wegmann.
“Jones is the prominent conspiracy theorist who thinks that Satanists are taking over America, that Bill Gates is a eugenicist hell bent on the extinction of minorities, and that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a Washington pizzeria,” Wegmann wrote. “In short, Jones is not someone to be taken seriously and neither is Turning Point USA if Owens appears with Kanye on that show.”
Infowars later claimed that it had only invited Owens and West to join the show.
“This really exposed the fake right-wing thought police like that snot-nosed, arrogant creature Ben Shapiro,” Jones said.
Uproxx updated its story and explained that the announcement was a ploy for attention. Some people who spread the news on Twitter, such as Shapiro and Haltiwanger, also clarified that it was a false promotion.
“Actually, Alex Jones may have lied (shocker),” Haltiwanger tweeted.
Infowars and Refinery29 did not respond to requests for comment.
Follow Emily on Twitter
Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected]