Between them, Mike Cernovich and Alex Jones have concocted or promoted some spectacularly illusory — and alarmingly popular — conspiracy theories: Hillary Clinton is hiding Parkinson's disease (Cernovich). The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a false flag (Jones). Pizzagate (both).
Now, the Internet impresarios are teaming up at Infowars, Jones's hard-right website that streams his daily talk show. CNN reports that Cernovich, founder of the uber-masculine website Danger & Play, will host Jones's show for an hour each week, beginning immediately.
Of the two, Jones has the higher profile and bigger platform — partly because President Trump lent him credibility early in his campaign for the White House. Trump made a half-hour appearance on Jones's show in December 2015, telling the leading 9/11 truther that his “reputation is amazing.”
Cernovich has been gaining ground, however. In March, "60 Minutes” featured him in a segment about fake news. That might not sound like a good thing, but Cernovich later described his interview with Scott Pelley as a major status booster.
“Two big events happened in my life,” Cernovich said during a guest appearance on Jones's program last month. “One is I've been on '60 Minutes.' "
The other, he said, was earning a spot on the Drudge Report's blogroll. (Cernovich is married and has a young daughter.)
In April, Cernovich got something right. He reported that it was Susan E. Rice, the Obama national security adviser loathed by some conservatives, who unmasked the identities of Trump campaign associates in U.S. intelligence reports. It was a genuine scoop — one that garnered praise and attention from Team Trump.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 4, 2017
Jones and Cernovich have appeared increasingly palsy lately, on and off the air. They spent Easter together last month.
The new partnership between Jones and Cernovich makes a lot of sense. Each can likely help expand the other's audience.
If the union does, in fact, act as a force multiplier for Jones and Cernovich, the result could be good for Trump, who could use help holding on to his base of supporters. If Jones and Cernovich were to turn on Trump, however, the impact of a unified reversal could be greater than if they were to work separately.
Both men have showed signs of wavering on the president. They shared a strong disapproval of Trump's decision to strike a Syrian airfield in April.
“Trump's base of support is gone if he goes to war with Syria,” Cernovich tweeted at the time.
Jones ranted last week about what he views as the troubling influence of Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and shared mixed feelings about the first few months of the new presidency.
“He's done so good on moving for tax cuts, demonizing and trying to overthrow Obamacare, and getting all the jobs back, and the stock market, and killing TPP — the list goes on and on — that I say, 'Hey, this is really great,' " Jones said. “But it is paradoxical, on the other side. You know, he's saying, 'Go after WikiLeaks,' when WikiLeaks got him elected. That's a stab in the back. And all this other craziness. And I don't even know what to say, at this point, about that because it's just such a flip-flop.”
Jones and Cernovich have proven that they wield some influence. As The Washington Post's Abby Ohlheiser and Ben Terris put it last month: “Get enough people to believe that a D.C. pizza shop is home to a child sex ring, and someone will show up with a gun.” (True story.)
Jones and Cernovich could be helpful to Trump, if they stay on his side. They could inflict some real damage, if they do not.