‘SH*T JOURNALIST’

Alex Jones Begs Shooting Survivor David Hogg to Debate Him

The far-right conspiracy theorist is on the verge of getting banned from YouTube, and now he wants a teenage Parkland shooting survivor to debate him.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Alex Jones desperately wants to debate a teenage survivor of the mass shooting that left 17 people dead earlier this month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Over the weekend, conspiracy site Infowars published a video titled “David Hogg Can’t Remember His Lines in TV Interview,” which suggested without evidence that 17-year-old student David Hogg was a “crisis actor,” or someone paid to play a victim in emergency-response drills.

Hogg, one of the most telegenic survivors of the shooting, has been outspoken in his calls for gun control, making him the subject of criticism from the right and numerous sinister conspiracy theories from the uglier corners of the internet.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Hogg lamented those conspiracy theories that emerged from the Parkland shooting, saying accusations that he is a crisis actor are the “perfect example of the lack of maturity and basic human empathy in this country.”

Initially, Hogg also said he’d love to debate Jones—whom Hogg described as a “shit journalist”—in order to “clear some of this up.”

But the teenager quickly reversed course.

Hogg seemed to allude to threats of legal action against NBC by the family members of victims of Sandy Hook, over a Megyn Kelly interview with Jones, who at one point claimed the deadly elementary school massacre was a “hoax.” He mocked the nutritional supplements Jones sells on his site, and blasted Jones’ gross response to past mass shootings.

“I will not speak to anyone that has had disgusting remarks to victims of mass shootings in the past. I sent that tweet without realizing just how awful so many people have been to victims and witnesses of these events in the past,” Hogg wrote.

InfoWars’ original video alleging Hogg was an imposter was flagged and removed from YouTube in what the company said was a violation of its terms of service banning fabrications about a victim of mass tragedy. The outlet received two warnings from YouTube over the past several days for pushing conspiracy theories about the Parkland teens, prompting the social video site to freeze InfoWars’ channel.

For his part, Jones, a bombastic far-right media personality known for pushing bogus conspiracy theories about everything from 9/11 to gay frogs, has unsurprisingly continued to goad the 17-year-old shooting victim.

The InfoWars founder shared an article on Twitter suggesting that Hogg was lying about the number of friends his sister lost in the shooting, and released a video claiming that Hogg was trying to make the conspiracy-monger look “rude.”

“Why are you defaming me and saying I’m bullying you like you’re a child, you’re not you’re an adult and a public figure,” Jones whined.