I had no idea who Paul Joseph Watson was a year ago. In an act of mistaken complacency, I’d never paid much attention to the categorical fruit-bat that is Alex Jones, or his notorious InfoWars organisation. Even less so his supposed ‘voice of working Britain’, a rather petulant and patronising young man hailing from the North: whose American audience probably loosely connect as a member of House Stark. (And therefore, one of the good guys.)
Accusing sentient voters of such puerile reasoning would – once upon a time – have been insulting and unwarranted. But that was before the Americans voted the Clown Prince of Dufus into the Oval Office, thinking democracy was a kind of game show. And before Britain voted to cut off its arse to spite its elbow, on account of what multi-billion pound media oligarchs and predatory business owners told them. Many of whom are the same cross-Atlantic interests that backed Donald Trump all the way to the White House.
People like Rupert Murdoch and News Corp: the entities behind not only Fox News in the US, The New York Post and Wall Street Journal, countless regional newspapers all over Australia, the international Dow Jones and numerous specialist financial publications, Twentieth Century Fox and all its associated film and TV companies, but also The Sun and Times newspapers here in the UK. Not to forget the disgraced former News of the World, or the oligarch’s leading share in UK Press Association. (Or his constant manoeuvring ever closer to assuming personal control of British Sky Broadcasting). The list is terrifying.
How does Paul Joseph Watson fit into all this?
Well, this young ‘King in the North’ is a major social media mouthpiece for these insidious interests. I doubt he’s actually employed by them directly: he’s not that smart, and too low down the food-chain. But in some ways he’s more dangerous. Self-glorifying and ignorant, yet smarmy and acid-tongued (which many on the right mistake for ‘straight talking’), plus pretty good with editing software, Watson is a hate-filled zealot who actually believes the rubbish he peddles. He is able to voice the hateful and outrageous stuff even Murdoch and his ilk can’t get away with, and the number of intellectually-challenged sycophants hanging on his every word should be of huge concern. He’s almost nonchalant, as if to demonise every Muslim is the most natural thing in the world.
Watson has 621K followers on Twitter alone, 413K followers on Facebook, and nearly a million subscribers on YouTube.
That’s a lot of reach for one petulant hate-preacher.
The man is literally feeding ignorance and malevolence into the right-wing sympathising public. Any attempt to argue the idea’s he’s disseminating are not OK, Watson falls back on the old ‘freedom of speech’ get-out clause. (You should have heard him cry like a baby when YouTube deemed his material too offensive for under 18s, so concerned was he that his ‘hits’ might drop. One might almost have called him a ‘snowflake’.)
In Britain, what makes Watson so different from the likes of Tommy Robinson, the former EDL leader, is that most people can see Robinson is just a mindless brute. His raw ‘machismo’ will only appeal to equally brutish types. But Watson is, I hate to say it, a slightly more intellectual variety of nationalist and white supremacist. Like Milo Yiannopoulos, Watson harnesses a kind of sneering, derisory scorn that has proved incredibly popular with British right-wingers unable to answer actual questions. Point out why they’re wrong? You’re stupid. Or a traitor.
Watson propagates a populist trend of not needing to answer problems with logic – just jokes, grotesque stereotypes, and oversimplifications.
The PJW ‘treatment’
First and foremost – ranting soliloquies to the backdrop of a map, backed by clever and manipulative edits of news footage. With periodic head shakes, sneering and sighs to the camera, as if he’s just sooo clever, and just sooo appalled by the stupidity of ‘leftists’.
But what Watson does in any given situation, is to hunt out the most bizarre and extreme behaviour from a member (or members) of any particular group he wishes to incite hatred against. Which basically means, without fail, either those he conceives as liberal left-wing ‘libtards’, or Muslims.
He then holds that isolated and extreme behaviour up as supposed example of what ‘all’ people in those groups think – arguing why we’re ‘all’ dangerous and unhinged because we happen to share some political beliefs with them, and/or a religion.
And like the worst kind of tabloid, he attempts to shift attention from the real problem or crisis, onto a make-believe or exaggerated one that serves his purpose. Even in the worst cases of humanitarian tragedy, like the Grenfell fire. While most decent people were lamenting the terrible events, sending out condolences, and protesting culture and legislation that allowed such a terrible thing to happen, Watson immediately jumped on his disparate vilification of Muslims:
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 14, 2017
To Watson, the support of Muslim communities offering humanitarian aid in the wake of both the London/Manchester attacks and the Grenfell fire don’t even register. They don’t count. No, they are all evil. Why? Because some equally intellectually challenged f**k-knuckle named Yusra wrote on Twitter that he was happy about it: a supposed ‘stereotypical example of the Muslim community’, who wasn’t even smart enough to register it was mostly immigrants and ethnic minorities killed in the very fire he was so thrilled about. Doesn’t matter. In Watson’s mind, ‘one sick individual is proof all people with brown skin are bad’. Or at least that’s how he’s going to pitch it.
But then in the next breath, Watson demonstrates simply stunning hypocrisy to say:
If Corbynistas like you had the slightest respect for the dead, you would stop exploiting a tragedy to score political points. https://t.co/Yol3vLIBiz
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 16, 2017
Now he’s going after Corbyn
I follow Watson, as I feel it important I keep up with what ‘the other half’ are saying. His posts regularly disgust me, and the sycophantic responses he receives often fill me with despair. But his latest post really made my jaw hit the floor. The Sheffield born egotist has now turned his sights on Jeremy Corbyn.
Up until now, Watson’s attacks on Corbyn have been few and far between. Perhaps he, like many, though him an insignificant threat to this rise of UK/US fascism – and was possibly far too busy pursuing American fandom and licking the boots of Donald Trump. But that changed after June 9th:
Before we even get into the article itself, can you even imagine the fall-out if we at Evolve, or The Canary, or SkwawkBox or AAV, posted an article with a featured image of Theresa May with a backdrop of a Swastika flag? Considering the number of mainstream media organisations desperate to see our demise, I can only imagine the witch-hunt that would ensue. As ever, WE are supposed to be the peddlers of “fake news”, but it is our polar opposites in the right-wing press who take things to offensive and slanderous lengths in order to propagate entirely vested agendas.
We’ll ignore Watson’s rather pathetic dig that Corbyn apparently “loves Venezuela” (a country currently gripped by serious civil strife – yet again, Watson using serious geopolitical events as no more than means of point-scoring playground banter.)
Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that the UK government forcibly seize private property in order to house poor people, a terrifying insight into what his authoritarian Socialist rule could look like.
That’s simply not true. And neither is Rupert Murdoch’s version from The Times, from which Watson cites the entire rant. Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t “demanded” anything. He is not in a position to – he’s not the frickin’ Prime Minister for starters. Suggesting is not “demanding”. He simply made a straightforward and sentient statement that is glaringly obvious to the rest of us. Eg: it’s outrageous there are so many high-value and spacious homes in the UK that are vacant and/or used simply for investment purposes, when desperate traumatised people who’ve undergone a humanitarian catastrophe have been made homeless; their lives turned upside down.
And it is outrageous. People with that much money and those kind of resources should be offering to help – not needing to be shamed into it. But what Corbyn actually said (a quote from The Times article they’ve neatly sidelined), is:
Properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally.
‘Requisitioned if necessary’ is not some Stalinist call to start robbing the rich. He never uses the word “seize”. Corbyn simply highlights that as a nation, our first priority MUST be to help these poor people! What is it that’s soooo offensive to right-wingers about merely showing a little human dignity and compassion?? Instead, to make link to an oppressive Communist dictator who murdered millions of his own people, is just sick and twisted beyond reason. As is suggestion that Corbyn would ever ever enforce anything “authoritarian” (anyone who listens to a word he says knows that is the complete opposite of what he stands for).
Duty of the state
As always, Watson found a left-wing celebrity to harangue. One of his favourites is J.K. Rowling, who he’s repeatedly insulted because she hasn’t physically invited Syrian refugees to live with her. Watson doesn’t seem to get there’s a difference between vacant homes/public buildings and investment properties being opened up to those who need them, and physically inviting strangers into your home where you live. Nobody expects that. Not to mention it’s the job of governments to deal with the crises their foreign policies create – not private citizens.
Once again, Corbyn suggests that a very small minority of excessively rich people should make a sacrifice for the greater good. And yet the average Tory-voting masses take it as an affront to their own modest fortunes.
One to watch
PJW disturbs me. He’s pretty dense in my opinion, and intensely annoying, but his popularity has surged incredibly. And apart from the fact he seems to think he’s cool ‘like James Dean’, daftly posing with a cigarette hanging out his mouth etc, he’s the nearest thing the right-wing has to someone ‘funny’. But whereas left-wing political comedians such as Bill Maher, John Oliver and Frankie Boyle base their jokes upon actual geopolitical realities, Watson just makes them up to satisfy a howling mob that grows ever more dangerous. I think he needs an eye kept on him.
On a separate note, I genuinely cannot believe anyone believes a word regurgitated from someone connected to InfoWars. For God’s sake, Alex Jones himself recently tried to vindicate himself in a court case by claiming his entire persona was a “performance artist playing a character” – providing “entertainment”, not “news”.
How flaming stupid do you have to be??
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