CBS News Logo Conservative radio host Alex Jones says on-air persona is not a “trick”

AUSTIN, Texas -- Right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has testified that he’s sincere in his “Infowars” commentary but acknowledges he also uses satire and comedy on his show. His testimony Wednesday in his child custody case stands in contrast to comments by his lawyer who last week argued that Jones is a performance artist whose true personality is nothing like his on-air persona. The Austin American-Statesman reports that Jones discounted any suggestion that he’s “playing a trick on the public” with his on-air persona. He’s scheduled to return to the stand Thursday. His ex-wife, Kelly Jones, is seeking sole or joint custody of their three children. Jones says his shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week. Continue Reading

CBS News Logo Conservative radio host Erick Erickson takes on Donald Trump

Last Updated Aug 10, 2015 9:56 AM EDT Conservative radio host and leader of Erick Erickson issued a warning to Donald Trump in an online post Monday morning regarding Trump's comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.Trump continues to fuel his feud with Kelly, which Erickson argues will ultimately damage his presidential candidacy. The feud, Erickson wrote, "may seem like a good thing -- all the attention is on him now. But tabloid coverage is not the coverage one needs when running for President. Tabloid coverage is about the candidate himself, not his issues."If for some reason you've missed this story, during the first GOP debate Thursday, Kelly asked Trump about his history of insulting women with slurs like "'fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.'"After trying to laugh off the question by saying he was only talking about Rosie O'Donnell, Trump said, "I don't frankly have time for total political correctness," and neither does the country.The exchange caused an uproar, and Trump made it worse when he retweeted a comment calling Kelly a "bimbo" and then said of Kelly on CNN, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes...Blood coming out of her wherever." He later tried to say he was referring to Kelly's nose, but the damage was done.The comment was widely interpreted as a PMS slam against her, and it was enough to convince Erickson to publicly disinvite him from his RedState gathering of conservatives this weekend, where several GOP presidential candidates were speaking.Trump then went after Erickson in a tweet:In a subsequent post called, "What happens when you rescind an invitation to Donald Trump?" Erickson said he then received "a flood of angry emails," his office voicemail was maxed out, and his site was victimized by a denial of service attack.Erickson's post on Monday observed that Trump's Sunday show rounds were "damage control" on his Kelly statement and he continued, "You can disagree with Megyn Kelly's questions to Continue Reading

Conservative radio host Alex Jones fighting to keep custody of children

A lawyer for conservative radio show host Alex Jones said his client is nothing more than a showman. He made that claim in a Texas court, where Jones is fighting to keep custody of his children. Opening arguments begin Tuesday morning. Jones’ ex-wife said the views and conspiracy theories on his radio show produced by his company, Infowars, prove he’s unfit to be a father. Jones has been accused of peddling fake news stories to his audience, but the idea that Jones doesn’t necessarily believe everything he says may take some of his fans by surprise, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.                      On his show, Jones has made plenty of outrageous – and to many, offensive – claims, including calling the 9/11 attacks an inside job.  “The whole thing is a black hole of lies,” Jones said. He also said the Newtown massacre was staged. “The official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese,” Jones said last November.  “Alex Jones is the preeminent global conspiracy theorist on the globalist conspiracy,” New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg said. Now his lawyer said Jones shouldn’t be taken at his own word.  According to an Austin newspaper, his attorney, Randall Wilhite, said at a pretrial custody hearing that Jones is “playing a character” on his show and actually “is a performance artist.” “He is the one that says what’s fake and what’s real. Now if his lawyer is saying he’s fake, it can’t get more treacherous for him,” Rutenberg said. His ex-wife is fighting for custody of their children, claiming in court Jones is a bad influence on their three kids. His son, Rex, was only 12 years old when he made an appearance on his father’s show. “What they’re really trying to cover up is much bigger than a little Continue Reading

Conservative radio host Alex Jones defends himself amid custody battle

A lawyer for an influential right wing conspiracy theorist made a startling claim in court recently during a child custody case: He said the radio rants of Alex Jones are just an act. Among Jones’ outrageous claims? That the terrorist attacks on 9/11 was an “inside job.” “The whole thing is a black hole of lies,” he said on his radio show in March of last year. In 2014 he called the Newtown massacre -- where Adam Lanza killed 20 children -- “fake.” Conservative radio host Alex Jones fights to keep custody of children “The official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese,” Jones said in a November broadcast. Yet his radio and “Infowars” Internet videos have drawn millions of fans, including a certain New Yorker. “And on my way here Donald Trump gave me a call,” Jones said. “Your reputation is amazing,” then-candidate Donald Trump said in December 2015. “I will not let you down.  You will be very very impressed, I hope.” Not only that, President Trump has echoed some of Jones’ claims, says New York Times media writer Jim Rutenberg. “When President Trump said that the mainstream press is covering up terrorist attacks to cover up for Islamists, that was directly out of Alex Jones. When President-elect Trump raised the possibility that some 3 million people voted illegally, that had been on ‘Infowars.’” But now his own lawyer suggests Jones shouldn’t be taken at his word. His comments came during Jones’ custody battle over his kids, according to one report, his attorney Randall Wilhite said that Jones is “playing a character” on his radio show -- that he’s actually “a performance artist.” Newtown leaders call on Trump to denounce Sandy Hook conspiracies Today, Jones defended himself this way: “I am an actor, we’re all actors, but I believe in what I Continue Reading

Conservative radio host says he was fired for being critical of Donald Trump

Longtime conservative radio show host Jerry Bader was fired Thursday for being critical of President Donald Trump, he said in an email. "It was made clear to me that the reason was the manner in which I covered President Trump," Bader said. Bader said he was fired by officials from Wausau-based Midwest Communications, where he had been employed for 18 years. The station website called Bader "the most influential opinion maker in northeast Wisconsin." Bader, who hosted a daily show on WTAQ in Green Bay, and other conservative talk radio show hosts in Wisconsin were critical of Trump's demeanor and policies ahead of the spring primary in 2016 and since his election.  Republican lawmakers often appeared on Bader's show to promote policy positions and share their side of controversies.  "I have always tried to tell what I believed is the truth and more recently to comport my behavior, on and off the air with my Christ-following faith, after I was saved in 2016," Bader said. "I've always known it was MWC's microphone that I used each day. I have no regrets on how I've handled the show the past two and a half years." Bader will continue to be employed by the conservative website, he said. A Midwest Communications official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Continue Reading

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt to participate in second 2016 Republican debate

Hugh Hewitt will participate in one of the first Republican presidential debates, the conservative radio talk show host's network said Tuesday in a statement. The Sept. 16 debate will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., and is the second of at least nine such events. The debate will be hosted by a partnership between Salem Media Group, which broadcasts Hewitt's "Hugh Hewitt Show," and CNN. Hewitt will participate in the question-and-answer section of the debate, Salem said. "I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America's finest political traditions — the presidential debate," Hewitt said in the statement. "These debates come at a critical time, and good questions will allow Republican primary voters the opportunity to see and hear their would-be nominees provide answers to issues that genuinely concern them." Hewitt is not the debate's moderator and no decisions have been made yet on who CNN's moderator will be, a spokesperson for the TV network said. The RNC has so far approved nine debates and is looking at three more. No Republicans have yet formally announced a 2016 candidacy, but several, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have created political action committees, suggesting that they could soon launch their campaigns. Continue Reading

Two radio stations pull the plug on Rush Limbaugh as advertisers continue to part ways with conservative radio host

Sometimes sorry isn’t good enough. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was finding that out the hard way Monday night as more advertisers dropped his show — and two radio stations even pulled the plug. His apology for calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” for her advocacy of insurance coverage for birth control didn’t appease his defectors — or Fluke. “I don’t think a statement like this, saying his choice of words was not the best, changes anything,” Fluke told the ladies of ABC’s “The View.” Among the nine advertisers to drop Limbaugh is RELATED: LIMBAUGH IS CRUDE BECAUSE AUDIENCE EGGS HIM ON “Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments do not align with our company values,” said a spokesman. The two radio stations that silenced him — WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii — agreed. “This time he’s taken it too far,” said WBEC’s General Manager Peter Barry. Earlier Monday, Limbaugh brushed off the advertiser defections. “They have profited handsomely from reaching you,” he said. “Now they have decided they don’t want to reach you anymore and we will replace them with advertisers who do.” Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio host, joins Twitter with handle @limbaugh

Now Rush Limbaugh’s Dittoheads can just retweet. Limbaugh, the powerful right-wing radio host, has expanded his media empire to Twitter — and has pledged to inspire his “army.” The controversial shock-jock unveiled his Twitter account — with the simple handle “@limbaugh” — late Thursday and already has garnered more than 112,000 followers. "There's an army out there that wants to be mobilized, and so, I figured, use Twitter for it," Limbaugh said on his wildly-popular syndicated show. "I'm just going to put some things on Twitter that you can help us circulate,” he said. “It's that simple — you just retweet them.” The rarely-humble host even assured his fans — often known as Dittoheads for their penchant to blindly agree with Limbaugh — that "you don't have to follow anyone but me." So far, he’s been restrained on his new platform, only tweeting two negative articles about one of his frequent targets, the progressive news site Media Matters. But it would seem likely that Limbaugh will soon use Twitter as yet another way to rile up his legion of followers — and incense his rivals. Limbaugh’s latest firestorm ignited earlier this month when he called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress about her concerns about paying for birth control. His comments drew national rebukes — even from some Republican leaders normally afraid to criticize him — and led to more than a dozen advertisers withdrawing their support from his show. It also transformed the student, Sandra Fluke, into the face of the ongoing birth control debate — and led President Obama to offer his support to her in a phone call. Much of the outrage about Limbaugh’s comments erupted on Twitter, leading some political observers to speculate that it led the shock jock Continue Reading

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh says he’ll leave New York over Gov. Paterson’s tax increases

Well, that's one less recovering drug addict for New York. Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk show king, announced this week that he's ditching his New York digs and finding another alternate location for his top-rated show in the wake of Gov. Paterson's "stupid, punitive, massive tax increases." "I'm going to get out of there totally, 'cause this is just absurd," railed Limbaugh, who famously acknowledged an addiction to painkillers in October 2003. Of Albany's proposed hikes, which will boost income taxes on households earning more than $300,000 a year, El Rushbo said they were "punishing the achievers for the mistakes... on the part of a bunch of corrupt politicians." And he promised to "lead the way" out of New York for similarly afflicted taxpayers. "I'm going to look for an alternative studio somewhere outside New York, perhaps Texas," he fumed. Not that Limbaugh spends much time here anyway. He taped about 15 shows in New York last year - mostly to avoid hurricanes lurking near his Florida base, he told listeners. He added that he always pays city and state taxes on income he earns on those New York shows. He also owns an apartment here - a 4,000 square-foot penthouse in a Fifth Ave. building where similar units have recently sold for more than $10 million, records show. Limbaugh promised to sell the pad, but not before suggesting a new state slogan to Paterson: "New York: It's Never Enough." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Teen says Boston radio host Reese Hopkins raped her in New York City four years ago

A Boston conservative radio host has been busted for allegedly raping a Manhattan girl four years ago when she was only 12. Reese Hopkins, 39, who had dubbed himself the "Crossover Negro" on his WRKO-AM morning show, waived extradition to New York Thursday during an appearance in a Massachusetts courtroom. The alleged victim, who is now 16, told police Hopkins raped her on Oct. 1, 2004, in his upper East Side apartment while she was visiting his girlfriend's daughter, a source said. The victim, whose name is being withheld because of the nature of the charges, kept the attack secret until this past summer, when she told her therapist, the source said. The mother immediately reported it to police. The victim's parents took her to a therapist because she had been acting out and losing interest in school, the source said. A man answering the door at the victim's Manhattan apartment Thursday refused to comment. Calls to the family were not returned. Hopkins, who now lives in Malden, Mass., was arrested Wednesday night in Boston, officials said. Up until 2005, Hopkins worked as news director and anchor for the "Star & Buc Wild Morning Show" on Power 105 in New York. Hopkins had been on the air in Boston for less than a year. His arrest comes a week after he was fired from his Boston radio gig when the stock of the media company that owns WRKO, Entercom Communications, plummeted 28% in one day. Defense lawyer Paul Mishkin said Hopkins will return to New York today to face charges of first-degree rape. "He hasn't made any efforts to avoid prosecution," Mishkin said. As he was being led from the courthouse in shackles Thursday, Hopkins vehemently denied the charges, explaining that he wasn't living on the upper East Side at the time of the alleged attack. "She charged me on Oct. 1 of 2004. I was living in Manchester, Conn. I couldn't have been there," Hopkins said, while being escorted to a sheriff's van. He insisted the victim Continue Reading