Alex Jones, a 9/11 truther and promoter of other conspiracy theories, appeared on ABC's The View Monday to defend his friend Charlie Sheen, but diverted the interview into slamming George W. Bush for turning American into "a police state." Veteran journalist Barbara Walters did not denounce the radio host when he referenced the theory that the government was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, who walked out when they objected to a comment Bill O'Reilly made about Muslims, did not leave when Jones attacked, "[Charlie Sheen] didn't kill a million people in Iraq. He wasn't involved with the takedown of Building Seven here in New York."
(Building Seven, across the street from the World Trade Center, is a key component to those who believe that the Twin Towers were taken down by a controlled demolition, not as a result of international terrorism.) Later, Jones shifted the subject to politics again and ranted, "Let's compare George Bush, a million dead in Iraq!"
[See video below. MP3 here.]
An exasperated Elisabeth Hasselbeck complained, "If you're going to come here and go there, we're asking you about your friend! Let's stick to the topic!"
Jones continued, "Torture! Secret arrests! America is turning into a police state!" Walters mildly insisted, "I think we are here to talk about Charlie Sheen. I'm not trying to cut you off." She then enthused, "You are certainly a wonderful friend [to Sheen]."
As the segment ended, Jones got in a plug for his conspiracy website, "Stay clean. Don't use drugs. Infowars.com." (On Friday, MSNBC allowed Jones to promote his site.)
Viewers will remember that the ABC program previously had a truther as a co-host. On March 29, 2007, Rosie O'Donnell asserted that 9/11 was the "first time in history fire has ever melted steel."
[Thanks to MRC intern Matt Hadro for editing the video.]
A partial transcript of the February 28 segment, which aired at 11:36am EST, follows:
BARBARA WALTERS: Joining us now is the radio show host and close friend of Charlie Sheen, the man he was talking to, Alex Jones. Welcome.
ALEX JONES: Thanks for having me. If I could just say one thing: I've known Charlie for about six and a half years. He's never drunk alcohol, used drug in front of me. He's been completely clean for almost a decade until about seven months ago. Now, he's come off the drugs and alcohol, which is almost like, you know, being off your meds. It has the same effect. So he's supercharged, he's angry, he's focused. And I know that when they interviewed him at his house, 'cause I talked to him for about two hours. That's a little, kind of, joke that's out of context. He's tired of being judged and him being held up as the ultimate demon in this world. He didn't kill a million people in Iraq. He wasn't involved with the takedown of Building Seven here in New York. He thinks there's bigger devils out there than himself. And Chuck Lorre has put out a whole bunch of these cue cards while having management tell him a month ago, if you speak out against four episodes being cut, we're going to fire you. Then he puts out all these-
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Chuck Lorre?
ALEX JONES: Yes, Chuck Lorre.
BARBARA WALTERS: The producer?
JONES: He puts out vanity cards not just on Two and a Half Men but other shows saying Charlie Sheen is dead inside and soulless. You didn't show the worst one there.
JONES: Oh, they've been comparing him to Qadhafi. Let's compare George Bush, a million dead in Iraq!
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Oh, God! Are we going to really go there?
JONES: Torture! Secret arrests! America is turning into a police state!
HASSELBECK: If you're going to come here and go there, we're asking you about your friend! Let's stick to the topic!
WALTERS: I think we are here to talk about Charlie Sheen. I'm not trying to cut you off.
JONES: Charlie says you have a right to kill him, but not judge him, as Colonel Kurtz said!
WALTERS: Thank you. Thank you. You are certainly a wonderful friend.
JONES: Charlie, stay clean. We love you. And everybody else out there. Stay clean. Don't use drugs. Infowars.com.
WALTERS: Thanks a good message. Okay.
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.