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Surge Desk

Alex Jones' Greatest Hits on Google Trends

Oct 6, 2010 – 5:34 PM
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David Knowles

David Knowles Writer

(Oct. 6) -- When it comes to whipping the Internet into a frenzy of anxiety, nobody does the job better than radio talk show host Alex Jones.

Jones' strategy is fairly straightforward. Writers at his conspiracy website Prison Planet prepare an article on a controversial topic. Then Jones takes to the airwaves and directs his listeners to simultaneously search Google for one or two specific terms.

Detecting the sudden uptick in the number of people searching for those specific terms, Google then elevates the words in question into what are called "Hot Searches" on its Google Trends site. Finally, seeing that the words have risen to the top of the Google Trends list, curious Web searchers click on the topics and are directed back to the articles published on Prison Planet, garnering the site millions of page views -- as well as hundreds of follow-up stories by other journalistic operations about the topic at hand -- that it would normally have no way of obtaining on the open Web.

The idea, as Prison Planet puts it, is to spread "the truth by forcing these issues into public view." Just how true Jones' stories actually are, of course, is a matter of debate, though it behooves Surge Desk to remind readers that the grandiose conclusions about global conspiracies his writers reach are well, a bit out there, to say the least.

Surge Desk has the following recent highlights from Jones' brilliant plan to dominate the Internet news cycle with eye-catching search terms and corresponding headlines.

1. 9/11 Was an Inside Job!
The words "huge explosions" became the top most searched term on Google Trends today. Not surprisingly, that same day, Jones had chosen to focus his radio program on a YouTube clip shot on Sept. 11, 2001, that shows firefighters talking about a "secondary explosion" in the World Trade Center before the buildings fell. Jones' conclusion? Bombs were planted throughout the towers by the American government itself.

2. To Save His Presidency, Barack Obama Will Direct a Terrorist Attack Against America!
Google Trends users had their curiosity piqued when the terms "save his presidency" and "Obama terror attack" both became top search terms. Entering those words into the Google search box led users to an article at Prison Planet titled "Will Obama Force America to 'Absorb a Terror Attack' To Save His Presidency?" That chilling hypothetical prospect was posed by Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet editor and writer, after Obama told Bob Woodward, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger."

3. Innocent Americans Being Injected with Brain-Eating Vaccines!
The term "brain eating vaccines" topped the Google Hot Searches charts on Aug. 3. Calling vaccine researchers the "scientific dictatorship," Jones gave an impassioned rebuttal to the news a potential chemical cure for chronic stress had been developed.


Wired magazine's Jonah Lehrer, who was the first writer to detail the the research being undertaken by Robert Saplosky, was dismayed to hear Jones' characterization of the vaccine as a conspiratorial plot.

"If you happened to find this article by searching Google for a 'brain eating vaccine,' " Lehrer wrote on Aug. 4, "please know that there is no such thing. Instead, what the article discusses are possible treatments that, if we're lucky, will one day be used to help prevent brain damage in stroke victims. Alex Jones is a liar."

4. Obama Manufactures Terror Plot Hysteria to Ensure Midterm Election Gains!
After European and U.S. authorities issued a terror alert for the Continent and those American travelers considering visiting it, the terms "October surprise" and "terror hysteria" shot up the Google Trends charts. While the motivation for the issuing of the terror alert is far from clear, Jones and Prison Planet had a very specific theory they were putting forth. "In attempting to 'force the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security,' " Watson wrote, "the establishment hopes to derail the momentum of Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, whose entire campaigns are built on the premise of turning away from the state and giving power back to the individual."

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5. The Federal Government is Radiating Americans at Internal Checkpoints!

If you looked at Google Trends on Sept. 29, you may have noticed the disturbing search term "feds radiating Americans" sitting pretty at the top of the list. A Prison Planet article on the use of harmful X-ray devices by federal authorities to check the cargo of the nation's trucking fleet for terrorist bombs received a great deal of mainstream media attention, but actually stemmed from an earlier investigative report by Forbes, which contained many of the same details but did not reach quite the same fever-pitch level of paranoia.

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Filed under: Nation, Politics, Crime, Surge Desk, Tea Party, Barack Obama
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