Paul Joseph Watson is a 35-year-old conservative journalist who writes for the right-wing publication Infowars. He has quite the presence on Twitter, and his YouTube channel, of which he regularly complains Google demonetizes due to “hate speech,” is closing in on 950,000 subscribers. He routinely gives political correctness the middle finger. He’s outspoken and completely unapologetic about his worldview, which tends to make liberals uncomfortable, upset, and sometimes seething with rage.
One obvious thing about Watson, who sometimes goes by PJW, is that he hates the mainstream media. According to him, the elite press is made up of liars and criminals who are never to be trusted. Based on Paul’s Twitter feed, he sometimes is propositioned by mainstream journalists for an interview, and more often than not, he senses malicious intent and declines.
Watson was recently a victim of the fake news he so loathes, but the circumstances are probably not what you think. Vice affiliate Broadly recently published an article mentioning the fact that PJW told them he suffers from pica, a condition in which a person feels compelled to eat non-edible items such as dirt, rocks, and cotton balls. In Watson’s case, he told them he likes to eat the paper out of books.
“Funny you should ask,” Watson said. “My eating habits are not normal. I suffer from the pica eating disorder. This means I literally eat books. Pages of older books especially.”
This bit of information caught the attention of Mediaite’s Aidan McLaughlin, who decided to pen an entire article about it, proclaiming it in his headline about the Infowars reporter, “Paul Joseph Watson Says He Likes To Eat Books”.
A few hours later, McLaughlin posted a different article titled, “9 Books Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson Needs To Eat.”
Alright, so Paul Joseph Watson is afflicted with pica. It’s an odd, but harmless, piece of information, right? Sure, except for the fact that Watson doesn’t eat books; nor does he have pica. According to PJW himself, he made the whole thing up and now he’s laughing at the people who believed him.
Who's the "fake news" now? ????— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 2, 2017
Raw Story also chose to publish an article about Paul confessing to eating books.
They call Infowars "fake news" then go on to literally publish the fake news hoax that I eat books. ???? https://t.co/uMxsUFR5Dd— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 3, 2017
The reason Watson decided to lie about having pica isn’t a mystery. He wanted to prove a point, and when given the opportunity to show people how easily the media can publish lies, he didn’t let it go to waste.
McLaughlin noted in his original article that Infowars’ reporters have purposely lied to the press before “in an attempt to stoke media coverage,” but it’s not clear if he added that tidbit of information after Watson confessed that he actually doesn’t eat books, or if it’d been included initially. In Mediaite’s second article listing nine books Paul should eat, there’s no mention of PJW coming clean on the matter.
Watson has received criticism from writers on Twitter in the form of direct attacks mocking the Brit’s decision to tell such a bizarre whopper.
Go choke on a book.— A$AP FOSTER WALLACE™ (@broazay) June 2, 2017
"Haha I got a bunch of people to believe I do something crazy and embarrassing and then they believed me and published it. Epic troll." https://t.co/FNz7e9WjyO— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) June 3, 2017
Not that Watson minds the negative feedback. By all appearances, it seems he’s having fun with it. He’s the guy liberal journalists love to hate, so it’s not as if receiving insults from his opposition is anything new to him.
Those left-wing books just aren't digestible and contain too much soy. https://t.co/vAzmdyO3nf— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 3, 2017
I don't eat cameras, although sometimes I treat myself with bricks on special occasions.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 3, 2017
Despite the fact that Paul Joseph Watson has made it abundantly clear he doesn’t have pica and doesn’t compulsively eat inanimate objects, the articles proclaiming that he does remain without sufficient edits to update readers to its falseness. It seems either the authors don’t follow Watson on social media, or they’re content to let their consumers believe things that aren’t true.
This begs the question of how many claims put out there by the vast online news world are based on comprehensive reporting and facts? Are the things we think we know even true?
[Featured Image by Melpomene/Shutterstock]