Sep
04
2009

Media Welcome for 'Baroque Conspiracy Theories' Not Unprecedented

What "surprises" Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik (8/30/09) more than this summer's news full of "baroque conspiracy theories" and "weepy hysteria" is "the idea that these are somehow unprecedented." Hiltzik looks back to an earlier era of supposed presidential "socialism" in the U.S. to see such current claims as "merely the latest examples of a phenomenon that might be called Wirtism"–a label Hiltzik "just coined… to honor the memory of William A. Wirt": Wirt's day in the sun came back in 1934, when the obscure Midwestern blowhard placed himself at the center of a political maelstrom by "discovering" a […]

Aug
05
2009

Dobbs OK Because Not 'Actually Questioning the Facts'

Reporting for Associated Press (7/3/09), David Bauder has an update on CNN's insistence on "standing behind" Lou Dobbs, who has "become a publicity nightmare for CNN, embarrassed his boss and…on top of all that, his ratings are slipping." Bauder asks outright: "How does Lou Dobbs keep his job" while plugging the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama "wasn't born in the United States despite convincing evidence to the contrary"? Dobbs' work has been so unpopular that even Ann Coulter has criticized him. Dobbs has acknowledged that he believes Obama was born in Hawaii. But he gives airtime to disbelievers, and has […]

Aug
03
2009

Some Conspiracy Theories More Equal Than Others

AlterNet's Liliana Segura has traced (7/28/09) the "nasty little rumor" that "Barack Hussein Obama is not a legitimate president because he is not really an American citizen" from "the early days of the presidential race" to its current status as "a full-blown conspiracy theory" that does "nonetheless enjoy increasingly high-profile political support, and media coverage '9/11 truthers' could only dream of": Last week the "birthers" became big news again, after a video emerged showing Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., confronted at a town hall meeting by a woman who angrily accused him of being complicit in the coverup of Obama's true […]