Conspiracy theories exist largely because of mainstream media’s lies. So when that same media admonishes the theorists, it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle suspect.
The New York Times has published an article titled “A pro-Trump conspiracy theorist, a false tweet and a runaway story”, condemning things that a popular alt-media Trump supporter named Jack Posobiec has written about former FBI director James Comey. I am not interested in commenting on Posobiec’s spat with the New York Times in this article, but I have a few things to say about the absolute gall of the New York Times using “conspiracy theorist” as a pejorative when they are largely responsible for the modern prevalence of conspiracy theories in the first place.
People believe in conspiracy theories because they are acutely aware that the mainstream media lies to them on behalf of the power establishment. Trust in the mass media hasn’t reached an all-time low because people are crazy, stupid and paranoid; trust in the mass media has reached an all-time low because the mass media has consistently failed to earn that trust. When people see the talking heads on television doing things like advancing the US government’s assertion that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and intends to facilitate their use on American soil instead of asking questions and practicing actual journalism, people will naturally lose trust in those establishment outlets and turn to other sources to try and figure out what is going on in their world.
The New York Times, by the way, was far and away one of the most egregious offenders in advancing establishment lies in the leadup to the Iraq war. Read this Fair.org write-up of all the appalling ways the Times enthusiastically and unequivocally endorsed not just the lies about weapons of mass destruction, but the Bush administration’s regime change invasion itself. This outlet was complicit in manufacturing public support for an interminable war that killed a million Iraqis and cost thousands of American lives, to say nothing of its staggering $2 trillion price tag which could have been used to exponentially improve the lives of the American people, and it was all lies, from top to bottom.
The New York Times was supposed to protect the American people from this obscene government overreach, but it did the exact opposite instead. The press is the only profession explicitly protected under the US Constitution so that it can serve as a check against government abuses and because a well-informed citizenry is essential to a functioning democracy. But instead of checking these abuses the corporate media has been choosing to facilitate them, and instead of informing the citizenry the corporate media has been choosing to lie to them.
And it wasn’t just the New York Times facilitating establishment lies about Iraq, it was the entire mass media. A leaked internal memo showed how MSNBC fired their top-rated host, Phil Donahue, because he was one of the few voices in mainstream media expressing critical thought about the Iraq invasion. The CIA-funded Washington Post has been caught blatantly lying about Russia over and over again, and was literally publishing one Bernie Sanders smear piece per hour at the hottest point in the Democratic primaries. Rachel Maddow has been lying about everything from Jill Stein to WikiLeaks, and CNN recently staged a fake interview featuring a 7-year-old girl who can’t speak English reading scripted war propaganda to its unsuspecting audience.
Is it any wonder, then, that people take it upon themselves to try and find the truth about what’s going on? If you know that your government lies to you and the media helps them, why would you believe the Washington Post when they spend a week publishing article after article after article after article after article after article after article after article after article after article after article telling you to ignore the Seth Rich murder because it’s a “conspiracy theory”? Why wouldn’t they look to other sources for their information and form a collaboration with other citizens to try and piece together the facts of the Seth Rich thing by themselves? Whether or not there’s any validity to the Seth Rich conspiracy theory itself, can anyone point to one single reason why anyone should trust the Washington Post over their own reason and critical thinking given WaPo’s CIA ties and unbelievably extensive history of lying to advance the agendas of America’s power establishment?
These media outlets created the paranoia they now condemn. To lie to the public so frequently and then turn around and start browbeating them for not trusting the establishment narrative is the most disgusting, victim-blaming display of gaslighting that you could ever possibly imagine. The establishment media has not given the public any reason to believe anything they say, and they still somehow have the gall to act all huffy when people don’t believe them.
Luckily, we’re getting better and better as a species at networking and sharing information, and soon these obnoxious media fossils will fade into obsolescence. Alternative media is already beginning to learn much better ways of figuring out what’s happening in the world, and once the new media strengthens its baby legs and really gets up and running, the world will be rapidly transformed.
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