How the News Media Fuels Conspiracy Theories
"For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
John F. Kennedy
Let’s start by differentiating “conspiracy theories” from “reasonable suspicion.” Theories are simply possibilities based on intellectual conclusions. Suspicion is based on specific documented events and evidence. For example you can not conduct a courtroom trial based on theory; you can however, conduct one based on evidence.
Someone could just come up with a creative “what if” idea about something. This would be a conspiracy theory. This is what the news media does continuously; although you do not realize how these politically motivated theories cross the line and are reported as facts.
Let’s examine America’s view of conspiracy theories. If you examine the most famous conspiracy theory in American history, the Kennedy assassination, you will realize that there is a great deal of confusion between the concept of theory and the concept of reasonable suspicion. There is overwhelming evidence that the Warren Commission report was actually the theory and that the conspiracy theories are based more on evidence than the report. So in my opinion it is the accepted conclusion to the JFK assassination that is in fact a conspiracy theory. The hard to believe theory consists of one shooter with shooting skills that have never been matched by any other human; one bullet changing direction, smashing bones and coming out with out so much as a dent; interviews with the person accused of killing a president where no notes were taken and nothing was recorded; and a lone armed criminal patriot who is able to get access to and kill the accused. I can go on forever; but you get the point. Now that my friends, is a creative “what if” with little evidence to back it up.
The actual “theory” portion of the Kennedy assassination was the conclusions outlined in the Warren Report. The “magic bullet” explanation is more of a “theory” than the suggestion that there was more than one shooter. Take a look at whatreallyhappened.com’s JFK assassination exploration. You will see how much actual “evidence” the so called “conspiracy theory” community has. It seems to me that this is a case of reasonable suspicion and not conspiracy theory.
Now let’s talk about how the media pulls the switch-a-roo flipping conspiracy theory and reasonable suspicion when they want to shape public opinion. The initial step taken when the news media converts theory into reality is what I like to call the leading question. They start addressing a topic by asking if something is possible. For example they might start a report by asking “Is it possible that Iraq used the discovered trailers to produce chemical weapons”. Now while the evidence actually leads to the answer “no”, as in “no, it does not appear that these trailers were used to produce weapons”, the question is firmly planted in the viewer’s mind and now the question seems quite plausible. The rest of the report may feature a great deal of information about how it is possible to make weapons in the trailers, thus building the theory into a very plausible possibility. While they never make the jump to an actual accusation they have built up the case to such an extent that there is little doubt in the viewers mind that the trailers were used to produce weapons. This is repeated so often that by the time the tiny little report comes out saying that they did not conclude that the trailers were used for weapons, the public will actually take the position of “I still think they used them for weapons”. The media in the meantime has run many stories aimed at fortifying their theory.
I like to call this propaganda. This is very well thought out manipulation of public opinion.
Let me give you a little list of examples depicting theory vs. reasonable suspicion: (Keep in mind that the key difference is the existence of “evidence.” )
The ultimate theory: The existence of God. Say all you want but the bottom line is there is no evidence other than that created by humans; living mortal humans. The existence of God is a theory.
Theory: The Bush administration was in no way involved with or had prior knowledge of the terror attacks of 9/11.
Reasonable suspicion: There is overwhelming evidence that the Bush administration at the very least had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
Theory: Iraq had WMDs. This is theory sold to America as fact. Even after the invasion we still have no evidence of any WMDs so how did any evidence exist before the invasion? Without evidence you are left with only theory. You do not even have reasonable suspicion without evidence.
Reasonable suspicion: There is overwhelming evidence that Bush and his administration lied about the reasons for invading Iraq.
I can create a never ending list here but I think you get the point.
The bottom line is that we have to start demanding evidence before we accept these theories as truths and we can not dismiss reasonable suspicions and simply label them conspiracy theories if there is ample evidence to back them up. It is not a matter of believing what you want to believe; without evidence beliefs are not valid, with evidence they must be taken under serious consideration. Period, End of story. - Jesse - TvNewsLies.org
Government Promulgates the Wackiest Conspiracy Theories - The most bizarre conspiracy theories to date though has coincidentally been the latest one advanced by the same looneybin rejects that have hijacked our government. When the twin towers were attacked by a very determined, very organized and very brave bunch of hijackers who crashed the planes they were flying into them, the government conspiracy theory machine kicked into high gear. - Claiming that the hijackers had gone to all this trouble, detail and eventually giving their lives because they "hated freedom" reminded me of the response liars and criminals give when they are punished. To the criminal mind, any punishment or retribution against them for wrong doing is an undeserved attack against them. Clearly President Bush has not been paying attention to our foreign policy which is chock full of reasons and justifications for any number of enemies to attack us any way they can.
Study Backs Theory of 'Grassy Knoll' - New Report Says Second Gunman Fired at Kennedy - A new, peer-reviewed article in Science and Justice, a quarterly publication of Britain's Forensic Science Society, says the NAS panel's study was seriously flawed. It says the panel failed to take into account the words of a Dallas patrolman that show the gunshot-like noises occurred "at the exact instant that John F. Kennedy was assassinated."